On January 9-12, Laia, Katie and Elena attended the Winter School organized by the “Meaning and Grammar” network (SigGram, Ministerio de Economía, Industria y Competitividad, Ref. FFI2016-81750-REDT, PI: M.Teresa Espinal) and hosted at Universitat Pompeu Fabra, in Barcelona. We had three great lecturers, Klaus von Heusinger (U. Köln), who gave a crash course on information structure, Elizabeth Coppok (Boston U.), who explained her work on determinacy and definiteness, and Peter Sutton (U. Düsseldorf), who taught about vagueness and polysemy. It was a nice opportunity to mingle with junior and senior researchers in syntax-semantics-pragmatics, and to hear the newest thoughts on the topics.
This activity, which was locally organized by Laia at the UPF, will be followed by yet another event organized by SigGram, namely Sinn und Bedeutung 23, hosted by the Centre de Lingüística Teòrica at the Universitat Autònoma de Barcelona. The deadline for abstract submission is March 12th. Save the date!
Laia and Elena are back from Paris, where they have presented their recent work on so-called ‘Premise Conditionals’ (aka ‘Factual Conditionals’). The Colloque de Syntaxe et Sémantique à Paris takes place every other year and gathers formal linguists interested in phenomena that concern form and meaning.
This year, the invited speakers were Regine Eckardt (Konstanz), who talked about deliberative questions, Stephen Wechsler (U. Texas at Austin), who discussed various forms of v
erb alternations in relation to polysemy, and Marco Baroni (Facebook), who introduced the audience to terms such as neural networks and artificial children.
Paris is always a good idea, and so were the name tags that the organizers devised 🙂
From November 9th to November 12th, 2017, the Hizkuntzalaritza Teorikorako Taldea (HiTT) participated in the Science Week (Zientzia Astea) with a stand in the Bibat museum in Vitoria-Gasteiz. This year, the title of the stand was “Hizkuntzaren Zientzia” (The science of language), and it gathered citizens who listened to our presentation and/or played games about polysemy, articulation of sounds and the world’s languages. I think we did a good job at spreading the word about what linguists do and entertain at the same time. Thanks go to Laura, Marina, Lucía, Bryan, Aitor and Haizea!
Aside from the stand in Vitoria-Gasteiz, this year we also participated in the Zientzia Astea in Barakaldo with a workshop-talk entitled “Guk hitz egiten dugu. Baina, hitz egiten ote dute haiek? Giza-hizkuntzaren ezaguera” (We speak. But do they also speak? The human language). Myriam gave a very nice talk for 13-year olds at the Centro Clara Campoamor, who learned that some animals have very sophisticated communication methods, but cannot generate sentences that they have never heard before.
On October 5th and 6th, the Hizkuntzalaritza Teorikorako Taldea (HiTT) held the first meeting of the second edition of the thematic network ‘Significado y Gramática‘ (SigGram, MEIC FFI2016-81750-REDT, PI. M.Teresa Espinal, UAB).
In this meeting, we had the chance to learn about many participants’ ongoing work, including Katie, who presented on extra arguments in English. Elena had the opportunity to present the MEAT project, under the HiTT umbrella, and Zoltan was part of the local organization, along with the rest of the HiTT students (thanks, Laura and Marina!).
The next event in the series of activities that will happen as part of the SigGram iniciative is a semantics winter school at UPF, Barcelona.
It was very nice to have UAH-ers, UPF-ers and UAB-ers with us! We hope to see you soon in Vitoria-Gasteiz!
We are very happy to communicate that, as of July 7th, 2017, Katherine (Katie) Fraser has joined MEAT. She comes from the University of Stuttgart, and she has started her 4-year contract at the UPV/EHU to work on a dissertation that will be concerned with the interactions between lexical aspect and non-at-issue meaning, with Berit and Elena as her co-supervisors.
From now on, she will also join the rest in posting in this blog on her scientific activities.
On July 11th, 2017, Elena participated in the evaluation committee of Chenjie Yuan’s dissertation proposal. Chenje is both Laia’s and Enric Vallduví‘s PhD student, and his thesis is concerned with the expression of contrast in Mandarin and Wu Chinese. The other members of the committee were Louise McNally and Xavier Villalba.
On July 12th, Laia and Elena presented their ongoing work on echoicity, contrast and conditionals in a talk at the GLiF Seminar. It was a good opportunity to discuss how the conditionals under study, which are possible in Romance, are absent in other languages (such as English and German), and to establish that the similar German and English versions are not biscuit but regular hypothetical conditionals, where the consequent epistemically depends on the antecedent.
On Tuesday, June 13th, Berit and Elena presented their latest ideas on the meaning of subsective good. This was in the frame of the workshop “The Lexicon of Subjectivity“, organized by colleague Dan Zeman, at the UPV/EHU.
The other presenters in this one-day workshop were John Collins (East Anglia), Lisa Bylinina (Leiden), Hazel Pearson (Queen Mary), Carla Umbach (ZAS) and Sara Packalén (Stockholm).