December 2, 2014

Research Groups: Friday, December 5

9:30 AM - 11:00 AM
Psycholinguistics Group
Becky Tollan: "How surprising is it to encounter Bill Clinton? Processing of Filled-Gap effects in complex WH-questions."

11:00 AM - 12:30 PM
Syntax/Semantics Group
Kyumin Kim (Ph.D. 2011, now at the University of Ottawa): "Dimensions of initiation: A case study of Korean."

Event structure is considered to have two major components: initiation and delimitation (e.g., Voorst 1988, Borer 1996, 2007, Ritter and Rosen 2000, MacDonald 2008, Ramchand 2008). Languages can activate either I-(nitiation) or D-(elimitation) of event structure: I-language vs. D-language (Ritter and Rosen 2000). For example, in I-language, an event can be delimited or terminated only if an initiation projection (FPinit) is present. In this paper, however, I argue that FPinit can minimally emerge as three dimensions: event initiation, control of the process of an event, and delimitation. I provide evidence from Korean that an event can be viewed as having developing stages only if an initiator of FPinit which is in the control of the process of the event is present. In other words, FPinit activates a Point-of-View Phrase (PoVP): only a PoV holder that is an initiator can view an event as having developing stages. Thus, only accomplishments and activities can be marked by imperfective aspect. I show that the other two dimensions of initiation (FPinit) - event initiation and delimitation/termination - can emerge as a coincidence relation between PoV situation and FPinit or between an initiator and terminator respectively. I support this with data from Squamish (Salish) (Wiltschko 2014) and Blackfoot (Algonquian) (Kim to appear, 2014) for each dimension. In essence, the proposed account in this paper suggests that in Korean, viewpoint aspect is participant oriented rather than temporally oriented, unlike in English: an event can  be viewed differently depending on whether a PoV holder is an initiator or not, rather than whether a PoV time is inside or outside of event time. This predicts that other parts of grammar in the language may also be atemporal, which seems to be the case. As preliminary evidence for this prediction, I proposed that that Korean INFL is underspecified for tense (time): INFL in Korean is anaphoric (not deictic). For example, I show that the morpheme -ess, traditionally considered to mark past tense, can indicate present or future time reference depending on an adverbial time phrase that anaphorically binds an event situation.

1:00 PM - 2:00 PM
Fieldwork Group
Informal discussion with Kyumin Kim (Ph.D. 2011, now at the University of Ottawa) about consultants, data elicitation, and a project with Darin Flynn (Calgary) involving Blackfoot young people.

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