Activitats recents

A continuació donem una relació de les activitats científiques més destacades que han estat organitzades pel CLT o bé les activitats en què els membres del grup han tingut una participació destacada.

Next, we provide you with a list of the most relevant scientific activities organized by the CLT, and the activities in which the members of the group have played a role.

Calendari d'activitats | Congressos | Cursos i cicles | Seminaris del CLT| Lectures de tesis doctorals



Calendari d'activitats

Calendari del Centre de Lingüística Teòrica (en blau) + Calendari de Ling Alert (en verd) (vegeu



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27 i 28 de maig de 2016

Workshop on the Semantic Contribution of Det and Num. (In)definiteness, genericity and referentiality
May 27 and 28, 2016
Universitat Autònoma de Barcelona

Call for papers

Workshop description
The structure and interpretation of nominal phrases of different syntactic and semantic complexity have been among the most extensively studied topics in linguistics in the past decades. The literature has established various syntax-semantic mappings of noun phrases to express (in)definiteness and genericity across languages, stemming from the classical studies on the topics (Carlson 1977, Kamp 1981, Heim 1982). Much of the syntactic literature, adopting the DP Hypothesis of Abney (1987), has been devoted to the internal architecture of the DP (cf. Longobardi 1994, Zamparelli 2000, Borer 2005, Alexiadou 2014). Yet another much discussed issue is the derivation of referential properties of nominal phrases and the syntactic and semantic ingredients involved (e.g., articles, type-shifting, number specification, mass and count distinction, etc.) in building different types of referentiality (Chierchia 1998, Bouchard 2002, Dayal 2004, Cheng 2012, Aguilar-Guevara et al. 2014, Dobrovie-Sorin and Beyssade 2014, among many others). Recently, a number of experimental studies have been carried out which complement theoretical investigation (cf. Ionin 2015).

In this workshop we aim at bringing together researchers involved in the study of nominals, nominalization, genericity, specificity and indefiniteness in theoretical and experimental linguistics. We welcome work on formal syntax and semantics of nominal phrases in natural languages, focusing specifically on the role of Determiner(s) and Number in establishing referential properties of the nominal phrase. We also encourage submissions on experimental studies on production/processing and L1 and L2 acquisition of referentiality, article systems and genericity.

Particular topics to be addressed in the workshop include, but not limited to, questions like the following:
1.     What is the structure of nominal expressions in languages with and without articles?
2.      To what extent the count / mass distinction is related to the presence / absence of Number?
3       What is the semantic contribution of Det and Num? How is this contribution achieved in languages with no overt determiners and no Number specification?
4.      Why do languages that allow bare nominals and/or null articles also allow weak and expletive definites? How are these distinctions expressed in a language with no articles? What is the contribution to meaning of weak and expletive articles?
5.     Where is Number to be interpreted within the nominal domain? Is there a parametric distinction between languages that interpret Num on N and languages that interpret Num on D?
6.      How do different languages refer to kind entities? Should a distinction be made between kind entities and pluralities of individual objects? How do these differences relate to Number specification?
7.      What is the semantic contribution of indefinite determiners? What are the elements that make possible for an indefinite expression to contribute to indefiniteness, I-genericity or D-genericity?
8.      Is the taxonomic distinction between kinds and subkinds linguistically relevant? Which are the elements that may constrain linguistically either a kind or a subkind reading?
9.      How are nominal expressions interpreted at different stages in the acquisition of L1 and L2?
10.    How does the interpretation of quantifiers interact with the funcional structure within the nominal domain, and more specifically with the presence vs. absence of a definite article?

Invited speakers
Artemis Alexiadou (Humboldt University)
Tania Ionin (University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign)
Lisa Cheng (Leiden University)
Ora Matushansky (CNRS/Paris 8)
Claire Beyssade (Université de Paris 8)
Florian Schwarz (University of Pennsylvania)

Call for Papers
We invite abstracts for 45 minutes presentations (35-minute talk plus 10 minutes discussion) that address any of the topics above or related questions. Abstracts should be anonymous and not exceed 2 pages (A4 format), including examples and references, using a 12pt font with 2.5 cm (1 inch) margins on all for sides. Please send your abstracts electronically in pdf-format by December 15, 2015 to the following email address:

and include your name, affiliation and the title of the abstract in the body of the e-mail.

