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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Morphosyntactic Variation in Adpositions

Queen's College, University of Cambridge, 8-9 May 2017

The workshop “Morphosyntactic Variation in Adpositions” will take place at Queens’ College, University of Cambridge, on 8–9 May 2017, aiming at furthering our understanding of cross- and intra-linguistic morphosyntactic variation, either synchronic or diachronic, in adpositional elements —including prepositions, postpositions, adpositional prefixes and particles.

Peter Svenonius (Universitet i Tromsø)
Cristina Real Puigdollers (Universitat Pompeu Fabra)

Víctor Acedo-Matellán (Queens’ College, University of Cambridge)
Anna Pineda (IKER - UMR 5478 (CNRS, UBM, UPPA))
Jaume Mateu (Centre de Lingüística Teòrica - Universitat Autònoma de Barcelona)
Biberauer (University of Cambridge)
Ioanna Sitaridou (University of Cambridge, Queens’ College)

Deadline for abstract submission: 15 February 2017
Notification of acceptance: 1 March 2017
Workshop dates: 8–9 May 2017

Please find all relevant information at

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Dative Structures and Beyond

International Workshop Dative Structures and Beyond

January 26-27, 2017
Universitat Autònoma de Barcelona

Invited speakers:
M. Cristina Cuervo (University of Toronto)
Adam Ledgeway (University of Cambridge)
Beatriz Fernández (University of the Basque Country)

Call for papers:


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Syntax-Discourse Interface

Workshop on the Syntax-Discourse Interface: Approaches, Phenomena and Variation

10th-11th of November, 2016
Universitat Autònoma de Barcelona

More information:


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Workshop Information Structure

Information Structure and the Architecture of Grammar

28 d'octubre del 2016
Universitat Autònoma de Barcelona

Sala d'Actes Frederic Udina (B7/1056)

Organitzat per Xavier Villalba (Projecte Compositionality of meaning. Theoretical and empirical perspectives).

Informació i programa


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The Romance Turn VIII

29 i 30 de setembre del 2016, UAB

Invited Speakers: Anna Cardinaletti (Ca’ Foscari, Venezia) and Julie Franck (Université de Genève)

Workshop: The acquisition of information structure: A developmental perspective on its syntax and interface properties

Invited speakers: Luigi Rizzi (Università degli Studi di Siena) and Adriana Belletti (Università degli Studi di Siena)


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Dijous 30 de juny i divendres 1 de juliol de 2016

Workshop CLT
Títol: Workshop on Syntax, Semantics and Phonology (WoSSP)
Invited speakers:
Elena Castroviejo (Ikerbasque & UPV/EHU)
Aritz Irurtzun (IKER-CNRS)
Anna Pineda (IKER-CNRS)
Lloc: Sala de Graus d'Econòmiques (B3/012)

Més informació:

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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

Acte: Ferdinand de Saussure al cap de 100 anys

Dijous 12 de gener del 2017, 16h
Sala de Graus, Facultat de Filosofia i Lletres

Acte organitzat pel Centre de Lingüística Teòrica amb el suport dels Departaments de Filologia Catalana i de Filologia Espanyola per commemorar el centenari de la publicació del Cours de Linguistique Générale.

PRIMERA PART: presentacions
16h: Josep Nadal i Farreras (UdG)
16:25h: Joan Mascaró (UAB)
16:50h: Enric Sullà (UAB, jubilat)

17:15h-17:45h PAUSA - CAFÈ


Acte moderat per M. Lluïsa Hernanz (UAB)


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Curs Elements of Matrix Syntax

Juan Uriagereka, Roger Martin & Román Orús:

9,10 i 11 de gener 2017, 10:00-13:00 i 15:00-18:00

Sala de Graus, Facultat de Lletres, UAB

INSCRIPCIÓ (obligatòria)

The present course, a continuation of the lecture series "Projecting from the Lexicon", explores some of the properties of the Pauli/Chomksy group GPG, which contains all of the 2x2 matrices in the Pauli group, as well as objects of that very sort but with mixed 1 and i values. Such objects can be made to correspond to the famous Chomskyan [±N, ±V] categories by making the Fundamental Assumption that the conceptually orthogonal N and V features correspond to the numerically orthogonal 1 and i units, respectively. Other combinations in the Chomsky/Pauli group correspond to lexical projections, functional-grammatical categories, and their projections. The resulting 32 matrices organize into a group for matrix multiplication, which is used to model the anti-symmetrical process of 1st Merge (between heads and their complements), in Chomsky’s sense. 

The course goes on to explore merge introducing specifiers, which is taken to involve tensor products of the 2x2 matrices. This doubles the dimensionality of the resulting object, in turn resulting in a new group for matrix multiplication with 256 4x4 matrices, which preserves many of the symmetry properties found in the GPG. Inasmuch as specifiers can specify other specifiers, this mechanism doesn’t just double the dimension of the matrices—if nothing else happens, dimensionality explodes in relevant situations. This Explosion Problem (EP) requires us to think about a Compression Solution (CS), which limits the class of possible matrices that can be specifiers. The solution that will be explored involves seeking zero eigenvalues for relevant matrices, which entails the elimination of whichever dimension in the matrix is associated to that null characteristic. It turns out that summing some of the matrices within the group of 256 matrices yields the necessary result. This is because relevantly summed matrices may be interpreted as specifiers linked in a chain. Because of the formal properties of the large group of matrices, we can define within it a standard inner product, leading to a Hilbert space. This allows us to characterize which of the matrices in the group, interpreted as vectors, are orthogonal to one another(the rest being entangled). It can be shown that matrices in these circumstances fall under conditions of superposition, parallel to the classic situation arising in quantum superposition (e.g. of particle spin states). If we take the interpretation of chain Ch formed by relating matrices A, B, and which can be considered the sum of the probabilities of the system at state A or B, to be a measurement by the interfaces, it is natural to expect it to collapse into specifier state A or B, with one instance being what is customarily called reconstruction. Further, when implementing these complementarity conditions in detail, we see that the lower link of the chain has to be “normalized,” basically from pP to DP, so that it can be merged as a specifier. We analyze Chomsky’s Agree relation as the specific normalization device that UG deploys, which ensures familiar chain conditions (c-command, locality, last-resort…). By stating conditions within a Hilbert space, such matters as locality gain a natural, even expected, meaning.

The Agree mechanism is also important in exploring entanglement conditions. In particular, we must ask under what conditions the system prepares given elements for entanglement. It will be argued that the Agree mechanism is what allows this preparation, which may be stronger (full identity) or weaker (feature identity, partial identity) leading to various kinds of entanglements. This is employed to model a variety of familiar phenomena within super-chains, from those requiring complete identity (obligatory control) to those allowing weaker dependencies (partial control).


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A dialogue with Noam Chomsky

6 de novembre, 12-14h
Sala d'actes de la Residència d'Investigadors (Barcelona)



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Curs prof. Vieri Samek-Lodovici

Prof. Vieri Samek-Lodovici (University College London) will teach a short course on the interaction of right dislocation and focalization in Italian and other Romance languages.

October 26 and 27, 15-17h.
Classroom 210 (B7/030), Facultat de Lletres, UAB

This short course would be based on his recent OUP book (available as open access at link). It would provide a unified analysis of the entire focalization paradigm of Italian, as well as identify some of the most problematic aspects of current analyses. Crucially, one lecture would center on the differences between Marginalization and Right Dislocation and the tests that distinguish them. A few important differences between Italian and Catalan RD would also be considered.



