GLiF Seminars

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Agenda Agenda

Information Information

Time: Thursdays, 15h to 16.30h
(unless indicated otherwise)

Room: 52.735 (UPF-Poblenou)
(unless indicated otherwise)

Location: Universitat Pompeu
Fabra, Carrer Roc Boronat, 138

 

If you want to be kept informed
about GLiF activities, please sign
up for the GLiF google group, or
send an e-mail to:
Antonia Tovar
antonia.tovar@upf.edu 
or Raquel Veiga
raquel.veiga@upf.edu

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  • Thursday, November 2nd: Marco del Tredici (Universitat Pompeu Fabra): Semantic Variation in Online Communities of Practice

We introduce a framework for quantifying semantic variation of common words in Communities of Practice and in sets of topic-related communities. We show that while some meaning shifts are shared across related communities, others are community-specific, and therefore independent from the discussed topic. We propose such findings as evidence in favour of sociolinguistic theories of socially-driven semantic variation. Results are evaluated using an independent language modelling task. Furthermore, we investigate extralinguistic features and show that factors such as prominence and dissemination of words are related to semantic variation.

At 15:00 in room 52.701 (UPF-Poblenou).

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  • Thursday, October 26th: Aurélie Herbelot (Universitat Pompeu Fabra): Aligning speaker-dependent meaning through formal distributional representations 

Meaning is not universal. What I mean by 'cup','mug' or 'freedom' is probably slightly different from what you mean when you use the same words. Where do those differences come from, and how do speakers manage to refer successfully, if they lack semantic alignment? These are questions that are not easily answered in a truth-theoretic setting. In this talk, I present a hybrid framework combining aspects of formal semantics -- in particular set theory -- with distributional semantics. I argue that this combination is beneficial on several counts. First, it explains variations in word meaning acquisition. Second, it allows us to account for a range of lexical relations that are essential to inference. Third, the permitted inferences contribute to speaker alignment in reference acts. I will finish with a brief description of various projects that implement some necessary parts of this formal distributional semantics.

 

At 15:00 in room 52.701 (UPF-Poblenou).

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  • Thursday, October 19th: Anna Kocher (Universität Wien): The structure and interpretation of Ibero-Romance root clause complementizers
This paper focuses on the properties of Ibero-Romance root clauses introduced by the complemenitzer que (for instance, (I) cat. Que en Jordi ve. ‘(someone said that) Juan is coming.’(II) cat. Que vingui. ‘He/She should come.’ (III) cat. Sí que ve. ‘He/She does come.’). In these contexts the complementizer is not a prototypical subordinator but appears to operate on the interface between syntax and pragmatics. Therefore the aim of this paper is to investigate its precise function, determine the syntactic position that it occupies and pin down the interpretations associated with the different constructions. Based on interpretive and structural properties and adopting a cartographic framework, I argue that the different constructions containing a root clause complementizer can be reduced to three global types: (in)subordinating que (I) in ForceP (Rizzi 1997), directive que (II) in MoodP (associated with clause typing, cf. Lohnstein 2015) and presuppositional que (III) in FinP. The different positions the complementizer occupies in the different types is a strong indicator that the syntactic structure has an impact on the interpretation of the constructions. Therefore this paper adds on to to the recent studies set out to develop detailed semantics of the functional heads populating the left periphery. Finally, this paper also aims at contributing to the discussion on the categorical properties of complementizers. I propose that there is only one lexical element que in Ibero-Romance that is underspecified and that acquires different interpretation depending on the syntactic position it occupies (contra for instance Demonte & Fern ́andez Soriano 2014, Etxepare 2010, Corr 2015).
 
At 15:00 in room 52.701 (UPF-Poblenou).

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  • Thursday, October 11th: Mario Bisiada (Universitat Pompeu Fabra): Language change through language contact in English−German translation

Abstract: Translation is a language contact situation that can influence language change (cf. Kranich, Becher & Höder 2011, Kranich 2014). However, whether such language contact with English has led to change in German is still the subject of debate (Becher, House & Kranich 2009, Hansen-Schirra 2011, Neumann 2011, Bisiada 2013). This study investigates a frequency shift from hypotactic to paratactic constructions in concessive clauses in German management and business articles. The research hypothesises that the influence of the English verb-second word order may cause language users of German to prefer verb-second, paratactic constructions to verb-final, hypotactic ones. A previous study has provided some evidence that parataxis may be in the process of replacing hypotaxis in concessive clauses in the popular science genre, based on a diachronic corpus study of texts between 1978–1982 and 1999–2002 (Becher 2011).