Important dates
Deadline for abstract submission: December 15, 2015
Notification of acceptance: February 1, 2016
Final programme: February 29, 2016
Workshop: May 27-28, 2016

Scientific committee: Artemis Alexiadou, Claire Beyssade, Olga Borik, Lisa Cheng, Sonia Cyrino, M.Teresa Espinal, Tania Ionin, Urtzi Etxeberria, Ora Matushansky, Florian Schwartz, Xavier Villalba.

Abney, Steven. 1987. The English noun phrase in its sentential aspect. Ph. D. thesis, MIT, Cambridge MA.
Aguilar-Guevara, Ana, Bert le Bruyn and Joost Zwarts (Eds.). 2014. Weak referentiality. Amsterdam: John Benjamins.
Alexiadou, Artemis. 2014. Multiple determiners and the structure of DPs. Amsterdam: John Benjamins.
Borer, Hagit. 2005. In Name Only. Structuring Sense, Volume I.  Oxford: Oxford University Press
Bouchard, Denis. 2002. Adjectives, number and interfaces: Why languages vary (North-Holland Linguistic Series 61). Amsterdam: Elsevier.
Carlson, Greg. 1977. Reference to Kinds in English. New York: Garland Publishing.
Cheng, Lisa. 2012. Counting and Classifiers. In Diane Massam (ed.) Count and Mass. Oxford: Oxford University Press.
Chierchia, Gennaro. 1998. Reference to kinds across languages. Natural Language Semantics 6, 339–405.
Dayal, Veneeta. 2004. Number Marking and (In)definiteness in Kind Terms. Linguistics and Philosophy 27.4, 393-450.
Dobrovie-Sorin, Carmen and Claire Beyssade. 2014. Redefining indefinites. Dordrecht: Springer.
Heim, Irene. 1982. The Semantics of Definite and Indefinite Noun Phrases. University of Massachusetts dissertation.
Ionin, Tania. 2015. Certain properties of certain indefinites: An experimental perspective. In Luis Alonso-Ovalle and Paula Menéndez-Benito (Eds.), Epistemic Indefinites, 183-210. Oxford: Oxford University Press.
Kamp, Hans. 1981. A theory of truth and semantic representation. In Jeroen Groenendijk,  Theo Janssen and Martin Stokhof (Eds.), Formal Methods in the Study of Language; Mathematical Centre Tracts 135, 277-322. Amsterdam: Mathematical Centre.
Longobardi, Giuseppe. 1994. Reference and proper names: A theory of N-movement in syntax and logical form. Linguistic Inquiry 25.4, 609–665.
Zamparelli, Roberto. 2000. Layers in the determiner phrase, New York, N.Y.: Garland Publishing.

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26 i 27 de novembre de 2015

La información sintáctica en los atlas lingüísticos: Antecedentes, aplicaciones y perspectivas




Lloc: Facultat d'Economia i Empresa, UAB
Aula: Sala de Graus (B3/012)

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Cursos i cicles

Curs de Juan Uriagereka (University of Maryland)

Projecting from the Lexicon


Dates: 11, 12, 13, 14 de gener de 2016
Horari: 10:00 – 14:00 (11, 12, 13, 14), 16:00 – 18:00 (11, 12)
Aula: Sala de Graus, Facultat d’Economia i Empresa

Matrícula (obligatòria):


1. Introduction: Word relations and Endocentricity in a Merge-based system. Why does projection exist and what does it mean to have co-occurrence restrictions? Some general (absolute or statistical) facts about categoricity and phrasal distribution.

2. Is merge a unified notion? Are there differences between First and Elsewhere Merge? Are there differences between External and Internal Merge? Are putative differences anecdotal or formal in nature? Are they compatible with a minimalist architecture? What does it mean to say that categories are merged if they are feature matrices?

