March 15, 2016

Research Groups: Friday, March 18

Note that there is no Phonetics/Phonology group meeting this week.

11:00 AM - 12:30 PM
Language Variation and Change Group
Joint abstract review for Change and Variation in Canada 9, plus another Discovery Day if there's time.

12:30 PM - 1:30 PM
Semantics Group
Kaz Bamba (Ph.D.): "The identity of HOO in Japanese comparatives."

In this talk, I present my ongoing project looking at the semantic identity of the Japanese morpheme HOO. Despite its frequent appearance in comparative constructions, the first formal analysis in the literature was given quite recently by Matsui and Kubota (2010). Their analysis, based on the cardinality restriction on a comparison class, offers a straightforward explanation for the empirical observations such that (a) the distribution of HOO is limited to the context of a two-way comparison, and that (b) its presence contributes to disambiguate between two possible interpretations which often arise in a canonical comparative construction. Careful examination of the distribution of HOO, however, reveals that the morpheme rather seems to introduce a set of contextually salient alternatives, which may not necessarily correspond to a comparison class in the context. By demonstrating some additional pieces of data, I develop the idea that a specific comparative reading associated with HOO is not owing to the nature of the morpheme itself, but rather the interaction between HOO and a comparative operator.

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