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Curs finançat per la Xarxa SIGGRAM


Prof. Manfred Krifka (Institut für deutsche Sprache und Linguistik / Humboldt-Universität zu Berlin)

Títol: Questions, Answers and the Structuring of Information


In this mini-course, I will give an overview of recent semantic approaches to the meaning of questions and to the relation of appropriate answers to questions. One central aspect will be the role of focus marking in establishing this relation — e.g., why can the constituent question Who praised Mary? be answered with JOHN praised Mary, but not with John praised MARY. I will also discuss recent research on the relation between polarity questions and their answers — e.g., why can the question Did John not praise Mary? be answered by no and yes with the same intended meaning (that he did not praise her), and what distinguishes this question from Didn’t John praise Mary?, where the answers no and yes are unambiguous. Furthermore, I will discuss focus in polarity questions, as in Did JOHN praise Mary?, where we have to explain why the answer No is felt to be incomplete and needs additions like … BILL did. Also, I will deal with focus in constituent questions, such as Who PRAISED Mary?, which suggest that other questions, like Who CRITICISED Mary? are in the background. Finally, I will also discuss biased questions and question tags, as in John praised Mary, did he? / didn’t he?

Day 1: Review of the basics of semantic representation and workable assumptions for the syntax/semantics interface. Theories for the semantic interpretation of constituent questions (questions as functions, as set of propositions, as partititions of the logical space, as inquisitive meanings) and for the interpretation of focus in congruent answers. See in particular the survey article, Krifka 2011.

Day 2: Polarity questions and answers to polarity questions, e.g. with response particles like yes / no. Ways of modeling the answerhood relation, e.g. by elliptical clauses, by conversational moves like rejection, by propositional discourse referents. See in particular Roelofsen & Farkas 2015. Also, theories of high negation in questions. 

Day 3: Questions, answers and focus in the Commitment Space Semantics model developed in Krifka (2015). Special attention will be given to biased questions, to focus in questions, and to question tags.

Participants should have a reasonable understanding of linguistic semantics, at the level of at least the first few chapters of Irene Heim & Angelika Kratzer 1998, Semantics in generative grammar. London: Blackwell, or Pauline Jacobson 2014, Compositional Semantics: An introduction to the syntax/semantics interface, Oxford University Press. For preparation for the specific topic of questions see Manfred Krifka 2011, Questions, in Claudia Maienborn e.a. (eds), Semantics. A handbook of natural language meaning. Berlin: Mouton de Gruyter, 1742-1785. For polarity questions, see Floris & Donka Farkas. 2015. Polarity particle responses as a window onto the interpretation of questions and assertions. Language 91, 359-414. For Commitment Space Semantics, see Manfred Krifka 2015, Bias in Commitment Space Semantics: Declarative questions, negated questions, and question tag. SALT. 25. LSA Open Journal Systems, 328-345.

Materials del curs: 1, 2, 3.

Lloc: B7/052 Sala de graus Facultat de Filosofia i Lletres
Dates: des de 05/09/2016 fins a 07/09/2016
Hora inicial: 10:00 Hora final: 13:30



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Curs del Màster CCiL

Advanced issues in cognitive science and linguistics. Curs impartit conjuntament per:

Olga Borik 26, 29 d'abril i 3, 6, 10 i 13 de maig

Tania Ionin 23, 24, 25 i 26 de maig

Lloc: Sala d'actes de la facultat de Filosofia i Lletres (B7/1056), UAB



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Curs del CLT:

Antonio Fábregas (Universitetet i Tromsø)

Cartografías mínimas: subespecificación y reducción de la ontología de núcleos

"En los estudios recientes sobre sintaxis y semántica, cada vez resulta más evidente que existe una tensión entre los sistemas cartográficos y los sistemas minimistas. Los sistemas cartográficos cuentan con un número muy alto de fenómenos empíricos que argumentan a favor de que las estructuras sintácticas sean ricas y concretamente que etiquetas tradicionales como V o C deben entenderse como áreas en las que se definen series de núcleos distintos; por su parte, los sistemas minimistas muestran que la sintaxis no puede limitarse a formar estructuras rígidas como la secuencia funcional, y que la hipótesis de que toda lengua natural tiene la misma secuencia funcional independientemente de la evidencia morfofonológica da problemas insalvables para explicar su adqusición. En este curso, voy a explorar un sistema en el que esta tensión se resuelve mediante el uso de constituyentes subespecificados sin posición rígida en la secuencia funcional, combinado con una visión donde lo que se ordena de forma rígida son las áreas y no los núcleos particulares".

Materials del curs:

Dilluns, 2 de maig de 2016
Hand-out 1

Dimarts, 3 de maig de 2016
Hand-out 2

Dimecres, 4 de maig de 2016
Hand-out 3

Lloc: Sala d'actes de la Facultat de Filosofia i Lletres (B7/1056), UAB
Hora: 15:30 - 18:30


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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 2016-2017: Eulàlia Bonet i Javi Fernández


Divendres, 24 de febrer de 2017

You can't always blame the root. Boundedness and telicity in some denominal and deadjectival verb classes
Eugenia Mangialavori (CONICET)


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


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Divendres, 17 de febrer de 2017

'Have' as a relation between individuals and properties
Toni Bassaganyas (UPF)

In this talk I will argue that the role of have-predicates is to introduce relations into the discourse, one of whose arguments is the individual denoted by the sentence subject. This is the only token-level argument in the relation: the other is modeled as a nominalized property (Chierchia, 1984; Chierchia and Turner, 1988). A number of peculiarities of have are argued to follow from this account, including its connection with existential predicates (McNally,1992, 2009).

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


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Divendres, 10 de febrer de 2017

Interpolation and vP scrambling
Diego Pescarini (Goethe-Universität Frankfurt am Main)

Several Romance languages allow interpolation, i.e. the occurrence of XPs between the verb and (pro)clitic pronouns. The phenomenon was productive in medieval Ibero-Romance, while present-day dialects exhibit residual interpolation of aspectual adverbs and negation markers.
Productive interpolation is normally analysed as TP scrambling (Uriagereka 1995a/b, Rivero 1997, Martins 2002, 2003, 2005, Poole 2007, 2013). TP scrambling, however, cannot account straightforwardly for residual interpolation as lower adverbs are not expected to be readily interpolated (Ledgeway & Lombardi 2005; Paoli 2007 a.o.). Productive and residual interpolation are eventually regarded as independent phenomena.
Alternatively, I will entertain the hypothesis that all kinds of interpolation result from vP scrambling; independent evidence of vP scrambling comes from many Tobler-Mussafia systems exhibiting interpolation (Martins 2005; Poletto 2014).
If this analysis is on the right track, it means that the constituent [clitic (XP) verb] moves as a (remnant) vP and that clitic placement does not hinge on head movement and incorporation.

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


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Dijous, 26 de gener de 2017

German Umlaut as a Cumulative Effect
Jochen Trommer (Universität Leipzig)

A central argument for the purely morphological status of German Umlaut (fronting of stem vowels in specific stem+affix combinations) is the fact that umlaut is not completely predictable, but exhibits significant subregularities (Köpcke 1988, Embick and Halle 2005), a pattern typical of ‘soft’ tendencies in the lexicon. In this talk, I show that the different arbitrary classes of roots and affixes postulated in morphological approaches such as Wurzel (1970) can be substantially simplified if they are reinterpreted purely phonologically as containing different ‘amounts’ of floating vocalic features along the lines of Lieber (1987, 1992) and Wiese (1994, 1996). Combining different morphemes containing floating material leads to a gang effect for featural faithfulness constraints in Harmonic Grammar (Pater 2009). Umlaut thus provides a new type of evidence for cumulative effects involving only faithfulness constraints (Farris- Trimble 2008, Jesney 2015). 