3. Merge as matrix multiplication (in mechanism? in labeling?). First merge as entry-wise vector product, yielding event articulation. Elsewhere merge as vector tensor product, yielding event participation. Internal Merge as matrix multiplication, yielding grammatical chains. Projection as systemic symmetry – plus projective System Original Sin.

4. Sketch of intra-chain Complementarity and inter-chain Entanglement in the context of a projected lexicon (movement vs. control and a possible approach to ellipsis, etc.).


Uriagereka, J. 2008. How Much Meaning can Syntax Carve out? Updatedhandout of Harvard Talk.
Martin, R. and J. Uriagereka. 2014. “Chains in Minimalism”, in Minimalism and Beyond: Radicalizing the interfaces, P. Kosta, S. Franks, T. Radeva-Bork and L. Schürcks (eds.), Benjamins.
Uriagereka, J. 2015. “Complementarity in Language”. In Á.J. Gallego and D. Ott (eds.), 50th anniversary of Chomsky’s Aspects of the Theory of Syntax, MITWPL.
Uriagereka, J. “Language Combinatorics as Matrix Multiplication”. Ms. University of
 Maryland at College Park.
Martin, R. and J. Uriagereka. 2015. “Merge and Categorial Labels.” Ms., universities of Yokohama and Maryland.
Uriagereka, J. 2012. Spell-out and the Minimalist Program. Oxford: Oxford University Press.


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Curs del CLT

Del 16 al 20 de novembre de 2015

Topics in Syntactic Agreement
Roberta D'Alessandro (Leiden University Centre for Linguistics)

Dilluns, 16 de novembre de 2015
Lecture 1

Dimarts, 17 de novembre de 2015
Lecture 2

Dimecres, 18 de novembre de 2015
Lecture 3

Dijous, 19 de novembre de 2015
Lecture 4

Divendres, 20 de novembre de 2015
Lecture 5


Lloc: Facultat de Filosofia i Lletres, UAB
Hora: 15:00 - 18:00
Aula: Sala d'Actes de la Facultat de Lletres (B7/1056)

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Cicle de conferències del CLT

12 de novembre de 2015

Fuerza y Modo en las oraciones exclamativas totales
Cristina Sánchez López (Universidad Complutense de Madrid)

Lloc: Facultat de Filosofia i Lletres, UAB
Hora: 10:00
Aula: Sala d'Actes (B7-1056)

Subordinadas adverbiales y cuantificación: el caso de las correlaciones comparativas
Cristina Sánchez López (Universidad Complutense de Madrid)

Lloc: Facultat de Filosofia i Lletres, UAB
Hora: 13:00
Aula: 109

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Seminaris del CLT

Contacte curs 2015-2016: Eulàlia Bonet i Javi Fernández


Divendres, 26 de febrer de 2016

Títol per determinar
Jordi Martorell

Lloc: Facultat de Filosofia i Lletres, UAB
Hora: 15:30
Aula: 202

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Divendres, 19 de febrer de 2016

Some issues on the syntax of gerunds and infinitives in different Romance varieties
Jan Casalicchio (Università degli Studi di Trento)

Lloc: Facultat de Filosofia i Lletres, UAB
Hora: 15:30
Aula: 202

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Divendres, 5 de febrer de 2016

Seminari cancel·lat

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Divendres, 29 de gener de 2016

P-labile verbs, indefinite pronouns, and se in Old French and Old Spanish
Anne Wolfsgruber (Universitat de Girona)

