Semantics Research Group Meeting, July 3, 2015

[Japanese | English]

3:30pm, July 3, 2015
National Institute of Informatics (National Center of Sciences Bldg.),
12th floor, Conference Room (1208)

Talk 1

Philippe de Groote (INIRA Nancy)
Modularity and compositionality: The case of temporal modifiers
One says that a semantics is compositional when it allows the meaning of a complex expression to be computed from the meaning of its constituents. One also says that a system is modular if it is made of relatively independent components. In the case of a semantic system, say a Montague grammar, we will say that it is modular if the ontology on which it is based (including notions such as truth, entities, events, possible worlds, time intervals, state of knowledge, state of believe, ...) is obtained by combining relatively independent simple ontologies. The question we want to discuss in this talk is then the following one. Given an atemporal Montague grammar, on the one hand, and a temporal ontology, on the other hand, is it possible to combine them into a new grammar such that it would: (i) conservatively extend the original grammar, and (ii) allow temporal modifiers to be accommodated. This question is not as easy as it might seem at first sight. Temporal modifiers, indeed, may be cascaded, which interacts in a non-trivial way with quantification and binding.

Talk 2

David Y. Oshima (Nagoya University)
On the semantics of focus particle clusters: With special reference to dake-wa and made-wa in Japanese
This talk addresses the semantics of focus particle clusters in Japanese, with special attention to the cases of dake-wa and made-wa. In the first part, I will discuss the semantic properties of wa in its contrastive use, and argue that it is to be regarded as a focus particle on a par with additive mo ‘also’, scalar additive sae/sura/made ‘even’, and exclusive dake ‘only’. Then, I will point out (i) that the addition of contrastive wa to exclusive dake has the effect of swapping the entailment (assertion) and presupposition associated with dake, and (ii) that the addition of wa to scalar additive made triggers the scope version between made and a co-occurring DE operator (e.g., negation). I will discuss how the meanings of dake-wa and made-wa are computed, and further demonstrate that the proposed analysis can be extended to other types FP clusters including those taken up by Guerzoni (2003; Diss., MIT) and Nakanishi (2006; SALT XVI).

Semantics Research Group

Last modified: 2015-06-24 18:32:41 JST