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Seminaris GLiF juliol 2017

Seminaris GLiF juliol 2017


Title: Echoicity, constrast and conditionals given by Elena Castroviejo (Ikerbasque and UPV/EHU) & Laia Mayol (UPF)

Date: Wednesday, July 12th, 2017

Time: 3:30 p.m.

Location: Room 52.735 + 52.737 - 7th floor building 52. Roc Boronat - UPF- Campus del Poblenou

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.



Title: Thinking about thoughts: the role of language given by Stephanie Durrleman-Tame (Université de Genève)

Date: Thursday, July 13th, 2017

Time: 1:00 p.m.

Location: Room 52.735 + 52.737 - 7th floor building 52. Roc Boronat - UPF- Campus del Poblenou


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.