In the last decades, the synchronic syntactic status of Romance se has been of great interest (cf. Cinque 1988, Dobrovie-Sorin 1998 i.a.). Though, studies that feature a comparative view on the diachronic evolution of Romance se are rare.
The present study investigates the status of se-constructions (in particular reflexively marked anticausatives, passives and impersonals) in Old French (OF) and Old Spanish (OS). The two languages behave differently to a great extent. In literary texts (verse or prose) OF only shows an abundant use of the reflexive to mark what I call old middle constructions. These are mostly verbs with an animate human patient subject that denote a change of state, change of location or a (change of) sentimental state and that were used with (and also without) the reflexive se/sibi already throughout the (Late) Latin period (cf. Cennamo 1998, 1999). Most of these verbs ended up as being lexicalized with se in present day French. In contrast to that, French shows a very low frequency of reflexive constructions in order to mark anticausatives, passives (which would imply a reanalysis of the old middle constructions with inanimate patient subjects) or impersonal constructions. OS uses old middle constructions, too,but it also uses reflexively marked passives, anticausatives and impersonals quite frequently.
What is more, when looking closely at first scientific prose texts in these languages (texts that normally involve a high number of inanimate subjects), another tendency leaps to the eye: OS frequently uses the reflexively marked constructions in contexts with low-Agentivity subjects, while French seems to maintain configurations with high-Agentivity subjects whenever possible. As a consequence, anticausatives with se are common in these contexts in OS, whereas in early stages of OF, p-labile verbs are scarcely found, that is, their transitive parts with agent subjects are much more frequent and (reflexively marked) anticausatives are merely absent and appear more commonly only in later texts. Furthermore OF uses its indefinite non-referential pronoun on < lat. homo in cases where OS most likely goes for a passive or anticausative construction with se.
The differences between OF and OS seem to be closely linked to an increasingly rigid SVO patterning in OF (see Marchello-Nizia 2009), which in turn serves its preference for high-Agentivity subjects, to the availability of an indefinite non-referential pronoun from the very beginning of this Romance language and to the ongoing loss of its null-subject status.

Lloc: Facultat de Filosofia i Lletres, UAB
Hora: 15:30
Aula: 110

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Divendres, 22 de gener de 2016

Asimetrías en la productividad de la prefijación verbal: una aproximación nanosintáctica
Elisabeth Gibert (Universitat de Girona)

En este estudio se examina una asimetría importante observada en español (y en las lenguas romances en general) entre los prefijos a- y en-, por un lado, y el prefijo des-, por otro. A- y en- no son productivos en procesos de prefijación sobre bases verbales, siendo únicamente productivos en la creación de nuevos verbos a partir de bases nominales o adjetivales mediante parasíntesis, como se ilustra en los ejemplos de (1) y (2). Por el contrario, des- se muestra altamente productivo en la creación de nuevos verbos deverbales, siendo también productivo en la creación de nuevos verbos a partir de bases nominales y adjetivas mediante parasíntesis, como puede verse en los ejemplos de (3):

(1)       a. tejerV            >          *a-tejerV         
b. confiarV       >          *a-confiarV    
c. tierraN         >          a-terr-arV       
d. bravoA        >          a-brav-arV     
(2)       a. tejerV           >          *en-tejerV       
b. confiarV       >          *en-confiarV   
c. tierraN         >          en-terr-arV     
d. bravoA        >          em-brav-ecerV
(3)       a) tejerV           >          des-tejerV        
b) confiarV      >          des-confiarV   
c) tierraN         >          des-terr-arV   
d) bravoA        >          des-brav-arV  

Adoptando un punto de vista diacrónico, y a partir de un enfoque nanosintáctico, se propone que la asimetría observada es fruto del efecto combinado de los dos factores siguientes: a) el cambio tipológico que tuvo lugar en la evolución del latín al español (y el romance en general), y b) las diferencias existentes entre la estructura sintáctica lexicalizada por des- y la estructura sintáctica lexicalizada por a- y en-.

Lloc: Facultat de Filosofia i Lletres, UAB
Hora: 15:30
Aula: 110

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Divendres, 15 de gener de 2016

Towards a unified non-projectionist analysis of participles
Josep Maria Fontana (UPF)

The analysis of past participles is no doubt one of the most problematic topics in the history of grammatical theorizing and was already the object of debate in some the earliest attested stages of linguistic inquiry in the Ancient World. The very term chosen by Greek and Latin grammarians to refer to this particular class of lexical expressions, metoch? or participium,illustrates the kinds of difficulties they faced when trying to determine their precise formal characterization and their proper place in the emerging classifications of parts of speech. These terms literally meant “sharing” or “partaking” and were deemed descriptively appropriate by ancient grammarians because participles in Ancient Greek and Latin displayed properties from both verbs (tense and voice) and nouns (gender, number, case); Latin grammarians grouped adjectives with nouns distinguishing between nomen adjectivus and nomen substantivus.