Lloc: Facultat de Filosofia i Lletres, UAB
Hora: 16:00
Aula: 402


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Dimecres, 25 de gener de 2017

Opacity in Containment Theory
Jochen Trommer (Universität Leipzig)

Opacity (Kiparsky 1973, Bakovi? 2011) is the pervasive phenomenon that phonological processes apply where they are not longer motivated (so-called counter-bleeding e.g. in vowel harmony triggered by a vowel which is deleted on the surface) or fail to apply even where they should receive input by another process (so-called counter-feeding as in vowel harmony which applies to lexical, but not to epenthetic vowels). Opacity has been a central argument for ordered phonological rules and  a major challenge for fully parallel Optimality Theory (McCarthy 2007). In this talk, I show which types of opacity can and which cannot be modeled in a version of OT employing the Containment Hypothesis (Prince & Smolensky 1993, van Oostendorp 2007, 2008), i.e., the assumption that all phonological representations from the input remain accessible to output constraints even if they are not overtly pronounced  (as in segmental deletion or featural neutralization).  More concretely I evaluate the predictions of a containment-based approach where all markedness constraints exist in two versions: one restricts the phonetically pronounced structure and a generalized version is sensitive to all phonological structure, including underlying structure that remains phonetically uninterpreted (Trommer 2011, 2015, Zimmermann & Trommer 2014). The focus of the talk  are chain shifting processes and how they derive from generalized markedness constraints.

Lloc: Facultat de Filosofia i Lletres, UAB
Hora: 16:30
Aula: 202


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Divendres, 13 de gener de 2017

Why Phases Won't do it and What Could
Roger Martin (YNU) and Juan Uriagereka (UMD)

Traditional Rules of Construal pose a problem for versions of the Minimalist Program in which literally all grammatical operations are phase-based. While long-distance relations of the binding sort could possibly (though not easily) be broken down into a series of successive phase-internal steps, obviation phenomena, which do not involve binding but rather presuppose filtering conditions, cannot be so reduced. At that point, one needs whatever is assumed for the phase-based phenomena, plus some extra conditions responsible for the further (construal-driven) long-distance correlations.
Lasnik and Kupin's theory of Reduced Phrase Markers (RPMs), namely, sets of monostrings, can help with this puzzle. This is so inasmuch as a monostring is, by definition, literally as long as the terminal string of the entire phrase-marker it is a member of. It is not complicated to state c-command in terms of comparing any two mono-strings, and so at that point one can come up with a relevant (obviation) condition on mono-string pairs. (A deeper issue is what the ultimate nature is of obviation or other such long-distance dependencies.)
Interestingly, rules of construal don't seem to involve all non-terminals; they are limited to those in the (extended) NP class (not VP, AP, PP, or their respective functional projections). One could blame that state of affairs on the specificities of LF (e.g. noting that primitive Montogovian types are and , for instance). A more interesting approach, however, is to proceed the other way around: Binding Conditions are what they are because of syntactic conditions on RPMs yielding the putative Reduced RPM. The talk concludes with a sketch of what some of those conditions may be, taking into account a theory of non-terminals that we have argued for in independent work, in which the class of extended NP elements has special formal properties.

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


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Dilluns, 19 de desembre de 2016

Algunes reflexions sobre la fonologia de les consonants alveopalatals del català
Francesc Torres-Tamarit (UMR 7023, CNRS/Paris 8)

Resum (document pdf)

Lloc: Facultat de Filosofia i Lletres, UAB
Hora: 12:00
Aula: Sala de reunions B11/292


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Divendres, 16 de desembre de 2016

Individual differences in the rate of language acquisition: the case of second language learners of Icelandic
Elin Thordardottir (McGill University)

Immigration is a new phenomenon in Iceland. For over 1100 years, Iceland was a homogeneous language area of native speakers of Icelandic. With the sudden onset of mass immigration in the last 10-15 years, as many as 15% of Icelandic residents now speak Icelandic as a second language (L2). This has created a need for sudden adjustments in educational policy and provision. Anecdotically, Icelandic has had a reputation for being particularly hard to learn as an L2 due to its complex inflectional system. But is that what makes it hard to learn? This talk will present studies on the acquisition of Icelandic as an L2, including analyses in progress on a dataset of 1400 children who are learning Icelandic as a second or third language. The talk will also discuss in more general terms methods of analysis on the impact of input factors on L1 and L2 acquisition and the analysis of individual differences and varibility across children of the same age.

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


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Divendres, 2 de desembre de 2016

La formació de verbs denominals locatius en llatí i en llengües romàniques
Jaume Mateu (Universitat Autònoma de Barcelona)

En alguns enfocaments sintàctics actuals de la formació de verbs denominals se sol proposar que els dos tipus de verbs locatius (e.g., verbs com ara embotellar o empresonar, en què el nom expressa el lloc, i verbs com ara ensellar o enfarinar, en què el nom expressa l’objecte col·locat) es deriven a partir d’una estructura encapçalada per un verb lleuger que selecciona sempre com a complement un Sintagma Preposicional (cf. Hale i Keyser 2002; Harley 2005; Mateu 2008; Acedo Matellán i Real Puigdollers 2015, i.a.). En aquesta presentació analitzem la formació sintàctica d’aquests dos tipus de verbs locatius en llatí clàssic: en primer lloc, fem veure que en aquesta llengua els verbs en què l’arrel nominal expressa un lloc són sempre prefixats i contenen un SPrep com a predicat intern (e.g., inhumare o peragrare), mentre que els verbs d’objecte locatum només contenen un SPrep quan tenen prefix (e.g., inaurare o exoculare). Quan no tenen prefix (e.g., animare o marginare), el predicat intern no té naturalesa preposicional sinó nominal. Pel que fa a l’aspecte lèxic, els verbs locatius en què el nom expressa un lloc són sempre tèlics, mentre que els verbs d’objecte locatum poden ser atèlics si no tenen prefix. En segon lloc, des d’un punt de vista més teòric, defensem que en la derivació sintàctica d’aquests verbs denominals del llatí clàssic tant l’arrel nominal que expressa el lloc en els verbs prefixats com l’arrel nominal que expressa l’objecte col·locat en els verbs no prefixats es fusionen amb el verb lleuger mitjançant l’operació d’incorporació (cf. fusió interna o moviment), mentre que l’arrel nominal que expressa l’objecte col·locat en els verbs prefixats es fusiona amb el verb lleuger mitjançant l’operació de conflació (cf. fusió externa). Finalment, analitzem també alguns paral·lelismes morfosintàctics i semàntics entre els verbs denominals locatius i els verbs deadjectivals tant en llatí clàssic i tardà com en algunes llengües romàniques. Concretament, ens centrem en la relació entre (i) l’abandonament del sistema prefixal del llatí clàssic i l’increment notable de verbs prefixats denominals i deadjectivals en llatí tardà que culmina en les llengües romàniques (cf. Haverling 2000, 2010; Iacobini 2010, i.a.) i (ii) el canvi tipològic d’una llengua de marc satèl•lit com el llatí clàssic a una llengua de marc verbal com el català (cf. Acedo-Matellán i Mateu 2013, i.a.).

