Semantics Research Group Meeting, April 25, 2014

[Japanese | English]

4:00pm, April 25, 2014
Keio University, Mita Campus,
South Annex, 7th floor

Talk 1

Lisa Bylinina (Meertens Institute (Amsterdam) and Leiden University Centre for Linguistics)
Subjectivity, experience, and talking about taste
I will discuss judge-dependence of different kinds of predicates and constructions — interesting, tall, more tasty, too big, etc. Most of the existing theories of judge-dependence are looking for one theory that would cover all cases (Lasersohn 2005, 2009; Stephenson 2007ab, a.o.). However, recently some subgroups of subjective items were identified, and the possibility of a unified analysis of was questioned. I focus on one parameter that cross-cuts the subjective constructions — namely, the availability of ‘judge-phrases’ such as for/to John. The limited distribution of such phrases has led some to postulate two distinct devices for linguistic representation of subjectivity (Kennedy 2012). I argue against such view and show that the judge-phrases are actually experiencer phrases, as they are only available with predicates making reference to an experience event. Also, there is an indirect relation between experiencers and judges: talking about someone else’s internal experience is accompanied by a judge-shift. I suggest that one can keep a unified account for subjectivity, but it needs to be supplemented with conditions under which the judge parameter can or has to take a certain value.

Talk 2

Yasutada Sudo (University College London)
How Scalar Implicatures and Presuppositions Interact
We investigate the interactions between scalar implicatures and presuppositions in sentences which involve a presupposition trigger and a scalar item, e.g. "John isn't aware that some of the students smoke". We first discuss Gajewski & Sharvit's (2012) account and point out empirical problems for it. Then we present an alternative analysis which is a very natural extension of ‘standard’ treatments of scalar implicatures. We show that it nicely explains the data that is problematic for Gajewski & Sharvit, but claim that it fails to account of the full range of data. This discussion leads us to pursue a view where two distinct strengthening mechanisms are at play. Our key data involves what we call "presupposed ignorance inferences".

Semantics Research Group

Last modified: 2014-04-12 11:29:40 JST