In spite of considerable differences in the ways the different approaches and theoretical frameworks justify and implement the integration of these categories into their respective grammatical architectures, currently the most widely accepted view is that expressions associated with the past participial form do not belong to a single grammatical category. The standard view among most linguists is that there are at least three clearly distinguishable kinds of participles: adjectival participles, passive participles and perfect participles.

The standard view, however, has had its opponents. Although admittedly without much success, the distinction between adjectival participles and passive participles has been questioned in contemporary linguistics by structuralists such as Alarcos Llorach (1951) or generativists such as Freidin (1975). For these authors so-called analytical passive constructions such as those in (1), despite their clearly eventive interpretations, would be syntactically no different from the copular constructions in (2), clearly lacking eventive interpretations.

(1) a. The drawer was closed by the supervisor exactly at six o’clock.

b. La carta fue entregada por el cartero a las seis en punto.

(2) a. The drawer is closed now and you shouldn’t try to open it.

b. Juan fue atrevido toda su vida.

Usually perfect participles are not included in this type of debate because they are rather uncontroversially assumed to have resulted from the reanalysis of the old adjectival participles into a new kind of non-finite verbal expressions that came to be used in the formation of the HAVE Perfect (or BE Perfect in languages with Split Auxiliary Selection) constructions.

In this talk I will discuss some empirical and theoretical evidence that supports the type of proposal that had been previously defended by authors such as Alarcos and Freidin. In fact, I would like to explore an even more radical proposal which has its antecedents in the work of the Spanish renaissance grammarian, Francisco Sánchez de las Brozas (El Brocense). Essentially, I will try to defend the position that all past participles, and this would include perfect participles, are syntactically adjectives.

After presenting the specific data and argumentation that lends support to a unified analysis of participles, I will try to show how this admittedly radical departure from the traditional view could lead to a deeper understanding of some of the well known theoretical puzzles presented by the phenomena illustrated in (3) to (6). In addition to facilitating more principled and empirically sound accounts of all these phenomena, arguably some of the most recalcitrant and long-standing analytical problems in theoretical linguistics, I will show how a unified analysis of participles as adjectival expressions in the syntax can also help establish and explain some connections that exist between them that would otherwise remain a mystery.

(3) The Present Perfect Puzzle

a. #En Joan ha vist la seva germana el dimecres passat.

b. #At seven, Chris had left at six. (Klein 1992: (41) and (44))

(4) The Geographical and Diachronic Variation in Auxiliary Selection Puzzle

a. Gianni è arrivato

b. Gianni ha arrivato

c. #En Joan és arribat

d. En Joan ha arribat

e. E quant foren arribats, exiren en terra axí com a hòmens qui no eren.

Crònica [B. Desclot], Pàg. II.178, linia: 24. S XIII.

(5) The Obligatory Adjunct/Modifier Puzzle

a. #This food is eaten

b. This food is eaten with fingers by tearing off a piece of injera

c. #The baby is fed (eventive interpretation)

d. The baby is fed by the neighbors

e. #This animal is killed

f. This animal is killed Illegally in many parts of the world

g. #A fed baby

h. A well fed baby

i. #A criticized book

j. A widely criticized book

k. #Ahir vaig parlar amb un estudiant criticat.

l. … amb un estudiant molt criticat per la seves intervencions extemporànies a classe.

(6) The Agentive Past Participle Puzzle

a. a well-traveled person

b. a well-read person

c. És una persona molt llegida.


Lloc: Facultat de Filosofia i Lletres, UAB
Hora: 15:30
Aula: 202

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Divendres, 18 de desembre de 2015

Torna-te'n a casa i entra la roba. O què els passa als inacusatius de moviment en català
Anna Pineda (CLT/UAB)

The purpose of this talk is to shed light on a particular (and somehow unexpected) behavior featured by unaccusative verbs of motion in several Romance languages, and the interaction of this phenomenon with the clitic se. Importantly, the data from Catalan, which have not received much attention until now, will prove to be crucial for our proposal. In particular, we will deal with transitive causative uses of motion verbs and will argue that the existence of a se(‘n)-variant is a necessary (though not sufficient) condition for causativization, following an already existing proposal for Southern European Spanish dialects.

