The 27th Colloquium on Generative Grammar [27CGG] was organized at the Universidad de Alcalá [UAH] by MEAT colleagues and friends Manuel Leonetti, Silvia Gumiel-Molina, Norberto Moreno-Quibén and Isabel Pérez-Jiménez. Right before the Business Meeting, Olga Fernández-Soriano, Isabel Pérez-Jiménez and Elena Castroviejo had the joy of presenting the book they have co-edited (with the support of MEAT and Ikerbasque), entitled Boundaries, phases and interfaces. Case studies in honor of Violeta Demonte and published by the John Benjamin’s series Linguistik Aktuell / Linguistics Today. We were very happy and proud to share some memories of the 24th CGG, unveil the table of contents of the book and thank all its contributors, including authors and reviewers. It was especially nice to be able to give a copy of the book to Violeta and celebrate this event surrounded by the theoretical linguistics community which gathered in Alcalá.
By the way, it was announced that the 28th CGG will be hosted by the Universitat Rovira i Virgili and organized by another MEAT friend, Isabel Oltra-Massuet!
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.
This year, Elena has collaborated again with Ikerbasque in attempting to convince young women that they can be scientists if they are willing to. Amanda Sierra, Matxus Perugorria, Ainara Castellanos and Elena Castroviejo explained their own experiences as women researchers to high school girls from Bilbao, who had the chance to express her doubts about the future and about the life we leave as scientist women.
As in last year’s event, Amaia Esquisabel (representing the Basque Government) opened the floor with her own life experience and the high-schoolers participated in a competition to determine how much we know about women scientists. In the meantime, Marimar Muriel painted two pieces, which were then donated to the two high schools, so the girls could tell the boys about this activity at the headquarters of Ikerbasque.
You can find here the article that has appeared in Deia (Basque newspaper), on May 4th, 2017, which reports on the event and on the data regarding the so-called glass ceiling.
Laia and Elena presented the paper “Echoic Contrastive Conditionals in Spanish” at the 47th Linguistic Symposium on Romance Languages, which was held at the University of Delaware in Newark.
It was the first time we discussed echoic contrastive conditionals in a conference and we had valuable feedback from other researchers interested in contrastive topic and scalar implicature. The atmosphere was very friendly and laid back, and the organization was perfect. Next time, LSRL meets in Toronto.
Hardly a week after the DGfS, Berit and Elena traveled to (sunny!) Leiden to present a poster at the Workshop Compositionality at the Interfaces, organized by Henriëtte de Swart and Rick Nouwen.
We enjoyed the possibility to discuss our work on intensification and evaluativity with interested poster visitors and authors who had worked on related areas, and to debate the future of formal semantics.
Berit and Elena were back at the annual meeting of the Deutsche Gesellschaft für Sprachwissenschaft (DGfS), which, this time, took place at the Universität des Saarlandes, in Saarbrücken. We presented our latest developments on the semantics of intensifying BON in front of the nice audience of the Arbeitsgruppe entitled “Sekundäre Information und ihre sprachliche Kodierung” (Secondary information and its linguistic encoding), organized by Daniel Gutzmann and Katharina Turgay. The invited speakers were Judith Tonhauser and Robert Henderson.
While we were supposed to tell how the positive polarity behavior of intensifying BON had to do with incompatibilities between meanings expressed at different dimensions, we realized that it had to do with the uni-dimensionality requirement on the intensifying meaning delivered by BON.
More information, here: https://www.danielgutzmann.com/secondary-information-de
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!