Skip to content

MIT Linguistics: Department of Linguistics & Philosophy

Massachusetts Institute of Technology


Syntax-Semantics Reading Group
Spring 2011

The primary aim of LFRG is to give you an opportunity to have informal discussions of your own and other people's ideas without having to worry about saying something wrong. Thus, practice talks and presentations of works in progress (or in regress) or papers that you find interesting are especially welcome.

The range of possible topics include semantics, syntax, their interface, and whatnot having a connection to either syntax or semantics. The idea is that a lot of research does not fit into the straight jacket of a narrow area - though it is by no means required to have any interdisciplinary interests to attend LFRG.

Meetings this semester alternate between Fridays 2:00-3:15PM, and are held in room 32-D831.

There are basically four main kinds of meetings: 1) presentations of one's own work, including in progress and in regress; 2) a genuine reading group meeting: everyone reads, or at least browses, some interesting paper, and we discuss it; 3) a tutorial-like meeting where the persons in charge tell everyone something about not so widely known things - like cool experimental techniques, math tools, new empirical results, etc., and then optionally people say what they think about that; and 4) brainstorming sessions: the persons in charge provide a topic and the necessary background, and the point is to generate some ideas about what one can do about the topic.

Meetings and changes in the schedule are announced here and by email to interested people. If you want to receive the email announcements, want to be in charge of a meeting, or have any other comments about the Syntax-Semantics Reading Group, email Igor Yanovich or Yasutada Sudo. An incomplete list of previous meetings: Fall 2010 Spring 2010 Fall 2009, Spring 2009, Fall 2008, Spring 2008, Fall 2007, Spring 2007, Fall 2006.

Claiming an LFRG slot is not scary at all - so don't hesitate to do that!

February 9 from 4:00-5:30PM:

Jaeger’s papers on game-theoretical pragmatics

At his colloquium talk on Feb 18, Gerhard Jaeger is going to talk mostly about the Iterated Best Response game-theoretical model of pragmatics. He has just finished an overview here.

February 18:

We will continue to discuss Jäger’s and related work, this time concentrating more on the technical side of the analyses.

March 4:

Luka Crnic
Semantics of bouletic predicates

Luka Crnic will discuss certain issues in the semantics of bouletic predicates. Suggested reading is Maria Aloni’s “Free choice, modals, and imperatives.” doi:10.1007/s11050-007-9010-2

March 18:

Jan Anderssen
Weak and strong readings of indefinites

Suggested reading is Partee 1989 “Many quantifiers”, just to brush up on the issues.

April 6: please note day and time

Alya Alsarina
Constraints on Quantifier Lowering
4:00PM-5:30PM, 32-D831

April 8:

Guillaume Thomas

April 15:

Igor Yanovich
On counterfactual de re attitudes

April 29:

Eva Csipak

May 6:

Alan Bale

May 11, 5:00PM-6:30PM, 32-D831:

Ciro Greco

May 13:

SALT practice talks