Lloc: Facultat de Filosofia i Lletres, UAB
Hora: 15:00
Aula: 202

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Divendres, 11 de desembre de 2015

Possessió i nombre: condicions de co-ocurrència en armeni occidental
Maria Ohannesian (CLT/UAB)


L’expressió de la possessió en armeni occidental presenta un sistema complex, tant pels requeriments que imposa el morfema de possessió plural -ni, que exigeix una base no monosil·làbica a la seva esquerra, com pel fet d’inserir un morfema de plural espuri per complir amb aquells requeriments:
       dun-er-  ni-          s                                   dun-er-  ni-           sític poss.1a pers  casa-pl. clític poss. 1a pers
       ‘les nostres cases’                                    ‘la nostra casa’

L’objectiu d’aquesta presentació és establir el veritable estatus d’aquest “plural espuri”, amb una anàlisi inscrita en la Teoria de l’Optimitat, que ubiqui aquest fenomen en un marc compatible amb altres processos nominals.

Lloc: Facultat de Filosofia i Lletres, UAB
Hora: 15:30
Aula: 202

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Divendres, 4 de desembre de 2015

Quantifier Polarity, Numerosity, and Verification Procedures: Experimental Explorations
Yosef Grodzinsky (Hebrew University of Jerusalem)

(reporting joint work with Isabelle Deschamps (McGill), Galit Agmon, Yonatan Loewenstein (HUJI), Virginia Jaichenco, María Elina Sánchez, Martin Fuchs (UBA), Peter Pieperhoff, Katrin Amunts (FZ Jülich)


I will motivate and describe a series of multi-modal experiments - in healthy adult participants as well as patients with Broca’s aphasia – that was carried out with 3 goals: 1. to study the relation between linguistic and numerical processes in the brain (anatomical localization). 2. To understand the nature of quantifier Polarity, and distinguish between semantic analyses of this central phenomenon (theoretical adjudication). At issue are sentences with upward or downward monotone quantifiers, verified against numerosity depicting images with varying spatial and numerical properties.

Our experiments manipulated the linguistic properties of instruction probes for a parameterized numerical comparison task, which enabled us to test of the relation between behavioral and brain reflexes of linguistic and numerical processes, with unprecedented resolution.

Behavioral experiments aimed at dissociating numerical from linguistic processes. Healthy participants performed speeded numerical comparisons between visually displayed discrete quantities, guided by auditory instruction sentences with complex quantifiers that contrasted in Polarity (e.g., more- and less-than-half), and with analogous non-verbal instructions with arithmetical inequality symbols (<, >). The results demonstrate the distinctness (modularity) of linguistic and numerical processes: core temporal parameters of numerical comparison (abiding by Weber’s Law) remain constant across a range of verbal and non-verbal instruction probes, as well as across various levels of perceptual difficulty of a visual numerosity task. However, performance parameters are affected by the manipulation of quantifier polarity. 

Patients with Broca’s aphasia were also tested. They exhibited a strikingly refined breakdown pattern, highly consistent with the above results: high performance levels with instructions containing upward monotone quantifiers (e.g., more-than-half, many), but failure with downward monotone ones (e.g., less-than-half, few). They were very good with arithmetical inequality symbols. 

Healthy participants were tested with similar materials in fMRI. Numerosity related operations activated bi-lateral parietal regions, very much in keeping with the extant experimental record. I will report very subtle interactions in Broca’s region.

These results support a cognitive architecture in which language and numerical cognition constitute separate processing modules in the brain. They moreover suggest that monotonicity is neurologically distinguishable, an observation with multiple theoretical implications. I will discuss these, and present some remaining puzzles.