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


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Divendres, 18 de novembre de 2016

Resumption in Ibero-Romance relative clauses
Elisabeth Assman (Goethe Universität Frankfurt)

This talk is a work in progress presentation of my phd project that I am conducting at the Goethe University, Frankfurt am Main. In my thesis, I am comparing Spanish, Portuguese and Catalan, regarding the phenomenon of resumption in relative clauses, as in the following examples:
1. Había señores que les gustaba.
2. E eu lá fui a um senhor que lhe chamam o Arlindo.
3. T'acostes allí a un mirador que li diuen la Creu del Cóndor.

I will argue in favor of a comparative perspective of this phenomenon, given the fact that the languages under consideration are genetically related and therefore very similar, yet show important morphosyntactic differences.

The main point of the talk will be to present the first results of a corpus study I conducted for all languages, and to develop three main research questions that I will tackle in my dissertation.

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


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Divendres, 21 d'octubre de 2016

Concordancias duplicadas en español
María Mare (Universidad Nacional del Comahue)

En algunas variedades del español, la presencia de clíticos postverbales puede dar lugar a cambios con respecto a la manifestación de la morfología flexiva verbal. La forma más frecuente que se puede reconocer es aquella en la que el morfema de número y persona aparece desplazado (1a) o duplicado (1b), como se observa en los siguientes ejemplos de la RAE-ASALE (2009):

(1) a. ¡Demen un arma, demen un arma, canejo! [Gutiérrez, E. Juan Moreira]
b. ¡Lárguenlon, nomás! [Güiraldes, R. Don Segundo Sombras]

En ninguno de los ejemplos de (1) se hace referencia a un objeto directo plural, es decir, no se trataría de un caso de sincretismo, sino que el morfema –n representa la marca de concordancia con el sujeto. Además, la posición del clítico es fundamental para que tenga lugar este proceso, ya que cuando el clítico es preverbal, la ocurrencia del morfema de número y persona es imposible (*lon anoten; *men lo digan).
Este fenómeno ha sido abordado por Harris & Halle (2005), Halle (2008), Kayne (2010), Arregi & Nevins (2012, 2015). Las propuestas de estos autores son sumamente interesantes. Sin embargo, hay un conjunto de datos que se registran en distintas variedades del español (entre otras, en la variedad de la Norpatagonia argentina), que escapan a los análisis presentados. Nos referimos concretamente a casos en los que la duplicación se da de manera parcial.

(1) a. Sí, dale, compremoslon []
b. Siiiiiiii, terminemos de rendir hagamoslon []

En esta variedad, la  única posibilidad es la duplicación parcial de la información del morfema de concordancia, ya que la duplicación total arroja resultados agramaticales (*compremoslomos; *demosemoslomos, etc.). Los datos que hemos registrado nos permiten discutir las propuestas de análisis previas y avanzar en un análisis en términos de reestructuración morfológica en la relación entre el clítico y el verbo al que se adjunta.

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


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Divendres, 14 d'octubre de 2016

The analysis of Pseudo-relative sentences in Italian and in other Romance languages
Jan Casalicchio (University of Trento)

The talk is divided into two parts: in the first one I present the project in which I am involved with the universities of Trento and Verona (AThEME-project: 'Advancing the European Multilingual Experience'). In the second part I present my work on Pseudo-relative clauses.

The AThEME-project has received a synergy grant of the ERC, and aims at studying multilingualism from several perspectives ( The University of Trento is involved in the Work Package on regional languages (WP2) with the University of Verona, and it focuses on the effects of language contact in the five regional (Germanic and Romance) languages spoken in the region Trentino-Alto Adige.

Pseudo-relatives are a construction used in all Romance languages except Romanian:

(1) a. Vi a Juan que se comía una manzana
      b. Ho visto Gianni che mangiava una mela
       'I saw Juan/Gianni eating an apple.'

There is consensus in the generative literature about the fact that Pseudo-relatives are different from ordinary relative clauses (since at least Radford 1975). However, opinions differ on their syntactic distribution and on the structure they have. This is mainly due to the fact that they display a different syntactic behaviour when they are used in different contexts.

In my talk I focus on Italian and propose that they should get a unitary structure (as e.g. in Burzio 1986, Guasti 1992, Rizzi 1992, Rafel 2000, Graffi 1980, to appear), but that they can be embedded in different SC-structures (thus in part following Cinque 1992). This explains the idiosyncrasies in the syntactic tests and permits to account for them in an economic way.

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


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Divendres, 7 d'octubre de 2016

Early acquisition of word order: evidence from Hindi-Urdu and Malayalam
Maya Leela (UAB)


The acquisition of word order in two under-researched languages, Hindi-Urdu and Malayalam, is explored under the assumptions of Universal Grammar and Very Early Parameter Setting. The acquisition of the OV order was tested through an experiment that was conducted on 19-month old native Hindi-Urdu infants using a combination of the preferential-looking mode, the weird-word-order paradigm, and pseudo-verbs. The results showed that the infants parsed the grammatical SOV order and did not parse the ungrammatical VSO order, indicating that the parameter responsible for the OV order was set at 19 months of age. The acquisition of scrambling was investigated by means of three experiments in Malayalam speaking children. The first experiment tested the acquisition of the canonical word order SOV, and the scrambled non-canonical word orders OSV, OVS, and SVO, with no discourse context, through a picture matching task in children aged 3 to 5-years-old. The experimental results showed above chance performance in the comprehension of the canonical and most scrambled word orders by all age groups. The second experiment tested the acquisition of the canonical and the non-canonical word orders with a discourse context, in an act-out task in 2-year-old children. The results revealed at ceiling performance by all children. The third experiment, run with 2-year-old children, tested the acquisition of canonical and scrambled sentences with an anaphor. All children performed above chance indicating that anaphor resolution is adult like. Usage-based theories and the implications of the theory of Relativized Minimality in child grammar are critically analyzed using the results of the Hindi-Urdu and Malayalam experiments. The evidence gathered is in support of the fact that adult-like competence of abstract syntax is present within child grammar at early ages and that movement appears to be adult-like.

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


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Dimarts, 21 de juny de 2016

Prosodically-driven morpheme non-realization in the Minorcan Catalan DP / Manca de realització morfològica condicionada prosòdicament en el SD del català de Menorca
Clàudia Pons-Moll (UB) i Francesc Torres-Tamarit (CNRS/Paris 8)

En el català de Menorca les aposicions que expressen relacions de parentiu o similars es realitzen, de forma general, amb l’estructura es Art. Def. conco Nom par. en art. pers. Jaume nom pers. (veg. també, l’avi en Toni, l’amo en Joan). L’article personal, però, no es realitza quan el nom personal comença en vocal (es conco Ø Àngel, l’avi Ø  Enric, es conco Ø  Ignasi), ni tampoc quan és femení (sa tia Ø Catalina, sa tia Ø Amparo). En aquest treball demostrem que la manca de realització de l’article personal està condicionada prosòdicament i que es pot derivar de la simple interacció de restriccions d’alineament morfoprosòdiques estàndard (Selkirk 1996/2003, McCarthy & Prince 1993) i restriccions referents a la realització morfològica (Selkirk 2001), sense necessitat de recórrer a cap estipulació, subcategorització morfològica, o refinament dels mecanismes analítics comuns. També hi discutim per què una anàlisi al·lomòrfica del fenomen no és possible i explorem la naturalesa de les restriccions referents a la realització morfològica en teoria de l’optimitat, així com la interfície prosòdia-morfosintaxi.


