The talk is titled 'OO-Correspondence and properties of affixes'. The abstract in PDF.
By Chris Potts
Maria Teresa Guasti, Francesca Foppolo, and Gennaro Chierchia (Milano Bicocca) presented 'Children's comprehension of sentences involving alternatives' at the 30th conference on Generative Grammar in Venice (IGG XXX), which took place February 26-28, 2004.
Francesca reports that their talk went well, and that the conference was a success: the pleasant setting (Venice and Treviso) more than made up for the bad weather. "Coffee breaks and dinners were," Francesca says, "something special in the framework of the campi (Venetian squares) and alle (Venetian little streets) of Venice!"
A plain-text copy of the program is here.
Francesca sends her warmest regards to everybody here in South College.
On Friday afternoon, Feb. 27, Volodja and I were the presenters in Nina Davidovna Arutjunova's monthly colloquium "Logical analysis of language" at the Institute of Linguistics of the Russian Academy of Science. The afternoon began with a celebratory presentation by Yurij Apresjan on the occasion of the publication of a festschrift for Nina Davidovna. (She has just turned 80 and is going strong.)
Our talk was called «Бытийные и локативные предложения с глаголом быть и их отрицание»: "Existential and locative sentences with the verb byt' ('be') and their negations." It was about problems posed for our analysis of Russian Genitive of Negation by peculiarities in the behavior of Russian be, raised briefly by Babby (1980) and more forcefully in Stephanie Harves's 2002 Princeton dissertation Unaccusative Syntax in Russian, General and Slavic Linguistics. Arutjunova's seminar is one of the two main monthly mostly-semantics colloquium series in Moscow, the other being Apresjan's; there are other series at other institutes devoted to typology, to syntactic theory, and other things. (Surprisingly, there are no regular linguistic colloquia at either of the two main universities, MGU (Moscow State U) and RGGU (where I teach). This may be a byproduct of the historical separation of teaching (at the universities) and research (at the institutes).)
The colloquium was well attended and generated lots of discussion. (We presented it almost entirely in Russian, though in my part both the handout and my presentation had a few bits in English. The whole discussion period was in Russian. The hardest parts for me were when a lot of people were talking at the same time.) Plenty of people didn't agree with various parts of what we said, but they mostly didn't agree with each other either: I think this problem is just hard. The afternoon was deemed 'successful' because people got quite worked up and noisy. Apresjan quipped that our main result was to create some chaos in Moscow linguistics. (If you'd like the Russian handout and my typed up notes in English of the discussion (as much as I could write down), let us know:.
Otherwise a paper in English (our "Nancy conference" paper) should be available in about two weeks.)
After the colloquium, we moved to an office (sort of like the computer room 319) for tea, wine, and vodka, bread, cheese, and sausage, clementines, cake, and chocolates; about 20-25 people hung around talking and socializing for another hour or more. One common characteristic of UMass and Moscow seminars is that people are very friendly even when they disagree, and very engaged, intellectually and socially. A very good time was had by all, I think, and certainly by us.
Unfortunately, we had to miss FASL this year, which was at the same time. One of 'my' Russian students, Julia Kuznetsova, gave a talk there on why the Russian distributive po construction is not a test of unaccusativity (contra Pesetsky) and what its semantics is; and our colleague Yakov Testelets gave a talk together with an MGU student who took part of my semantics course last year and is taking it again this year, Lisa Bylinina; both Chris Potts and I gave them suggestions on the semantics part of their talk, which was about the apparent current evolution of new "specific but unknown" indefinite pronouns from sluicing phrases like God knows who, it's unclear what, and specific known from sluices like you-know-who. I'm looking forward to hearing from Yasha (Yakov) next week about how it went (Lisa couldn't attend; Yasha gave the joint talk alone), and how Julia's talk went, and Adam's.
Tom Ernst is an invited speaker at the Monday Semantics Workshop at ZAS, in Berlin. The title of his talk is 'Speaker-oriented adverbs as PPIs'.
Lab Phon 9 (June 24-26, 2004) will have a very strong UMass linguistics presence this year. Della Chambless, Andries Coetzee, and Masako Hirotani are presenting a poster, and UMass graduates Elliott Moreton and Mariko Sugahara are also giving a presentation.
2nd Call for Papers
(submission deadline modified: MARCH 15)
Workshop: Syntax, Semantics and Pragmatics of Questions
Organized as part of the