Lloc: Facultat de Filosofia i Lletres, UAB
Hora: 15:30
Aula: 202

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Divendres, 6 de novembre de 2015

El proyecto ASinEs: la creación de un atlas sintáctico del español
Alba Cerrudo (UAB/CLT), Juan Pablo Fuentes (Intelisen), Ángel Gallego (UAB/CLT), Anna Pineda (UAB/CLT

El objetivo de esta charla es presentar el proyecto ASinEs. Comenzaremos detallando los objetivos, el contenido y las posibles aplicaciones del atlas para estudiar la variación sintáctica del español. En segundo lugar, aportaremos algunas consideraciones técnicas sobre el formato del atlas, por ejemplo, respecto a la creación de la base de datos o a la tecnología de GoogleMaps que incorpora la página web. A continuación, nos centraremos en las cuestiones más propiamente lingüísticas. Hablaremos de las dificultades que surgen al trasladar, al formato de las fichas del atlas, las descripciones sobre la  variación sintáctica del  español contenidas en la NGLE y de las decisiones que se han tomado para describir y clasificar los fenómenos de la forma más adecuada posible. Finalmente, expondremos  los  retos,  tanto  inmediatos  como  a  largo  plazo,  a  los  que  se enfrenta el proyecto.

Lloc: Facultat d'Econòmiques, UAB
Hora: 15:30
Aula: Sala de Juntes d’Econòmiques, B3/0005

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Divendres, 30 d'octubre de 2015

How exceptional are generics? An experimental approach
Dimitra Lazaridou-Chatzigoga
(University of Cambridge/Queen Mary, University of London)

In ­this talk, I compare the formal semantics approach to genericity, within which genericity is viewed as a species of quantification and a growing body of experimental and developmental work on the topic, mainly by psychologists rather than linguists, proposing that genericity is categorically different from (and significantly simpler than) quantification. I will present experimental data from studies with English adult participants, as well as the rationale behind ongoing data collection with Greek adult participants and English child participants. I argue that the generics-as-default hypothesis is much less well supported by evidence than its supporters contend, and that a research program combining theoretical and experimental research methods and considerations in the same studies is required to make progress.

Lloc: Facultat de Filosofia i Lletres, UAB
Hora: 15:30
Aula: 202

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Divendres, 23 d'octubre de 2015

Some thoughts on the personal infinitive in Spanish
Peter Herbeck (Universität Salzburg)

The fact that some non-complement infinitives license overt referential subjects in Spanish has been of interest in generative theory because it poses challenges to the conception of different components of grammar (control, Case, binding theory, etc.). The complex factors governing the possibility of this phenomenon include the position of the relevant subject (pre- vs. postverbal), the position of the relevant infinitive (intraposed vs. extraposed), and whether the infinitive is a prepositional adjunct, nominalized, or in subject position (cf. Hernanz 1982, 1999, Piera 1987, Rigau 1995, Mensching 2000, Pérez Vázquez 2007, Sitaridou 2007, among many others). Furthermore, it has been observed that there are differences in productivity depending on whether the subject is realized as a pronoun or a lexical DP (cf. Piera 1987).
In this talk, I will discuss in how far overt subject licensing in Spanish infinitives in fact follows from morpho-syntactic mechanisms such as T-to-C movement, Case assignment, and/or abstract AGR morphology and in how far they can be reduced to factors belonging to the syntax-pragmatics interface. Building on the assumption that interpretable agreement morphology has the function of absorbing structural nominative Case in Romance Null Subject Languages (cf. e.g. Rizzi 1982), it will be argued that Spanish subjects can be sanctioned in the interface point Spec,v (the low left periphery in Belletti 2004) without the need of being ‘licensed’ by nominative Case. Distributional restrictions of overt subjects derive from the availability of external logophoric anchoring (in the sense of Bianchi 2003) in a given nonfinite domain (cf. Pérez Vázquez 2007), locality constraints in that topicalization or extraposition of the infinitive removes the nonfinite subject from the obligatory control domain of an (implicit) Experiencer (in the vein of Landau’s 2001 analysis of super-equi), and the assignment of subtypes of Focus features.
In such an analysis, the Spanish personal infinitive with preverbal subject pronouns is the result of an alternative Φ-provision mechanism through discourse coordinates in the C-domain, which correlates with overt displacement.

