October 20, 2015

Research Groups: Friday, October 23

9:30 AM - 11:00 AM
Psycholinguistics Group
Patrick Murphy presenting results from an experiment on the perception of affricates in phonologically licensed (and non-licensed) contexts in Quebecois and European French participants.

11:00 AM - 12:30 PM
Syntax Group
Nicholas Welch: "Looking high and low for the poor overworked copula."

A common and long-standing assumption in syntactic literature (Higginbotham 1985, Moro 1997, Shlonsky 1997) is that copulas are last-resort spellouts of inflectional features, without any further role in predication. The competing view, that they realize a predicative relation, is often tied to a purported division of labour between strict predication, identification, and specification (Higgins 1979, Mikkelen 2011, Heycock 2012, etc.). I present evidence from Tłıcı̨hǫ Yatıì, Ts'úùt'ínà, Mandarin, and Welsh in support of an analysis of copulas as multi-role workhorses, semantically light, which can merge at various clausal projections, either low to realize predication, or higher to realize inflection. I demonstrate that in some languages (e.g., Tłıcı̨hǫ Yatıì, Ts'úùt'ínà) a single copular form can be shown to merge at different points depending upon the category of the predicate, while in others, (e.g., Welsh) the workload of predication and inflection is handled by different copulas. I show in addition, based on the distribution of the copula in Mandarin, that the view of copulas as strictly realizations of inflection is untenable, and that multiple copulas, in languages that have them, generally do not reflect the proposed division between predicational, identificational and specificational.

1:00 PM - 2:00 PM
Fieldwork Group
Group discussion of a short article about planning semantic elicitation, in some respects extendable to planning an elicitation session in general: "The Problem with No-Nonsense Elicitation Plans (for Semantic Fieldwork)" by Meagan Louie (MA 2008, now at the University of British Columbia) - a chapter in Ryan Bochnak and Lisa Matthewson's recent book Methodologies in Semantic Fieldwork.

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