UConn Linguists at NELS

The 53rd Annual Meeting of the North East Linguistics Society is taking place 12-14th of January, at University of Göttingen (https://nels53.uni-goettingen.de), and UConn Linguistics will be well represented, with main session talks by…
  • Linghui Eva Gan. Perspective Blend and Indexical Shift in Hong Kong Sign Language
  • Miloje Despić (PhD 2011, now at Cornell) & Michael David Hamilton. Consequences of Labeling for Morphophonology: v*P Labeling, Feature Interaction, & Direct-Inverse Systems
  • Paula Fenger (PhD 2020, now at Leipzig University) & Philipp Weisser. Matching locality domains across modules: A case study from Sinhala
  • Gísli Rúnar Harðarson (PhD 2017, now University of Iceland) & Cherlon Ussery. I’ll Give You that Interpretation If You Give Me the Right Configuration: Accounting for the Gradience of Inverse Scope in Insular Scandinavian
  • Hiromune Oda (PhD 2021, now at University of Tokyo). Definite articles need not project DP: A more fine-grained NP/DP-language distinction
  • Yuta Tatsumi (PhD 2021, now at Meikai University). Anaphoric interpretations of the nominal use of Japanese classifier phrases

… and poster presentations by…

    • Robin Jenkins. Accusative case in Turkish & Uyghur and the articulation of the verbal field
    • Ting Xu (PhD 2016, now at Tsinghua University), William Snyder, and Stella Christie. Investigating children’s understanding of Mandarin you ‘again’ with goal-PPs
    • Paula Fenger. Words (a)cross domains: lessons from Japanese verbs


    UConn linguists at Amsterdam Colloquium

    The 23rd Amsterdam Colloquium is taking place 19–21 December, 2022, and UConn linguistics will be represented there by the following presentations:

    • Ting Xu (PhD 2016, now at Tsinghua University), William Snyder and Stella Christie. Mandarin-speaking children’s understanding of you ‘again’ with goal-PPs (lightning talk/poster)
    • Yuya Noguchi. Non-past directives in Japanese (lightning talk/poster)

    East Asian Sign Linguistics

    The volume East Asian Sign Linguistics, edited by Kazumi Matsuoka (1998 PhD, now Keio University, Japan), Onno Crasborn and Marie Coppola, has been published by De Gruyter Mouton as part of their Sign Language Typology series. The volume is also available online.  The volume also contains the following chapters written by UConn linguists:

    • Shengyun Gu. Phonological processes in complex word formation in Shanghai Sign Language
    • Kazumi Matsuoka. Uiko Yano and Kazumi Maegawa. Epistemic modal verbs and negation in Japanese Sign Language



    Laura Conway Palumbo

    With sadness, we share the news that Laura Conway Palumbo, Ph.D. 1997, has died. Laura’s dissertation, Excavating Semantics, examined the theory and acquisition of discourse-bound pronouns, developing ideas of dynamic binding. She was an active member of the department and contributed to it in very many ways.

    The following link contains her obituary, photos, and information


    Lee | Glossa

    Si Kai Lee’s article “On agreement-drop in Singlish: topics never agree” has just appeared in Volume 7 of Glossa, as part of the GLOWing papers 2021 collection of selected papers from the 44th Generative Linguistics in the Old World (GLOW) Colloquium. The paper can be accessed online here. Congratulations Si Kai!

    Stefan Kaufmann | Talk at COCOA

    Stefan Kaufmann will speak as part of a forum at the Converging on Causal Ontology Analysis (COCOA) zoominar on Wednesday, October 12, 2022. The information about the talk is below:

    Was I speaking before I spoke?

    Some English expressions let us characterize states of affairs in terms of subsequent courses of events, even if the latter do not come to pass. Well-known examples of this are “counterfactual” before-clauses (‘The police defused the bomb before it exploded’) and progressives (‘Mary was drawing a circle when she ran out of ink’). Numerous proposals have been made to capture the modal component of each of these constructions, such as Beaver and Condoravdi (2003) for before and Landman (1992) for the progressive. Both refer to possible worlds and processes or events, but ultimately rely on notions that are less well understood (reasonably probable worlds; continuation branches of events). The connection to conditionals (‘If the police hadn’t defused the bomb, it would have exploded’; ‘If she hadn’t run out of ink, she would have drawn a circle’) looms large but is not explored in detail.

    Assuming that causal models are a useful tool for modeling (the relevant kind of) counterfactual reasoning, what might they tell us about the relationship between before-clauses, progressives and counterfactual conditionals? Are events crucially involved, and if so, how should they be represented in the causal model? A close look at all three constructions reveals striking similarities, but also stark differences. The similarities suggest to me that pretty much the same kind of causal reasoning is involved in before-clauses and progressives. The differences suggest that the notion of “event” that figures in the analysis of the progressive is not as useful in before-clauses. It turns out that the causal structure is useful precisely for abstracting away from other particulars of the events.