This study challenges that claim based on a 1 million word diachronic corpus, with texts dating from 1982–3 and 2008. The corpus combines a parallel corpus architecture of German translations and their source texts with a comparable corpus of German non-translations. The time span under analysis is adopted from Becher (2011) and will thus allow us to compare differences in the way the English concessive conjunctions althoughthough, even though and while have been translated in management articles compared to popular science articles.

The study finds that the concessive conjunctions under analysis were translated mainly hypotactically (63%) in 1982–3, and show a decrease in hypotactic translation in 2008 to 43%. At the same time, the frequency with which they were translated paratactically has increased from 43% in 1982–3 to 52% in 2008. In the corpus of non-translated texts, however, the number of hypotactic and paratactic structures has remained stable over the period of analysis. I will discuss the implications of these findings and provide some further analysis to approach a possible interpretation of these data.

 

At 15:00 in room 52.701 (UPF-Poblenou).

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  • Thursday, September 28th: Welcome session

This session is devoted to presenting the work of the GLiF members, especially the newcomers. Also, Gemma Boleda will give a short presentation of the AMORE project.

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Asbtract: Understanding that people’s ideas may be false is a challenging step in Theory of Mind (ToM) development, and is accomplished around the age of 4-5 years old by typically developing (TD) children. False-belief attribution remains difficult beyond this age for certain clinical populations, such as Autism Spectrum Disorder (ASD), where delays in this realm are significant (Baron-Cohen, Leslie & Frith 1985), and Specific Language Impairment (SLI), where delays tend to be subtler (Nilsson & de Lopez 2016). Research has identified links between ToM success and language skills, in particular complement clauses such as ‘John thought/said that aliens landed in his garden’, and it has been hypothesized that these structures serve as tools for representing subjective truths (de Villiers & Pyers 2002; Tager-Flusberg & Joseph 2005). This talk reports results from our experimental work further exploring the link between complementation and ToM. Study 1 (Durrleman, Burnel, Thommen, Foudon, Sonié, Reboul & Fourneret 2016) determines if complementation skills in ASD support ToM reasoning or are rather merely implied in task performance (Craven, 2005). Study 2 (Durrleman, Burnel & Reboul 2017) evaluates whether clinical groups of different aetiologies, namely ASD and SLI, perform comparably for ToM once they have similar complementation skills, as expected by linguistic determinism (de Villiers & de Villiers, 2000). Studies 3 & 4 (Durrleman & Franck 2015; Burnel, Perrone, Baciu, Reboul, Durrleman 2017) investigate if complements have a more privileged influence on ToM in ASD and TD than abilities such as Executive Functions, which arguably also play a role (Carlson, Moses & Hix, 1998). Study 5 (Durrleman, Gattignol & Delage, in press) addresses speculation that complementation training may not be efficient to trigger improved ToM in instances of ToM impairments (Hale & Tager-Flusberg 2003: 10), by empirically testing whether training on complements via a newly created I-Pad application (Durrleman, Da Costa & Delage 2016) can be useful for ToM remediation in both ASD and SLI.

At 13:00 in room 52.735 (UPF-Poblenou).

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  • Wednesday, July 12th:  Elena Castroviejo (Ikerbasque and UPV/EHU) & Laia Mayol (UPF), Echoicity, contrast and conditionals.

Abstract:  The goal of this talk is to analyze a particular type of conditional construction in Spanish, which we call echoic contrastive conditional (henceforth ECC), illustrated in (1). ECCs are interesting in that they do not seem to exhibit a hypothetical relation between the antecedent (p) and the consequent (q), they present a specific information structure, namely contrastive topic in both p and q, and they arise whenever the speaker is echoing a previous assertion. 

 
(1) A: Estoy     cansado.
         be.1sg  tired
          'I'm tired.'
    B: Si #(t˙) est·s cansado, #(yo) estoy muerto.
         if   you  be.2sg tired   I    be.1sg dead
         'If you are tired, I'm exhausted.'
 