Lloc: Facultat de Filosofia i Lletres, UAB
Hora: 10:00
Aula: 201


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Divendres, 10 de juny de 2016

Experimental investigations on the interpretation of 'no' and 'no...pas' in Catalan
Maria Teresa Espinal (UAB)

This study empirically investigates three research questions concerning the compositional and contextual meanings of the Catalan negative markers no and no…pas. (i) We ask to what extent Catalan speakers associate a negative or an expletive reading to the marker no that optionally occurs in contexts of Expletive Negation (EN) and in association with subject Negative Concord Items (NCI). In EN contexts, an expletive no leaves the polarity of the sentence containing it unchanged, so that it remains positive; a negative no, in contrast, changes the polarity, and produces a negative sentence. Since subject NCIs, used alone (i.e. without no), express a single negation, adding no to such contexts could either leave this polarity unchanged, if no here is expletive, or change the polarity, producing a Double Negation (DN), and hence a positive sentence, if the NCI and the no are both negative. (ii) Second, what is the effect of pas on the interpretation of no?  Traditional Catalan grammars describe pas as a reinforcer of negation. If this is correct, then adding pas should bias speakers to chose a negative interpretation for no. This view predicts that: (a) in EN contexts the amount of negative interpretation for sentences with nopas should be larger than the amount of negative interpretation for sentences with no alone. (b) For NCI contexts, the amount of DN interpretation in sentences containing pas should be larger than in sentences with no alone. (iii) Third, are sentences with a single negation processed faster or not than sentences with expletive negation or DN?

To answer these questions we designed two experiments: one to preselect the strongest possible EN inducing contexts, and the other to test the above predictions in a picture selection task where speakers were asked to chose, out of two pictures depicting, respectively, an action being performed or not performed, which best corresponded to the meaning of the presented sentence. The time to picture choice was recorded and analyzed statistically.

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

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Divendres, 3 de juny de 2016

La doble negació en el portuguès brasiler des d'un microestudi del model català
Paula Da Costa Souza (ICHL-UNIFAL-MG)

En aquesta xerrada, us presentarem algunes dades que ens permetin comparar i descriure els sistemes lingüístics català i portuguès (brasiler) pel que fa a la realització de la doble concordança negativa prèverbal. L'estudi forma part de la tesi doctoral que s'està portant a terme en aquests moments. En la tesi, s'han fet servir diversos tipus de gramàtiques i d'estudis lingüístics de ambdues llengües per tal de verificar el tractament que es dóna a la doble negació tant en la llengua estàndard com als nombrosos dialectes i formes col·loquials. Aquí, us presentarem algunes dades dels corpora del portuguès brasiler amb les que podem: a) comprovar l'existència de la doble negació en la llengua, b) mostrar quins són els dialectes afavorits per la doble negació; c) deduir les característiques socials i lingüístiques que presenten aquests parlants; d) comparar la doble negació en les dues llengües d'aquest estudi amb l'objectiu d'esbrinar si responen a les mateixes pautes.

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

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Divendres, 20 de maig de 2016

Phase Theory and Prosodic Domains / Teoria de fases i dominis prosòdics
Eulàlia Bonet (Universitat Autònoma de Barcelona) i Joan Mascaró (Universitat Autònoma de Barcelona)

Since the 80s the domains of application of phonological processes have been described in terms of the Prosodic Hierarchy. Above the word level, these domains (phonological phrase, intonational phrase) have been claimed to be a function of syntactic structure and phonological conditions, the resulting domains being not isomorphic with syntactic constituents. Since the appearance of Phase Theory (Chomsky 2000, 2001) a considerable amount of literature has appeared claiming that phasal domains directly determine phonological processes; as a consequence, it has been claimed that phonological evidence can be used to define the set of phasal domains. In this talk we will briefly survey the relevant literature and focus on a particularly explicit proposal, D'Alessandro & Scheer (2015). We will dicuss and argue against the following two claims in this article: (a) the Phase Impenetrability Condition (PIC) is parameterized as [±syntactic], [±phonological]; (b) the Prosodic Hierarchy can be dispensed with. We will show that this proposal is at the same time too strong and too weak in terms of restrictivity.

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

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Divendres, 6 de maig de 2016

Variación sintáctica en la subordinación: el caso de "decir para"
Antonio Fábregas (U. de Tromso) i Ángel J. Gallego (CLT/UAB)


Esta presentación discute datos no observados previamente sobre el uso de 'para que' como introductor de oraciones subordinadas directivas bajo algunos verbos en ciertas variedades del español, como la venezolana; se muestra que el comportamiento sintáctico de estas construcciones difiere significativamente de las oraciones directivas sin 'para' en la misma variedad, y en español estándar, tanto con respecto al control como la movilidad clausal y las extracciones, de forma que constituyen un caso inesperado dentro de los contrastes interlingüísticos entre cláusulas subordinadas de indicativo y subjuntivo. Los datos se emplean para argumentar a favor de un análisis en que las oraciones subordinadas argumentales definen su modo, relación con concordancia y caso y propiedades referenciales del sujeto en una manera paralela a los constituyentes nominales; los datos constituyen argumentos a favor del sub-ensamble y permiten una unificación con el dequeísmo en la medida en que ambas estructuras implican sub-ensamble de C a V para satisfacer las condiciones de legitimación del verbo principal.

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

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Divendres, 29 d'abril de 2016

Sobre la Restricció del Conjunt Testimoni
Jordi Fortuny (Universitat de Barcelona)

Presentarem el resultat central de Fortuny (en premsa): la Restricció del Conjunt Testimoni. Es tracta d'un nou universal semàntic que delimita quins quantificadors són lingüísticament possibles i que ha de substituir la coneguda Restricció de la Conservativitat (Keenan & Stavi 1986). 

Demostrarem que tots els determinants que satisfan la Restricció de la Conservativitat també satisfan la Restricció del Conjunt Testimoni. Ara bé, és ben sabut que hi ha certes categories lingüístiques que denoten funcions no conservatives, i que per tant, qüestionen la presumpció d'universalitat de la Restricció de la Conservativitat; és interessant que, com veurem, aquestes categories sí que satisfan la Restricció del Conjunt Testimoni. En conseqüència, no hi ha dubte que la restricció que proposem és empíricament més adequada que la Restricció de la Conservativitat. 

Més enllà de la seva superioritat descriptiva, la Restricció del Conjunt Testimoni planteja un altre avantatge, en la mesura que es pot entendre com una condició que simplifica el processament semàntic de les expressions quantificacionals, seguint certes intuïcions de Barwise & Cooper (1981). Així doncs, la Restricció del Conjunt Testimoni permet explicar, apel·lant a factors d'eficiència, per què els quantificadors lingüísticament possibles són els que són. 

Creiem que aquestes observacions plantegen certes qüestions importants per a la teoria semàntica de les llengües naturals que tindrem ocasió d'apuntar; notem, de manera molt especial, que estableixen una correlació directa entre el que és expressable i el que és eficientment processable.

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

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Divendres, 22 d'abril de 2016

Gradabilidad en la interfaz morfología-semántica. El caso de las nominalizaciones deadjetivales
Zoltan Zato (ILLA-CSIC & UPV/EHU)

El objetivo principal de este estudio es demostrar que las nominalizaciones deadjetivales graduables (v.g. altura, honestidad, tristeza, etc.) heredan la gradabilidad de los adjetivos de origen  (v.g. alto, honesto, triste, etc.). Asimismo, se defiende que el estándar de comparación, i.e. el grado con respecto al cual se evalúa el grado del individuo del que se predica el adjetivo, se determina en la sintaxis. En concreto, se propone que es un núcleo funcional el que lo introduce.

