This last week, Katie popped over to Bilbao for a workshop on unergative predicates, organised by colleagues at Structures Formelles du Langage (UMR 7023, CNRS/Paris 8) and IKER (UMR 5478, CNRS), and the research groups Bas&Be (FFI2014-51878-P UPV/EHU) and the Bilingual Mind (IT665-13 UPV/EHU); Ane Berro was the main organiser, at the University of Deusto. The keynote speakers were Gillian Ramchand, Fabienne Martin, and Alec Marantz.
It was interesting to hear the puzzles– and proposals– that people have found in various languages (there were talks not just on Basque or Urdu, but also German, Latin, and Yucatan)!
At the beginning of December, Katie attended the annual BCGL conference, hosted by the CRISSP research group of KU Leuven. Each year, the conference has a different theme; this year’s was The morphology and semantics of person and number. Although not Katie’s main topic, the programme was full of interesting talks— plus Martina Wiltschko was an invited speaker, and she is not soo often in Europe. Martina presented new research with E. Ritter on pragmatic person. Valentina Bianchi discussed kaplanian contexts when anchoring person and Thomas McFadden compared allocutive agreement accounts of Basque with his Tamil data. Overall, there was a lot of nice typological empirical data.
While in Belgium, Katie was also able to do some work with her co-author, Cora Pots, on their project about motion verbs as progressive markers in verb clusters of Dutch and Afrikaans. This fall, Cora has been developping a syntactic analysis for her dissertation (on te-drop in Dutch verb clusters) that they will be able to use for the cross-linguistic look at the progressive markers.
After Oslo–and a snow-delay–Katie stopped in Cologne for a workshop on event semantics, organised by Carla Umbach and Stefan Hinterwimmer at Universität zu Köln . There she presented a new version of the work she’d presented in Zurich and Lagodekhi, about locative subjects in an English change-of-state construction, and received a lot of good feedback. With this feedback, she’ll hopefully be able to start writing it all down. 😉
The invited speaker was Alte Grønn, who told us about viewpoint from a slavic perspective. Other speakers were mainly from German universities, and included Jens Fleischhauer & Thomas Gamerschlag on scalarity and telicity in fictive motion, Frauke Buscher on whether sound emission verbs can be analysed as motion verbs, and Katja Gobrovska on the German adverb sorgfältig. And although there were no Christmas market visits, the participants enjoyed some of the famous, tiny Kölsch beers. 😉
Katie and some colleagues from the UPV/EHU went to the Workshop on Approaches to Coercion and Polysemy in Oslo, Norway. Organised by Alexandra Spalek and Matthew Gotham, the workshop was a nice gathering of semanticists, philosophers, computational linguists, and even a psycholinguist. Katie presented a part of her MA thesis, about the polysemy of one English posture verb and discussed whether or not coercion is at play, and Bryan Leferman of his dissertation, which examined evaluative adjectives and the status of events in our ontology.
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 🙂
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!
The symposium itself was wonderful: super organisation, beautiful location at the foot of the Caucausus mountains, and a great group of people. While there, Katie was able to meet many new and old friends in the linguistics and logic community (list of speakers can be found here), all while getting to know the Georgian culture and cuisine. All in all a good time!