We claim that ECCs are a subtype of biscuit conditional whereby the assertion of q is dependent on the assertion of the p. We also argue that Spanish conditionals with Contrastive Topic marking, expressed by the obligatory presence of the otherwise null pronouns, and no causal or epistemic dependence between p and q, yield the rhetoric relation of contrast, scalarity and echoicity.

 

At 15:30 in room 52.735 (UPF-Poblenou).

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Abstract:  The aim of this research was to explore age differences in the expression of simultaneous events, that is, events that “share a value on the time axis” (Aksu-Koç & Stutterheim, 1994, p. 397). The expression of simultaneous events is a complex structure in the discourse that denotes text cohesion, making it an area of great interest in the field of language development.

Narratives in LSC were elicited from 2 deaf adults and 16 deaf children aged 6 to 13 years old. Participants were asked to tell a story from a wordless picture book (Mayer, 2009), in which we identified 6 scenes with simultaneous events. Narratives were coded using ELAN, and strategies used to express simultaneous events were analyzed and categorized.

As a result, we first identified the forms of expressing simultaneity of two events. Secondly, we analysed age differences in the expression of simultaneous events.

We did not find significant differences in the amount of simultaneous events expressed by adults and children. However, forms used to express simultaneity differ between both age groups. Children do not use simultaneous strategies to express events simultaneity, and their narratives show a lower use of sign space. They rely more on simple consecutive presentation of events and on the use of lexical signs to express simultaneity of events. The results will be discussed in relation to sign language acquisition.

 

At 13:00 in room 52.735 (UPF-Poblenou).

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  • Wednesday, June 14th: Daniele Panizza (Georg-August-Universität Göttingen): Neural signatures of Pragmatic Violations in adults and children.

Abstract: Pragmatic violations are generated by sentences such as (1a), which can be pragmatically strengthened via scalar implicature (1b), in a context that does not support their scalarly enriched interpretation.

(1) a. The Hedgehog has some of the keys.

     b. The Hedgehog has some but not all of the keys.

For example, sentence (1a), interpreted as (1b), generates a pragmatic violation when evaluated in a situation in which the hedgehog has all of the relevant keys in the given context.

We report on two ERP studies investigating pragmatic violations in 3- to 4-year-old children and adults. One study provides evidence for the hypothesis that young learners are equipped with the capacity of generating scalar implicatures at already three years of age, and that their cognitive system reacts differently to pragmatic violation as compared to semantic (i.e. truth-conditional) mismatches. The second study confirms previous findings showing that pragmatic and semantic violations have different neural signatures: while only negativities are elicited by pragmatic violations (either sustained negativities or N400-like effects), sustained positivities or both negative and positive waves (e.g. N400-like effects followed by Frontal P600) are elicited by semantic mismatches. Yet, the processing of both kind of violations is facilitated roughly to the same extent by prior visual presentation of a picture representing the meaning of the sentence inducing the mismatch. Third, the results from both studies do not support probabilistic approaches of implicature processing, according to which pragmatic and semantic mismatches are the mere result of the violation of probabilistic expectations that are argued to affect the N400 component in ERP studies.

At 15:30 in room 52.329 (UPF-Poblenou).

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  • Thursday, June 8th: Alessandro Lenci (Università di Pisa): Dynamic Compositional Representations in Distributional Semantics.

Abstract: In this talk, I argue that the comprehension of a sentence is an incremental process driven by the goal of constructing a coherent representation of the event the speaker intends to communicate. I will introduce a distributional model to build semantic representations inspired by recent psycholinguistic research on sentence comprehension. The model also associates with each distributional semantic representation a composition cost, to model the cognitive effort necessary to build it. The composition cost depends on the internal coherence of the event representation being constructed and on the activation degree of such event by linguistic constructions. The model is tested on some psycholinguistic datasets for the study of sentence comprehension. In particular, I focus on the case of logical metonymy  (e.g. The student began the book) showing that the model can account for the extra processing cost of coercion and for the inferential process leading to the recovery of the implicit event.

At 13:00 in room 52.735 (UPF-Poblenou).

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  • Thursday, May 11th: Craige Roberts (OSU & NYU): Agreeing and Assessing: Epistemic modals and the question under discussion.

