January 12, 2016

Research Groups: Friday, January 15

11:00 AM - 12:30 PM
Syntax Group
Group discussion of a paper by faculty member/alumna Susana Béjar (Ph.D. 2003/MA 1998) and alumnus Milan Rezac (Ph.D. 2004/MA 1999): "Cyclic Agree." Linguistic Inquiry, 40(1), 35–73.

1:30 PM - 2:45 PM
Semantics Group
Guillaume Thomas (faculty): "Modal economy and the temporal orientation of circumstantial modals." 

Condoravdi (2002) observed that the perfect aspect cannot take scope below metaphysical modals and argued that this restriction is due to a constraint on the use of modal operators that she called the Diversity Condition. More recently, Abusch (2012) challenged Condoravdi’s analysis by identifying instances of circumstantial modals that are subject to the same scope restriction but that cannot be analysed as metaphysical modals. Abusch argued from this observation that Condoravdi’s analysis of this scope restriction using the Diversity Condition was incorrect. In this paper, I argue that Abusch’s examples can actually be analyzed with the Diversity Condition, and I explain why not all circumstantial modals are subject to this constraint. I also argue that the Diversity Condition must be reduced to an economy condition that prohibits trivial uses of modal operators.

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