July meeting at UPF

thesis proposal at UPF 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.

Talking about ‘good’ in a workshop on subjectivity

poster-the-lexicon-of-subjectivity 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).


Nominalizations in Fribourg

Zoltan Zato presented a talk entitled “Degrees and entities in the nominal domain” in the 7e Journées d’Etudes sur les Nominalisations (Jenom7), which was held in the University of Fribourg (Switzerland) on June 1-2, 2017.

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The workshop brought together crosslinguistic works on nominalizations from different perspectives, including topics in syntax, morphology, and semantics.

Zoltan’s talk foccused on the semantics of three Spanish structures involving gradability and their contribution regarding the ontology of semantic objects.

2 MEAT talks in Oslo

The occasion was the workshop “Non-at-issue meaning and information structure” [NAIS2017]. It fit nicely with the goals and subgoals of the MEAT project, which revolves around the interaction between meaning types and has information structure as one of the case studies that we are looking closely.


Berit held a joint talk with Olga Borik entitled “The role of presupposition and information structure in Russian imperfective passives“, and Laia and Elena held a joint talk entitled “Echoicity and contrast in Spanish conditionals“.

On top of the lively discussion, we were lucky to listen to talks by linguists who paved the way for a deeper understanding on such notions, and then to an original format, which included comments on the invited talks by local researchers.


MEAT in Leipzig

Berit was invited to give a seminar talk in Leipzig on December 16, so she presented the joint work with Elena on Catalan bon ‘good’ as an evaluative intensifier (in examples of the sort a good while). Afterwards she and some of her Leipzig colleagues had a BON amount of Glühwein at the christmas market. Happy holidays everyone!

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A Cambridge experience


On November 23rd, Elena presented joint work with Berit at the “Anglia Ruskin-Cambridge Romance Linguistics Seminars”. The talk was entitled “On goodness and Intensification” and it delved into the intensifying use of subsective ‘good’, realized as bon (Cat.) and buen (Sp.) in examples such as una bona estona and un buen susto. The atmosphere was relaxed and warm, and the interaction was very stimulating. There seems to be an interesting line of research in the comparison of prenominal adjectives across Romance languages that can have intensifying effects.




Thanks to Norma Schifano, Michelle Sheehan, Luigi Andriani, Víctor Acedo, Olimpia Squillaci, and the rest of the fantastic audience.

MEAT in UC San Diego

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From September to December 2016, Laia will be doing a research stay at the University of California San Diego. Last Thursday, November 10th, she had the opportunity to present the joint work she is doing with Elena on echoic contrastive condicionals at Semantics Babble. Echoic contrastive condicionals are constructions such as “Si tu estás cansada, yo estoy muerta” (“If you are tired, I’m exhausted) which show interesting properties, such as echoicity, scalarity and lack of condicional interpretation. Elena and Laia aim to analyze this construction with concepts at the heart of the MEAT project, such as their peculiar discourse structure.