Abstract: Important debates in the recent literature on Epistemic Modal Auxiliaries (EMAs) hinge on how we understand disagreements about the truth of assertions containing EMAs, and on a variety of attested response patterns to such assertions. Some relevant examples display evidence of faultless disagreement (Lasersohn 2005; Egan et al. 2005; MacFarlane 2005, 2011; Egan 2007; Stephenson 2007) or “faulty agreement” (Moltmann 2002). Others display a variety of patterns of felicitous response to statements with EMAs, responses which sometimes seem to target the prejacent alone and other times the entire modal claim (Lyons 1977; Swanson 2006; Stephenson 2007; von Fintel & Gillies 2007b,2008; Portner 2009; Dowell 2011; among others). I provide an alternative characterization of what it is to agree about EMA statements, arguing that this has generally been misunderstood. Then I provide evidence that the pattern of felicitous response to a given example is a function of the question under discussion in the context of utterance, undercutting a variety of criticisms of the standard semantics which trade on these phenomena.

At 13:00 in room 52.735 (UPF-Poblenou).

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  • Wednesday, May 10th: Kristina Gulordava (UNIGE - UPF post-doc candidate): Computational models of word order variation and dependency length minimization effects in syntactically-annotated corpora.

AbstractWord order variation is omnipresent in languages of the world. The preferences between different semantically equivalent word orders are subject to various syntactic, lexical and processing factors whose cumulative effect has been modeled computationally in corpus data. In this talk, I will focus on one property affecting word order variation cross-linguistically: the linear distances between syntactically related words. The tendency to prefer an order with shorter distances can be observed both at the level of a language grammar and in individual constructions, such as in the adjective-noun order variation in Romance. A bigger question which I’d like to subsequently address in this talk is how these previous statistical models of word order variation and distance minimization effects can be included in the general word order production process. I will present our recent work on a cognitively plausible linearization system which learns how the words of a sentence are uttered one-by-one given an input syntactic representation. We can integrate word order variation preferences into this system in a new principled way.

At 12:00 in room 52.735 (UPF-Poblenou).

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  • Thursday, April 20th: Avery Andrews (Australian National University): Unflattening LFG

Abstract: A distinctive characteristic of Lexical Functional Grammar (LFG) amongst the 'alternative generative theories' that began to emerge in the 1970s and 80s was that its underlying syntactic level, functional structure, was very flat. So all adjectival modifiers were dumped as members into a set of ADJUNCTS, regardless of any apparent hierarchical relations they might have in the c-structure. One consequence has been an apparent inability to make any proposal at all about the apparently semantic hierarchical effects noted in Andrews (1983), or the agreement 'discontinuities' in Russian and Lebanese Arabic discussed in Pesetsky (2013).  Another has been difficulties in capturing the 'tree respecting' properties of Romance restructuring verbs discussed in Alsina (1997).

In this talk I will propose a very small modification of LFG architecture that provides an approach to these issues.  This is to make extensive use of 'sets', that is, the 'hybrid objects' of Kaplan and Bresnan (2000), which have only one member.  Because of the way in which features distribute in hybrid objects, it is immediate that distributive features will be distributed (in effect, shared between) both the upper and the lower levels of such structures, preserving the conceptual advantage of the LFG approach in not requiring complicated feature-percolation schemes.

But, for adequate description, we do need to be able to specify, on a construction-specific basis, that some features that distribute by default do not do so, in particular cases, which can be accomplished by a simple notation. Restructuring predicates also require the choice of a linking theory, which is considerably less straightforward.

At 13:00 in room 52.735 (UPF-Poblenou).

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  • Thursday, April 6th: Víctor Acedo-Matellán (University of Cambridge) and Cristina Real Puigdollers (Universitat Pompeu Fabra)Creation Predicates and Talmy's (2000) satellite/verb-framed typology

Abstract: We provide a microparametric analysis of the variation in C(reation) P(redicate)s: while simple CPs are attested in all languages, complex CPs are disallowed in some languages. The ultimate goal is to reduce this type of variation to Talmy's (2000) s(atellite)/v(erb-framed) typology: complex CPs are only available in precisely those languages that allow directional/resultative constructions with verbs expressing manner. Our analysis captures the complex eventive structure of these predicates in v-languages, and explains the similarities and differences between v- and s-CPs that are not captured in those analyses in which CPs have a Path-less structure (Mateu 2012). By contrast, in assuming that CPs involve a scalar/Path structure (Beavers 2008) we explain why there is variation in CPs along the v- and s-typology, while adhering to the Borer-Chomsky conjecture.