El marco teórico adoptado es la semántica escalar de Kennedy (1997, 2007) y Kennedy y McNally (2005), entre otros, según la cual los adjetivos graduables lexicalizan escalas. Estos autores defienden que hay cuatro tipos de adjetivos graduables en función de la escala que lexicalizan: de escala abierta, como alto; de escala delimitada por un punto máximo, como limpio; de escala delimitada por un punto mínimo, como sucio; y de escala delimitada por ambos extremos, como abierto. Asimismo, argumentan que existe una fuerte correlación entre el tipo de escala y el estándar de comparación. Los adjetivos que lexicalizan escalas abiertas, llamados relativos, evalúan el grado del individuo con respecto a un estándar contextual; en cambio, los adjetivos asociados a escalas cerradas, llamados absolutos, evalúan el grado del individuo con respecto a uno de los extremos de dichas escalas.

Sin embargo, McNally (2011) arguye que dicha correlación no es sistemática, pues existen casos de adjetivos de escala abierta que se comportan como absolutos y viceversa. Análogamente, Toledo y Sassoon (2011) y Sassoon y Toledo (2011) muestran que incluso la interpretación de los adjetivos absolutos está condicionada por el contexto. Por último, Gumiel-Molina et al. (2015) sugieren que la interpretación relativa o absoluta de un adjetivo graduable depende de la clase de comparación invocada. Los predicados de individuo invocan una clase de comparación entre individuos e inducen una interpretación relativa, mientras que los predicados de estadio invocan una clase de comparación entre estadios del mismo individuo e inducen una interpretación absoluta.

En este trabajo se argumenta que, aunque las diferentes clases de comparación invocadas pueden influir en la interpretación del adjetivo graduable, dicha interpretación no viene determinada principalmente por ellas. Como alternativa, se propone que los adjetivos graduables proyectan un nudo sintáctico que introduce el estándar de comparación. En principio, el tipo de escala determina el valor de dicho estándar, aunque puede haber distintos factores que lo alteren, en línea con las propuestas de McNally y Toledo y Sassoon. Las nominalizaciones deadjetivales pueden incluir o no el nudo sintáctico que introduce el estándar, lo que da cuenta de la existencia de tres clases de nominalizaciones (Fábregas 2016): de cualidad, que entrañan el adjetivo (v.g. grandeza  grande); de escala, que no lo entrañan (v.g. altura  alto); y ambiguas (v.g. dureza).

Referencias bibliográficas
Fábregas, A. 2016. Las nominalizaciones. Madrid: Visor Libros.
Gumiel-Molina, S., N. Moreno-Quibén & I. Pérez-Jiménez. 2015. Comparison classes and the relative/absolute distinction: A degree-based compositional account of the ser/estar alternation in Spanish. En Gehrke, B. & E. Castroviejo (eds.): Natural Language and Linguistic Theory 33(3), 955-1001.
Kennedy, C. 1997. Projecting the adjective: The syntax and semantics of gradability and comparison. Tesis doctoral. University of California.
Kennedy, C. 2007. Vagueness and grammar: The semantics of relative and absolute gradable adjectives. Linguistics and Philosophy 30(1), 1-45.
Kennedy, C. & L. McNally. 2005. Scale structure, degree modification and the semantics of gradable predicates. Language 81(2), 345-381.
McNally, L. 2011. The relative role of property type and scale structure in explaining the behavior of gradable adjectives. En Nouwen, R. et al. (eds.): ViC 2009 (Papers from the ESSLLI 2009 Workshop on Vagueness in Communcation). Berlin: Springer, 151-168.
Sassoon, G. & A. Toledo. 2011. Absolute and relative adjectives and their comparison classes. Ms. Institute for Logic, Language and Computation, University of Amsterdam & Utrecht University.
Toledo, A. & G. Sassoon. 2011. Absolute vs. Relative Adjectives . Variance Within vs. Between Individuals. Proceedings of SALT 21, 135-154. Rutgers University. New Jersey. MIT working Papers in Linguistics.

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

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Divendres, 15 d'abril de 2016

Back to Epistemic Indefinites
Paula Menéndez-Benito (Universitat Pompeu Fabra) – amb Luis Alonso-Ovalle (McGill University)

Epistemic indefinites signal that the speaker does not know which individual satisfies the existential claim (see Alonso-Ovalle and Menéndez-Benito 2015 and references therein). For instance, (1), with the Spanish epistemic indefinite algún, says (i) that María is dating a student in the department, and (ii) that the speaker does not know who.

1) María está saliendo con algún estudiante del departamento. (AO&MB 2010)
María is dating with ALGÚN student of-the department

Focusing on algún, this talk examines two types of accounts of epistemic indefinites – the domain constraints account (e.g., Alonso-Ovalle and Menéndez-Benito 2008, 2010; Falaus 2009, 2010; Chierchia 2013) and the conceptual covers account (Aloni and Port 2010/2013). We will conclude that neither theory can capture the full range of data, and will explore an alternative way to go that combines insights from both approaches.

Aloni, M. and A. Port (2013). Epistemic Indefinites Crosslinguistically. In Y. Fainleib, N. LaCara and Y. Park (eds.), Proceedings of NELS 41, Amherst, MA: GLSA.
Alonso Alonso-Ovalle, Luis and Paula Menéndez-Benito, eds. (2015). Epistemic Indefinites. Oxford University Press.
Alonso-Ovalle, Luis and Paula Menéndez-Benito (2010). "Modal Indefinites". Natural Language Semantics 18(1), 1- 31.
Alonso-Ovalle, Luis and Paula Menéndez-Benito (2008). "Minimal Domain Widening". In Natasha Abner and Jason Bishop (eds.), Proceedings of the 27th West Coast Conference on Formal Linguistics.
Chierchia, Gennaro (2013). Logic in Grammar. Oxford: Oxford University Press.
Falaus, Anamaria. 2009. Polarity items and dependent indefinites in Romanian: Université de Nantes dissertation.

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

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Divendres, 15 d'abril de 2016

La sintaxis de los adverbios evidenciales + que
Silvia Serret (Universitat Autònoma de Barcelona)

El objetivo de este estudio es analizar la sintaxis de un conjunto de marcas de modalidad formadas por un adverbio evidencial seguido por el complementante que (por ejemplo, naturalmente que). Véanse a continuación las siguientes construcciones:

(1) Naturalmente (que) Sara adora las películas de acción

(2) Sara adora naturalmente (*que) las películas de acción

En (1) se observa la opcionalidad del complementante que pospuesto a un adverbio con valor evidencial. En cambio, en (2) se observa que el complementante no puede aparecer bajo TP mientras que el adverbio sí. Además, en la interpretación semántica el adverbio + que tiene alcance sobre toda la oración.

Para el estudio de estas marcas, se hace necesario un análisis que postule en la estructura oracional un lugar específico donde puedan insertarse este tipo de elementos. La hipótesis de la periferia izquierda de Rizzi (1997) nos permite hacerlo, al introducir el nodo Force0 como punto donde se alojan los rasgos pertenecientes a la fuerza ilocutiva de la oración.

Mi propuesta es que las construcciones objeto de estudio se insertan en la posición de ForceP; así podemos dar cuenta de su alcance oracional y de su posible coaparición con focos, tópicos y adverbios de acto de habla como por ejemplo francamente.