Lloc: Facultat de Filosofia i Lletres, UAB
Hora: 15:30
Aula: 202

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Divendres, 9 d'octubre de 2015

El uso de las preposiciones con y de en la variante de cambio de estado de la alternancia locativa: aspectos semánticos y gramaticales
Wojciech Lewandowski (University of Copenhagen)

En esta presentación se ofrece un análisis cognitivo-construccional de la alternancia entre las preposiciones con y de en la llamada variante de cambio de estado de la alternancia locativa (e.g., Juan cargó el carro con/de heno; cf. Rappaport and Levin 1988; Pinker 1989). Se propone que las estructuras asociadas a las preposiciones con y de ejemplifican dos subesquemas distintos de un patrón eventivo en el que un agente desplaza una materia (locatum) con respecto a una locación, conceptualizada como el paciente, de manera que entre ambos participantes se establece una determinada configuración semántica, especificada mediante el sintagma preposicional. Mientras que la preposición con elabora una relación ambigua – agentivo-instrumental, por un lado, y resultativa y, en particular, de coincidencia espacial entre el locatum y la locación, por el otro -, la preposición de denota únicamente contenidos resultativos. En concreto, alude a lo que denominaremos una relación intrínseca entre el locatum y la locación, esto es, el locatum se concibe como una propiedad definitoria de la locación (cf. un fenómeno paralelo en expresiones nominales del tipo una bolsa de caramelos vs. una bolsa con caramelos). A partir de los diccionarios de construcciones preposicionales (e.g., Slager 2007) se elabora una lista detallada de 80 verbos que entran en la alternancia preposicional con/de y se analizan las restricciones semánticas y gramaticales ligadas a la elección de una u otra preposición (e.g., la volicionalidad, la cuantificación, la diátesis anticausativa, etc.).

Lloc: Facultat de Filosofia i Lletres, UAB
Hora: 15:30
Aula: 202

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Dimecres, 30 de setembre de 2015

La referencia a clase en portugués brasileño y la adquisición del lenguaje
Ruan Mariano (Unicamp)

Pretendemos discutir las principales teorías alrededor de la referencia a la clase (kind reference) en Portugués Brasileño (PB). Más específicamente, discutiremos el status del nombre escueto con morfología singular (bare singular) con respecto a la expresión de la genericidad. El PB es una lengua que se comporta distinto a cómo se comportan las lenguas románicas o el inglés en lo que se refiere a la expresión de los nombres de clase. Como en las lenguas románicas, el PB permite hacer la referencia a clase con el artículo definido singular; como en inglés, parece posible referirse a la clase con un nombre escueto con morfología plural. A diferencia de estos dos tipos de lenguas, unos defienden (aunque no haya consenso en la teoría) que el PB también permite hacer referencia a clase con el nombre escueto con morfología singular, no permitido ni en inglés, ni en las lenguas románicas. Adoptaremos la propuesta según la que el bare singular en PB siempre denota clase y intentaremos discutir el desarrollo de esa propuesta para la adquisición del lenguaje.

Lloc: Facultat de Filosofia i Lletres, UAB
Hora: 15:30
Aula: 202

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Divendres, 18 de setembre de 2015

Topicalització des d’oracions adverbials al quítxua equatorià
Carlos Rubio (Universidad de Investigación Experimental Yachay Tech)

Aquesta xerrada tractarà la qüestió de les extraccions de tòpics al quítxua parlat a l’Equador. Es tracta d’una llengua interessant per aquest tipus de recerca per dues raons: en primer lloc, posseeix marques morfològiques explícites als tòpics; en segon lloc, perquè presenta patrons d’extracció d’illes que no es troben normalment a les llengües del món. En particular, el quítxua equatorià permet fins i tot moviment-Q des d’oracions causals, temporals, condicionals, etc.
A la xerrada compararé les condicions d’extracció de tòpics a les llengües romàniques amb aquelles que es troben al quítxua equatorià, presentaré el paradigma d’extraccions del quítxua i proposaré una anàlisi per donar compte d’aquest fenomen. Finalment, mostraré un espectre de patrons d’extracció de tòpics en llengües diferents.

Lloc: Facultat de Filosofia i Lletres, UAB
Hora: 15:30
Aula: 202

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Lectures de tesis doctorals

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