At 13:00 in room 52.735 (UPF-Poblenou).

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  • Thursday, March 30th: Sílvia Perpiñán (University of Western Ontario): The L2 acquisition of Spanish locative and existential constructions by Catalan and Italian speakers.

Abstract: Selection of copula verbs in Spanish is a classic challenging area for L2 learners. Even so, it has received moderate attention on SLA research, and most of the studies have focused on the acquisition of the semantic and pragmatic distinctions between ser and estar, particularly when combined with adjectives (Bruhn de Garavito & Valenzuela, 2006; Geeslin, 2002; 2003; Schmitt & Miller, 2007; among others). The present study goes beyond the alternation between ser and estar + adjective by looking at the selection of copula verbs to express location and existentials.

Three microparametric differences among Spanish, Italian, and Catalan are investigated, which regulate (a) the distribution of ser vs. estar in locatives (the ‘eventivenes’ effect), (b) the distribution of haber vs. estar (the definiteness effect, Milsark, 1977), and (c) the use of clitics in locatives. Standard Catalan uses the verb ésser for locatives and haver for existentials. Standard Italian, uses essere to express the existence or location of a THEME. Catalan, as well as Italian present obligatory locative clitics (hi/ci) in the subject position for existential sentences. Catalan and Italian, unlike Spanish, do not obey the definiteness restriction in existential constructions and allow definite DPs as THEMES in presentational sentences: Hi ha en Joan a la porta / C’è Giovanni alla porta / *Hay Juan en la puerta. Given these differences, we question whether L2 speakers of Spanish are able to fully acquire the distribution of estar in locative predicates and observe the restriction on definite DPs in Spanish existential constructions.

The present study analyzes the expression of L2 Spanish existential and locative constructions in 20 native speakers of Catalan, 34 native speakers of Italian (from Rome), and 20 monolingual Spanish speakers with two main tasks, an Acceptability Judgment Task (AJT) and an elicited oral production task (OPT). The AJT included 45 target items -in a total of 110 sentences-, which tested ser and estar in locative structures (1), and the definiteness effect with haber and estar in simple (2) and relative clause sentences (3). The OPT consisted of a ‘Spot the Difference Task’, with 5 pairs of very similar pictures that participants had to describe localizing the differences between the two pictures (see appendix B).

Results indicated that Catalan speakers used significantly less estar to express location than native speakers, showing that this verb develops later than ser as previously reported (VanPatten, 1985, 1987), and as predicted by recent analyses of the copular ser/estar (Brucart, 2012; Gallego & Uriagereka, 2011). However, Italian speakers overgeneralized estar to presentational uses, and localize events, when ser or haber are required in Spanish. Finally, Italian speakers of intermediate proficiency, and some Catalan speakers continued using ser to localize objects. More interestingly, both L2 groups accepted definite DPs in presentational sentences, violating the definiteness effect, displaying problems when assembling semantic features into specific lexical pieces. These results will be discussed within the debate on dissociation between acquisition of syntax and acquisition of semantics, and the feature assembly or feature matching hypothesis (Lardiere, 2008, 2009; Slabakova, 2009).
Download the abstract and appendix here.

At 13:00 in room 52.735 (UPF-Poblenou).

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  • Tuesday, March 23rd: Laia Mayol (Universitat Pompeu Fabra): Asymmetries between interpretation and production in Catalan pronouns.

Abstract: In this talk I will discuss the grammatical and pragmatic factors that affect the interpretation and production of Null and Overt pronouns in Catalan, based on a discourse-completion experiment. I will argue that both Null and Overt pronouns present asymmetries regarding their interpretation and production: (1) the production of Null pronouns is affected mainly by grammatical factors (they are subject-biased), but their interpretation is also influenced by pragmatic factors (in particular, rhetorical relations), and (2) while Overt pronouns have a strong interpretation object-bias, the data indicates that they are not the preferred form to refer to the object. Such asymmetries can be captured in a model in which production and interpretation are not mirror images of each other, but are related probabilistically.

At 13:00 in room 52.735 (UPF-Poblenou).

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  • Thursday, March 16th: GLiF Reading group session on Binding Theory.

We will discuss the following paper. The discussion will be lead by Giorgia Zorzi.

