Last week, Katie went to Brussels to give a talk in the CRISSP research seminar. Her talk described the latest developments of her dissertation work: the grammaticalisation of posture verbs in English and how the semantics of the locative use interacts with aspect. She reported her most recent corpus data and proposed the beginnings of a theory about the differences between ‘to sit’ and ‘to lie’ when they are used with inanimate subjects. Thanks to the audience for really helpful feedback!
Also in Belgium: Katie was able to attend a lecture series by Bronwyn M. Bjorkman. The lectures were about tense from a morphosyntactic and semantic perspective. Bronwyn is a very good teacher and she presented the various puzzles of tense in an interesting way. Overall very enjoyable! During the week, Katie and her co-author Cora had the chance to talk to Bronwyn about their work on the grammaticalisation of Dutch and Afrikaans posture verbs (+ the motion verb ‘to walk’), more specifically on their use as aspectual markers in the periphrastic progressive. Bronwyn gave them some nice suggestions for future avenues. Thanks for a nice week in Brussels!
Katie was in Cambridge for a few sunny days, representing MEAT at CamCos 7. She presented joint work with Cora Pots (KU Leuven) on aspectual markers in Dutch and Afrikaans periphrastic progressive constructions. Their corpus data has shown that the more grammaticalised the marker is, the more likely it also encodes an evaluative component concerning the lexical verb’s eventuality. The particularly interesting aspectual markers are the motion verb ‘walk’ and core posture verbs ‘sit’/’stand’/’lie’. Although the conference is mainly a syntactic audience, they received a lot of interesting and positive feedback!
Local friends Agustín Vicente and Marta Jorba organised a workshop on Language and Mind, so that members of HiTT (the UPV/EHU theoretical linguistics group) and LOGOS (the analytical philosophy research group at the University of Barcelona) can get together and share ideas.
Amid philosophy talks, Katie gave a linguistic talk about the polysemy of posture verbs. Marta discussed the ontology of predicates like understand and see/watch, and how lexical aspect plays a big role there. Marina, another local PhD student, presented a proposal on how to formalise copredication constructions, with a modification on a previous proposal of Pustojevsky. The friends from Barcelona talked about a range of topics, from information theory and signalling theory, to personal identity and experience vs. bodily ownership. Very interesting to hear about topics one might not usually (think to) think about. 🙂
Looking forward to future meetings like this!
This year’s annual Deutsche Gesellschaft für Sprachwissenschaft (DGfS) was held in the south, in Stuttgart. Both Berit and Katie presented. Berit’s talk was in Workshop 8, “Reference beyond the DP” and discussed anaphoric reference in Russian (joint work with fellow SIGGRAM-er Olga Borik). Kristine Bentzen and Marcin Morzycki were the invited speakers. Marcin’s talk was especially interesting: he discussed possible solutions to a puzzle of modification conjunction, such as in Donald is ignorant and unpleasant, and his son even more so (i.e., the question is how to deal with the scales involved here).
Katie’s was in Workshop 3, “Evaluative Semantics”, organised by Patrick Grosz and Valentina Bianchi. She presented a talk on scalarity in the swarm alternation (joint work with Daniel Hole). The invited speakers were Andrea Beltrama and Farah Benerama. The workshop was a really nice one, with good discussion and an overall good atomosphere. Stand-out talks were by Elsi Kaiser, who discussed experiments concerning evaluations and how these differ depending on sensory domain and Peter Alrenga, who analysed two different kinds of `at least’. Also: since Katie did her MA at Stuttgart, she knows the organiser, and got involved in type-setting the conference booklet. Let’s just say she knows a lot more about LaTeX now!
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.
The invited speakers were Nick Asher and Robin Cooper, and there were many discussions about dependent type theory. 🙂
katie, begona, marina, bryan
It was a super cold time to be in Norway (read: snow!!), but the sun was shining and we even got some daylight to explore the town. 😀 Thanks for the laughs Begoña, Marina, and Bryan!
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 🙂