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LINGUIST List 19.3247

Mon Oct 27 2008

FYI: CUNY Linguistics Colloquium Series-Sandra Chung

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        1.    Nazik Dinctopal, CUNY Linguistics Colloquium Series-Sandra Chung

Message 1: CUNY Linguistics Colloquium Series-Sandra Chung
Date: 27-Oct-2008
From: Nazik Dinctopal <nazik.dinctopalgmail.com>
Subject: CUNY Linguistics Colloquium Series-Sandra Chung
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The third CUNY Linguistics Colloquium of the fall semester will be held

on: Thursday, October 30, 2008
at: 4:15 p.m.
at: The CUNY Graduate Center - 365 Fifth Avenue - New York (room
by: Sandra Chung (University of California, Santa Cruz)
on: Chamorro Possessives at the Interface


One of the recurring issues at the syntax-semantics-pragmatics interface
concerns the division of labor: should generalizations at this interface be
explained in syntactic or semantic-pragmatic terms? Take, for instance,
Milsark’s (1977) generalization (MG) and what I call Horn’s (1989)
generalization (HG), which are stated below:

Milsark’s Generalization (MG): Subjects of individual-level predicates must
be strong.

Horn’s Generalization (HG): Subjects tend to be interpreted outside the
scope of sentential negation.

Do these generalizations flow ultimately from the syntax of Logical Form, as
Diesing (1992) claimed for MG? Or do they flow from a semantics-
pragmatics enriched by the Brentano-Marty- Kuroda theory of judgement
types—specifically, from the two-part nature of the categorical judgement—
as proposed by Ladusaw (1994) for MG and by Horn (1989) and Ladusaw
(1996) for HG?

In this talk, I investigate these questions for Chamorro, an Austronesian
language of the Mariana Islands. Chamorro possessives have both a head
determiner and a possessor. My inquiry focuses on bare possessives, in
which the head determiner is the null indefinite article and the possessor is
definite. After establishing that bare possessives are indeed a species of
indefinite, I show that their ability to serve as subjects of individual-level
predicates argues for an account of MG in terms of the theory of judgement
types. I then show that the interaction of bare possessive subjects with
negation appears initially to threaten an account of HG in terms of this
theory. However, once the semantics-pragmatics of the possession relation
(Barker 1991, 2008) is factored in, the threat dissolves. The conclusion
seems to be that a uniform theory of this interface—if there is one—is more
likely to be framed in terms of semantic-pragmatic notions than in terms of
the syntax of Logical Form.

All Welcome!

Linguistic Field(s): Pragmatics

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