- Truswell, Robert (2014). Binding theory. In Carnie, Andrew, Yosuke Sato, and Daniel Siddiqi (eds.) Routledge Handbook of Syntax, pp.214-238. Abingdon: Taylor & Francis.

At 13:00 in room 52.735 (UPF-Poblenou).

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  • Thursday, March 9th: Marika Lekakou (University of Ioannina): Impersonal middles as disposition ascriptions.

Abstract:  Impersonal middles (IM), such as Dutch (1) and German (2), have been argued to pattern with personal middles (PM), as in (3) and (4), on the basis of a number of semantic and morphosyntactic properties (Ackema & Schoorlemmer 2005; Broekhuis & Corver 2015).

(1)       Het danst    hier goed.        (Dutch)   (2)       Es tanzt    sich  hier  gut.       (German)

            it    dances  here good                                     it   dances refl here good

            ‘One dances well here.’                                 ‘One dances well here.’

(3)       Dit boek leest makkelijk    (Dutch)    (4)       Dieses Buch liest sich leicht  (German)

            this book reads easy                                      this book reads refl eas

            ‘This book reads easily.’                                ‘This book reads easily.’

According to Lekakou (2005) and authors following her (e.g. Klingval 2006, Schäfer 2008, Pitteroff 2014), personal middles ascribe a disposition to the syntactic subject, namely a Patient/Theme argument. Lekakou proposes that disposition ascriptions are subject-oriented generics, and argues that a treatment of PM along these lines derives their core properties. I will explore the possibility that a dispositional approach applies to IM as well, arguing in particular that IM ascribe a disposition to the event(uality), rather than to an event participant. I will show that such a dispositional approach to IM fares better than existing alternatives in terms of capturing both the semantic and syntactic properties of the construction and the similarities with PM.
Download the abstract.

13:00 in room 52.735 (UPF-Poblenou).

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  • Tuesday, March 7th: Kleanthes K. Grohmann (University of Cyprus): Evidence from Greek for the Locus Preservation Hypothesis.

Abstract: This talk presents current work carried out in collaboration with Maria Kambanaros and Evelina Leivada, picking up a suggestion from the latter’s recent University of Barcelona doctoral dissertation (Leivada 2015). The now rephrased Locus Preservation Hypothesis assumes that syntactic operations appear to be universally preserved across atypical cognitive phenotypes. We illustrate this hypothesis with data from Greek-speaking children diagnosed with specific language impairment, autism spectrum disorders, and Down syndrome. By comparatively reviewing the literature from these three different disorders in Greek-speaking populations, both Standard Modern Greek and Cypriot Greek, we observe that certain markers stand out as particularly susceptible to impairment across disorders, while others are consistently spared. 
Long abstract here.

At 13:00 in room 52.213 (UPF-Poblenou).

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  • Thursday, March 2nd: Anna Pineda (CNRS-IKER): Verbs of inherently directed motion in Romance languages: from pronominal uses to causativization.

AbstractIn this talk I will focus on a particular behavior displayed by verbs of inherently directed motion, the availability of a causative transitive alternate, and how this phenomenon interacts with the presence of the clitic se in the intransitive variant. Data from Catalan, Aragonese and Italian varieties, none of which have received much attention in the literature, will prove crucial for my proposal. 

In particular, I adopt an inter-Romance perspective and a nanosyntactic approach to lexicalization in order to refine the correlation that has been found for Spanish, where motion verbs are claimed to be more easily causativized (entrar el coche ‘go in the car’) in varieties where the use of se in the intransitive forms is also more frequent (Juan se entró ‘Juan SE went in’). Adopting a broader cross-linguistic perspective, I deal with causativized verbs in several Romance languages and varieties, and crucially bring into discussion an element that has, until now, gone generally unnoticed (aside from descriptive works): the ablative locative clitic that appears, together with se, in Catalan, Italian and Aragonese varieties (e.g. Cat. tornar-se’n, dial. Cat. entrar-se’n, eixir-se’n, pujar-se’n, and so on). The data from different Romance languages and dialects will allow to refine the settings of the connection between pronominal verbs of motion and the existence of a source component. In particular, I will posit the existence of a locative head (that may be analysed as an applicative head), which can be spelled out by an ablative locative clitic. 