En esta charla, presentaré del comportamiento sintáctico de estas construcciones y después extenderé el análisis a otras marcas de modalidad halladas en español compuestas por un adjetivo + que (por ejemplo, claro que, obvio que, seguro que, capaz que) y otras halladas en lenguas romances como el italiano, elfrancés y el rumano.


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

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Divendres, 18 de març de 2016

The "Gap-that-Gap" construction and its consequences for the syntax and semantics of gapping
Javier Fernández-Sánchez (Universitat Autònoma de Barcelona)

Gapping is subject to very strict locality rules. In this talk I focus on two: Hankamer (1979)’s No Embedded Condition (NEC) and Neijt (1979)’s Tensed S Condition (TSC). The NEC states that gaps cannot be embedded (1a) and neither can their antecedents (1b). The TSC posits that remnants must be clause-mates, which explains why (2) can only receive the interpretation in (2a) and not the one in (2b).

  1. a. *    [CP1 Alfonse stole the emeralds], and [CP2 I think that Mugsy stole the pearls].

b. *   [CP1 I think that Alfonse stole the emeralds], and [CP2 Mugsy stole the pearls].

  1.    Julia said that Rose speaks Russian and Matthew Ø Polish.
    a.  … and Matthew speaks Polish.
    b. *   … and Matthew said that Rose speaks Polish.

Brucart (1987:118ff.) observes that whereas the Spanish equivalent to (2) patterns with English in only allowing the reading in (2a), the reading in (2b) can be obtained if the finite C0 que is inserted between the two remnants (3). English disallows this option:

  1. a.       Julia dijo que Rosa habla ruso y Mateo que polaco.

b. *   Julia said that Rose speaks Russian and Matthew that Polish.
Descriptively, que creates two gaps (4). I refer to this phenomenon as gap-that-gap:

  1. Julia dijo que Rosa habla ruso y Mateo Ø1 que Ø2 polaco.
  2. Ø1   =  dijo (said)
  3. Ø2    =  Rosa habla (Rosa speaks)

In this talk I argue that gap-that-gap constructions are the result of two independent and crucially distinct elliptical phenomena. In particular I claim:

  1. Only Ø1 is an instance of gapping. For (3a) this means that the remnants are the subject [Mateo]and the clausal complement [que Rosa habla polaco] (5a). The gap contains the matrix verb, coordination applies at the matrix level, and the NEC is thus respected.
  2. The clausal remnant is reduced via a mechanism of TP ellipsis responsible for creating embedded fragments (Merchant 2004, Temmerman 2013) (5b).
  3. a. [CP1 Julia dice que Rosa habla ruso] y [CP2 Mateo dice que Rosa habla polaco].

b. … y [CP2 Mateo dice que [polaco]i Rosa habla ti].
My analysis therefore strengthens Hankamer (1979)’s NEC which states that neither gaps nor antecedents can be embedded. Spanish is thus no exception to that. In the talk I will show a number of interesting consequences for this analysis. For example, TP-ellipsis cannot occur if the (gapped) matrix verb that selects the CP is a factive verb. This restriction is observed for embedded fragments too (A: Who come to the party? B: I {think/*regret} Peter), as shown by de Cuba & Macdonald (2013) and Weir (2014).
Finally, I will discuss the consequences of the NEC and the TSC for the syntax and semantics of gapping. I will argue that despite being locality constraints, these conditions are better understood in semantic terms.


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

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Divendres, 11 de març de 2016

Syntactic priming as a test of argument structure: A self-paced reading experiment
Isabel Oltra-Massuet (Universitat Rovira i Virgili)

[I. Oltra-Massuet, V. Sharpe, K. Neophytou, A. Marantz]

Using data from a structural priming experiment, we test two competing theoretical approaches to argument structure, (i) Hale & Keyser’s (1993, 2002) approach as recently developed in Mateu (2002), Acedo-Matellán (2010) and Acedo-Matellán & Mateu (2011, 2013) [AM&M], and (ii) Marantz’s (2005, 2011) [M]. Since these theories attribute different structures to transitive structures like (2-6) and make different claims about the relationship between transitive structures and unergatives like (1), they make different predictions about priming relations between these sentence types.










The dog


in a quiet park

at night.




The man


a restful doze

on the train.




The cook


a carrot cake

with spelt flour.




The girl


a wild horse

in the farm.



Strong transitives

The athlete


a slight niggle

in his knee.



With-Small Clause

The worker


a rail wagon

with hay.

In AM&M theory unergatives (1) are analyzed as derived transitive configurations and pattern with cognate object constructions (2) as well as with verbs of creation (3), thus predicting syntactic priming among these sentence types but not between these sets and the remaining types (4)-(6). The latter are assumed to select for a small clause type complement structure, and are therefore predicted to prime among them in this model. On the other hand, the M account does not predict structural priming between the unergatives (1) and the surface transitives, nor between complex complement constructions (6) and the other surface transitive sentences. However, M approach does predict some cases of priming that the AM&M theory does not; specifically, M predicts priming between sets (2)-(3) and (4)-(5), which are considered to display distinct underlying structures in the AM&M account.
In this talk we present a self-paced reading language comprehension study on structural priming, and report preliminary results from a mixed effects analysis of covariance (ANCOVA) and a linear mixed effects regression models.
References: Acedo-Matellán, V. 2010. Argument Structure and the Syntax-Morphology Interface. A Case Study in Latin and Other Languages. UB, PhD Thesis. Acedo-Matellán, V. & Mateu, J. 2013. Satellite-framed Latin vs. verb-framed Romance: a syntactic approach. Probus 25, 227-265. Hale, K. & Keyser, S. J. 1993. On argument structure and the lexical expression of syntactic relations. The view from Building, 20, 53-109. Hale, K. & Keyser, S. J. 2002. Prolegomenon to a theory of argument structure. MIT Press. Mateu, J. 2002. Argument Structure. Relational Construal at the Syntax-Semantics Interface. UAB, PhD Thesis. Marantz, A. 2005. Objects out of the lexicon: Objects as events. MIT, Ms. Marantz, A. 2011. Syntactic approaches to argument structure without incorporation. Talk presented at the Workshop Structuring the argument, Structures Formelles du Langage UMR 7023 Paris 8/CNRS, Paris, 5-7 September.

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

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Divendres, 26 de febrer de 2016

Origen de la -e final de tercera persona del singular del català nord-occidental
Mar Massanell (Universitat Autònoma de Barcelona)

Resum: La terminació verbal llatina -at, que es troba en els ètims de les formes de 3a persona del present d'indicatiu de la 1a conjugació, del present de subjuntiu de les conjugacions no primeres i de l'imperfet d'indicatiu i del condicional de totes les conjugacions, ha arribat en català general al resultat -a (cantat > canta). Tanmateix, ja en els primers testimonis escrits (segle XI) procedents dels antics comtats d'Urgell i de Pallars, es documenta la variant -e, avui estesa pel català nord-occidental i pel valencià septentrional. Aquesta divergència ha rebut una explicació fonològica, a partir del supòsit que en el català occidental naixent la -t final s'hauria perdut de manera tardana, fet que hauria permès el tancament de a posttònica (-at > -et > -e). En aquesta exposició, partint dels principis de la morfologia natural, plantegem una hipòtesi alternativa que atribueix el sorgiment i l'expansió de la variant -e a factors morfològics com el rebuig del sincretisme. Les dades que ha aportat el buidatge del Corpus Informatitzat del Català Antic sembla que concorden amb la hipòtesi formulada, tot i que la migradesa de textos dels orígens aconsella de ser prudents en les conclusions.