I will also argue that verbs of inherently directed motion can be conceived by Romance speakers as simple, punctual events denoting the achievement of a particular position, but also as denoting a complex event that consists of a causing subevent and a resultant state (which is connected to achieving a new position and remaining there for some time, after having left behind the original location). In the latter case (that subsequently paves the way for causativization), the verbs of motion can surface in their pronominal form, even if it does not happen always. As will be shown in the talk, there is cross-linguistic and cross-dialectal variation regarding the availability of pronominal forms for these verbs, due to different lexicalization patterns.

At 13:00 in room 52.735 (UPF-Poblenou).

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  • Thursday, February 23rd: Zhaozi Jiang (Linyi University, China): "John has died father" and Event Possession in Mandarin Chinese. 

AbstractIn this talk I discuss the reason for the grammaticality of “John has died father” in Mandarin Chinese. I will compare some relevant symmetrical and asymmetrical constructions between Chinese and English in terms of their grammaticality and ungrammaticality. The conclusion will be that “you” (have) can be  used as a verb and an aspectual marker in Mandarin Chinese, one for the existence and possession of things, the other for the existence and possession of events. This is deeply rooted in Chinese philosophy, just as Shen(2010) mentioned: In English “ to be or not to be, that is a question”, while “ to have or not to have, that is a question” in Chinese.

At 13:00 in room 52.735 (UPF-Poblenou).

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  • Thursday, February 9th: Cristina Real (UPF): What Measure Verbs Have: an insight into the syntax of possession.

Abstract: In this talk I discuss the main properties and types of possessive constructions. Then I will compare these properties with the ones displayed by Measure Verbs. The conclusion will be that Measure Verbs contain a possessive structure. The argument/adjunct status of the complement of quantity that often appears with these verbs is recast in terms of the referential properties of the complement, which receives an interpretation similar to other NPs that encode the possessum in possessive structures: as a referential object or as a property (Koontz-Garboden and Francez 2010, Espinal and McNally 2011).

At 13:00 in room 52.735 (UPF-Poblenou).

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  • Thursday, February 2nd: Carlo Cecchetto (CNRS-Paris 8 & University of Milan-Bicocca) & Caterina Donati (University Paris Diderot-7): The syntax of idioms: dealing with a puzzle.

Abstract: Does a category that receives an idiomatic reading need to be a constituent? In this talk we deal with this traditional question by discussing a type of idiom that to the best of our knowledge has never been reported, namely a nominal category in which the determiner and the noun receive an idiomatic meaning while the PP selected by the noun is not part of the idiom (we call these “PP-less idioms”). PP-less idioms are a challenge for all syntactic theories of idiom formation, but we claim that their existence can be explained if, as motivated by independent evidence that we review, nouns never take complements the verbs do. We propose that what happens in PP-less idioms is that the PP selected by the noun is late merged after the determiner and the noun have been merged and have received an idiomatic reading.

At 13:00 in room 52.735 (UPF-Poblenou).

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  • Thursday, January 19th: Tutorial session: how to prepare your C.V. run by Louise McNally (Universitat Pompeu Fabra).

At 13:00 in room 52.735 (UPF-Poblenou).

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Prof. Anke Lüdeling (Humboldt University): Morphological Productivity in Advanced Learner German. A Corpus-Based Study. 

At 12:30 in room 55.410 (Tànger Building, UPF-Poblenou).

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  • Thursday, December 1st: L'Houssaine El Gholb (Institut Royal de la Culture amazighe - IRCAM): Aspects morphologiques et syntaxiques de la forme passive en amazighe. 

At 13:00 in room 52.735 (UPF-Poblenou).

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  • Thursday, November 24th: GLiF Practical session on experimental methods in Linguistics.

We will discuss the design of ongoing experiments.

At 13:00 in room 52.735 (UPF-Poblenou).

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  • Thursday, November 17th: Javi Fernández (CLT-UAB): Right dislocation: a tale of two clauses.

Abstract: In this talk I defend that right dislocation in Romance (1a) involves an underlying biclausal structure, where the clitic and the “dislocated” phrase belong in two independent but semantically identical clauses. Clausal ellipsis (strikethrough) applies on the rightmost clause under identity with the antecedent clause (1b):

1a. Encara no hi he anat, al dentista.
1b. [Encara no hi he anat] [Encara no he anat al dentista].