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

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Divendres, 26 de febrer de 2016

Computació, processament i interdisciplinarietat: entre la Lingüística Teòrica i la Psicolingüística
Jordi Martorell

En aquesta xerrada exploraré la relació entre la Lingüística Teòrica (Gramàtica Generativa, concretament) i la Psicolingüística a través d’una reflexió sobre les seves discrepàncies teòriques i metodològiques. En contra de la postura dominant en Gramàtica Generativa, argumentaré que la competència (nivell computacional) i l’actuació/processament (nivell algorítmic) no es poden estudiar independentment i que, per tant, ambdós aspectes del llenguatge s’haurien d’explicar a través d’una aproximació conjunta que doni compte de la seva relació. Aquesta discussió s’exemplificarà a través de l’anàlisi de certes dependències no adjacents que resulten agramaticals i també revisaré alguns estudis que aporten evidència experimental (mesures d’acceptabilitat, registre de temps de lectura, ERPs,...) a favor de la rellevància de factors de processament en tals contextos. Finalment, defensaré una aproximació pluralista que comprengui les nocions clau de cada disciplina amb l’objectiu d’ajudar a desenvolupar teories del llenguatge implementables en el cervell.

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)

Although all Romance languages have inherited the gerundial verb form from Latin, there are several patterns of macro- and microvariation within the Romance language group. In this presentation, I focus mainly on two instances of variation concerning predicative gerunds: (i) why are gerunds used in some varieties, while others require the use of prepositional infinitives in the same predicative contexts? (ii) why are predicative gerunds/prep. infinitives grammatical in some varieties, while they are completely ruled out in others? In order to discuss these points, I consider data coming mainly from Spanish, Rhaeto-romance and Italian varieties, as well as from European Portuguese. Moreover, since this presentation concerns a topic that is still a work in progress, I will also touch upon some points that constitute open questions for my analysis.

Ad (i): While varieties like Spanish and Catalan allow gerundial verb forms in predicative contexts (1a), others (e.g. Italian or European Portuguese) require a prepositional infinitive in the same contexts (1b-c):

(1)   a.    Sorprendí a los niños fumando                  (Spanish)

       b.    Apanhei os meninos a fumar(em)             (European Portuguese)

       c.     Sorpresi i bambini a fumare                      (Italian)

               I.caught (to) the children smoking/to smoke

I suggest that the two different verb forms are diachronically related, as the analysis of some Old Italian varieties shows: prepositional infinitives are clearly a later outcome of earlier predicative gerunds. But gerunds and prepositional infinitives are also structurally related: I propose that they share the same syntactic structure, and that gerunds are the result of the incorporation of an aspectual null preposition into the verb. When the incorporation cannot take place, the result is instead a prepositional infinitive.

Ad (ii): in the second part I focus on gerundial perceptive constructions in Spanish and in the Rhaeto-romance variety Gardenese. Despite their superficial similarity, there are important differences, as (2-4) shows:

(2)  a.    Veo a Pablo comiéndose una manzana  (Spanish)

       b.    Vëije Paul maian n mëil                            (Rhaeto-romance)

              I.see (to) Paul eating an apple

(3)  a.     *Oí cantando                                            (Spanish)

       b.    Aude ciantan                                             (Rhaeto-romance)

              I.hear singing

(4)  a.     Sorprendí a Pablo robando                     (Spanish)

       b.    *É abiná Paul roban                                  (Rhaeto-romance)

              I caught (to) Paul stealing

These differences are due to the fact that in Spanish gerunds can be used in predicative constructions, while in Gardenese they are grammatical only in ECM-constructions with perception verbs, but not in predicative constructions. I show that this difference is due to a twofold parametric variation: in Gardenese, perception verbs always have a [+continuous] feature that they have to check with the embedded T. Predicative gerunds are grammatical only in those varieties, like Spanish, in which the gerundial T has an abstract [+Agr] feature, which allows the occurrence of a subject that is different from the matrix subject.

If there will be time remaining, I will also make some considerations about adverbial gerunds.

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

Dimecres, 27 de juliol de 2016

The Influence of Phonology on Inflection The interplay between syllabification and lexical insertion in Pallarese Catalan
Doctorand: Eduard Artés Cuenca
Directora: Eulàlia Bonet Alsina

This dissertation deals with the constraints that phonology imposes on the exponence of gender. In particular, it explores the interaction between epenthesis and nominal inflection in Pallarese Catalan clitics. Since inflection is located word-finally in Pallarese, I argue that right-edge epenthesis is avoided in order to maintain a strict correspondence between morphological and phonological structure. Inflectional vowels may be used for syllabification purposes in word-final position instead.

It is assumed in this thesis that every syntactic functional head projects a postsyntactic theme position (Oltra-Massuet, 1999) where gender is realized. A key aspect of the proposal is the idea that the exponents of gender are floating features, and thus inflection proceeds in two steps. First, the theme position is spelled out with an underspecified vowel (i.e., Th ↔ V) and, subsequently, the floating features associated with gender ([+fem] ↔ [+low], i.e., -[a]; [–fem] ↔ [+labial,–high], i.e., -[o]) are attached to the V-slot of the theme position. Couched within Optimality Theory, I argue that the constraint ranking determines whether the featural gender exponents surface or not. The feminine is always realized due to a constraint that favors parsing [+low] (which implies adding association lines that are absent in the input), whereas in the masculine the insertion of new association lines in the output is dispreferred and the features associated with [–fem] are not parsed, which accounts for default masculine -[Ø] exponence. If gender is part of the morphosyntatic com- position of a clitic, as in the 3rd person singular masculine accusative clitic, these floating features can nevertheless be attached to the V-slot of the theme position to improve syllabic structure under certain phonotactic conditions. This ‘morphologi- cal solution’ is less costly than (regular) word-initial epenthesis because it does not need to create a new skeletal position or insert new features.

Impoverishment (Bonet, 1991) deletes gender features in the 3rd person plural accusative clitic, and thus the corresponding phonological features associated with gender cannot be used for syllabification purposes. The theme position with the

V-slot is maintained, though, and the default epenthetic features of Pallarese are inserted when required by phonotactics, which forces a thematic interpretation of this vowel. This solution is preferred over word-initial epenthesis because the theme position already provides a skeletal slot. The same procedure applies to other clitics that do not bear gender features either.

Even though Pallarese shows a complex morphophonological intertwining regard- ing gender exponence, the OT analysis presented in this dissertation makes exclusive reference to phonological objects. The morphosyntactic structure of the nominal sys- tem constrains epenthesis, but strict modularity can be maintained. Furthermore, the use of floating features in the input can dispense with gender allomorphy (cf. Bonet et al. 2007).

As for nouns and adjectives, the general process that spells out an underspecified vowel in the theme position, on the one hand, and floating place features for gender values, on the other, is only valid for default endings. That is, vowels other than -a (feminine) and -o (masculine) —when it surfaces— cannot be considered gender markers and need to be fully specified in the theme position of lexical entries instead. Therefore, nouns with non-regular endings are stored as complex representations and phonologically realized in one single step. This supports theories that assume that one exponent (or set of exponents) can spell out whole morphosyntactic structures (e.g., Siddiqi 2009, Caha 2009 or Bermúdez-Otero 2012).

Aula: Sala de Graus
Hora: 10:00
Lloc: Facultat de Filosofia i Lletres, UAB

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