Under this approach, the clitic and the “dislocated” constituent are no longer derivationally linked. Rather, they stand in a relation of cross-clausal cataphora. In the talk I will show that this move is both empirically and conceptually desirable, as it reduces the machinery behind right dislocation to independently motivated mechanisms of natural language. More positive consequences of the biclausal approach will be examined in the talk. 

At 13:00 in room 52.735 (UPF-Poblenou).

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  • Thursday, November 3rd: GLiF Reading group session on experimental methods in Linguistics.

We will discuss the following paper. The discussion will be lead by Josep Ausensi and Sara Cañas.

- Arunachalam, S. (2013). Experimental methods for linguists. Language and Linguistics Compass7(4), 221-232.

At 13:00 in room 52.735 (UPF-Poblenou).

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  • Friday, October 28th: Guillermo del Pinal (ZAS-Berlin): Advertisement for a multidimensional semantics for truth-conditional pragmatics. 

Abstract: ‘Truth-conditional pragmatics’ is the project of trying to model semantic flexibility within a compositional truth-conditional framework. Previous proposals try to account for semantic flexibility by radically ‘freeing up’ the compositional operations of language. In this talk, I will argue that the resulting theories over-generate. Previous accounts fall into this position because they rarely, if ever, take advantage of the rich information made available by lexical items. I argue that most lexical items encode both extension and non-extension determining information, were the latter information plays a central role in certain compositional processes. I present a set of compositional operations that can access non-extension determining information and introduce bits of it into the meaning of complex expressions. The resulting semantics has the tools to deal with key cases of semantic flexibility in appropriately constrained ways. 

At 13:00 in room 52.735 (UPF-Poblenou).

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  • Thursday, October 20th: GLiF Reading group session on research methods in Linguistics.

We will discuss the following paper. The discussion will be lead by Cristina Real.

- Schütze, Carson T. & Jon Sprouse. 2013. Judgement data. In Robert J. Podesva & Devyani Sharma (Eds.),Research methods in linguistics, 27-50. New York: Cambridge University Press.

At 13:00 in room 52.735 (UPF-Poblenou).

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  • Thursday, October 13th: Txuss Martín (Durham University): Phases and deixis. The topology of verbal reference. [joint work with Ulrich Reichard]

Abstract: In this presentation we present linguistic reference as a grammatical rather than a lexical or a pragmatic matter. We discuss general properties of referentiality as implemented in the verbal domain, and claim that a single pattern, the topology of grammatical phases, can explain those properties along similar lines to those proposed for the D and the C phases in previous literature (e.g. Sheehan & Hinzen 2011). We argue that the v phase expresses the formal ontological category of events, and we put forth a monotonic hierarchy of verbal referentiality based on its topology. Such a hierarchy ranges from indicative (as strongly referential) events to infinitive (as generic) events, via modal (quantificational) events (the latter including imperatives and subjunctives).

In the literature, the ontology of event reference has traditionally been linked to the aspectual properties of predicates, taking the notion of telicity as the fundamental category in that respect (Vendler 1967; Dowty 1979; Fodor & Sag 1982; Bach 1986; Krifka 1989; Enç 1991; Torrego 1998; Farkas 2002; or more recently Thompson 2006, and Diercks et al. to appear). Thompson 2006, for instance, claims that telicity is checked at the edge of the v phase, and therefore movement of DPs to that position results in telic readings of the object that have a direct impact on the overall interpretation of the whole event. We debate that idea and consider that telicity (as lexical, rather than grammatical, aspect) is not enough to account for all the possible varieties of event reference. We hence explore an alternative path, in which the referential import of the notions of tense, aspect, and mood are taken into account. We conclude that event reference should range from the external (deictic) temporal location provided by tense, to the internal temporal structure provided by aspect, and also that mood is a crucial feature in the typology we propose. Our argument is built on philosophical and linguistic considerations, and yields, we claim, a truly unified picture that holds across and internal to the three most commonly accepted phases (C, v, D).

At 13:00 in room 52.735 (UPF-Poblenou).

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  • Monday, October 3rd: Eugenio Martín Vigo's PhD defense: Copular inversion and non-subject agreement. Director: Álex Alsina (UPF). 

Committee: Joan Maling  (U.S. National Science Foundation), Jaume Mateu Fontanals  (UAB), Boban Arsenijevic (U. Nis. Sèrbia). 

At 11:00 in Room 55.309 (Tànger building, UPF-Poblenou).

>>See previous GLiF seminars