Yasutada Sudo

This is me.

I'm a linguist at the Department of Linguistics at University College London (UCL). Here is my contact information.

  • Email: y.sudo@ucl.ac.uk
  • Address:
    Chandler House, Room 115H
    2 Wakefield Street
    London WC1N 1PF

I'm working at UCL as Lecturer since September 2013 (Lecturer is the British equivalent of Assistant Professor in the North American system). Before coming to UCL, I was a post-doctoral researcher at Institut Jean Nicod, Ecole Normale Supérieure in Paris (2012-2013). Before that, I was a Ph.D. student at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT) (2007-2012).

Very broadly, my research is in theoretical linguistics. Most of my research is about semantics, pragmatics, and syntax. I'm also interested in psycholinguistics.

My CV is here.

ESSLLI 2015 The Semantics of Perspective Sensitivity : with Lisa Bylinina & Eric McCready

Many expressions in natural language (e.g. left, interesting) are 'perspective-sensitive' in the sense that their meanings nontrivially refer to the perspectives under which they are used. While the semantics of such perspective sensitive items (PSIs) garnered some attention in the 70-80s, the recent literature focuses more on specific subsets of them (e.g. predicates of personal taste, perspective sensitive anaphora, evidentials) and discussion on similarities and differences among PSIs is scarce. Furthermore, despite the recent developments in the study of context sensitivity, especially the semantics of indexical expressions and de se attitude, connections to perspective sensitivity have rarely been made. The purpose of this course is to bring together the views offered by these different trends in the recent literature, aiming at giving a better empirical landscape of PSIs and developing a formal theory of perspective sensitivity in relation to context sensitivity.

  • Lecture 1 (Lisa): Introduction to Perspective Sensitivity [ slides (pdf) ]
  • Lecture 2 (Yasu): Shifting in Attitude Contexts and Elsewhere [ slides (html) ]
  • Lecture 3 (Yasu): Come and Go [ slides (html) ]
  • Lecture 4 (Eric): Epistemic Modality and Evidentials [ slides (pdf) ]
  • Lecture 5 (Lisa): Subjectivity, Predicates of Personal Taste

PLIN3005/PLING229 Advanced Semantic Theory B (2015)

(The lecture notes are also available as a single file)

PLING228 Semantics Research Seminar (2015) : with Nathan Klinedinst and Daniel Rothschild

  • Week 1 (16 January 2015): Introduction to Dynamic Semantics (Daniel) [ handout ]
  • Week 2 (23 January 2015): Donkey anaphora (Nathan) [ handout ]
  • Week 3 (30 January 2015): More on the Proportion Problem and Weak-Strong donkeys (Yasu) [ handout ]
  • Week 4 (6 February 2015): Review so far and problems of Brasoveanu's PCDRT (Nathan & Yasu)
  • Week 5 (13 February 2015): Foundations of dynamic semantics (Daniel)
  • Week 6 (27 February 2015): Plural Anaphora (Yasu) [ handout ]
  • Week 7 (6 March 2015): Truth-maker semantics I, Yablo on aboutness (Daniel)
  • Week 8 (13 March 2015): Truth-maker semantics II, Fine on truth-makers (Daniel)
  • Week 9 (20 March 2015): Truth-maker semantics III, Scalar Implicatures in truth-maker semantics (Daniel)
  • Week 10 (27 March 2015): Truth-maker semantics IV (Daniel)

@University of Hiroshima

集中講義, 広島大学, July 18-19, 2014.

The Semantics of Phi

ACTL, June 24-28, 2013. UCL, London, UK.

  • Day 1: Introduction [ handout ]
  • Day 2: Phi-features on pronous and presuppositions [ handout ]
  • Day 3: Problem of bound pronouns [ handout ]
  • Day 4: Number features on bound pronouns [ handout ]
  • Day 5: Phi-features on verbs, adjectives and nouns [ handout ]

Recent Papers

Breheny, Richard, Nathan Klinedinst, Jacopo Romoli, & Yasutada Sudo (2015) Does the structural approach to alternatives give us just enough alternatives to solve the symmetry problem? Ms., UCL and Ulster University.

Sudo, Yasutada & Giorgos Spathas. (under review) Gendered nouns and nominal ellipsis in Greek. Ms., UCL and Universität Stuttgart.

Spector, Benjamin, and Yasutada Sudo (to appear) Presupposed ignorance and exhaustification. To appear in Proceedings of Sinn und Bedeutung 19.

Bylinina, Lisa, Natalia Ivlieva, Alexander Podobryaev, and Yasutada Sudo (to appear) A non-superlative semantics for ordinals and the syntax of comparison classes. To appear in Proceedings of NELS 45.

Elliott, Patrick D., Andreea Nicolae, and Yasutada Sudo (2015) The Sticky Reading: VP Ellipsis Without Parallel Binding. In Proceedings of SALT 24.

Spector, Benjamin and Yasutada Sudo (under revision; 2014) Presupposed ignorance and exhaustification: How scalar implicature and presupposition interact. Ms., Institut Jean Nicod and UCL.

Sudo, Yasutada (under revision; 2013) Person features are not presupposition triggers. Ms., UCL.

Sudo, Yasutada (under revision; 2013) Metalinguistic quantification: Evidence from Japanese wh-doublets. Ms., Institut Jean Nicod.

Sudo, Yasutada (under revision; 2014) Presupposition projection in quantified sentences and cross-dimensional anaphora. Ms., UCL.

Bylinina, Lisa, Natalia Ivlieva, Alexander Podobryaev, and Yasutada Sudo (2014) A non-superlative semantics for ordinals and the syntax of comparison classes. Ms., Meertens Instituut, Institut Jean Nicod, Higher School of Economics, and UCL.


Sudo, Yasutada (under review) Another problem for alternative-based theories of plurality inferences: The case of reduplicated plural nouns in Japanese. Ms., UCL.

Sudo, Yasutada (2015) Japanese nominal conjunction only has the split reading. Snippets, 30. doi: 10.7358/snip-2015-030-sudo

Nicolae, Andreea, Patrick D. Elliott, and Yasutada Sudo (2015) Pair-list readings of conjoined singular which-phrases. Snippets, 30. doi: 10.7358/snip-2015-030-nico

Ivelieva, Natalia, and Yasutada Sudo (2015) Another problem for alternative-based theories of plurality inferences: The case of mass plurals. Snippets, 29. doi: 10.7358/snip-2015-029-ivli

Journal Articles

Hartshorne, Joshua K., Tim O'Donnell, Yasutada Sudo, Miki Uruwashi, Miseon Lee, and Jesse Snedeker. (under revision) Psych verbs, the linking problem, and the acquisition of language. Ms., MIT, Hanyan University, and Harvard University. [Accepted with revision for publication in Cognition]

Bylinina, Lisa and Yasutada Sudo (2015) Varieties of intensification: Remarks on Beltrama and Bochnak 'Intensification without degrees cross-linguistically'. Natural Language and Linguistic Theory. doi: 10.1007/s11049-015-9291-y [ pre-final version ]

Kotek, Hadas, Yasutada Sudo, and Martin Hackl (2015) Experimental investigations of ambiguity: the case of most. Natural Language Semantics, 23(2): 119-156. doi: 10.1007/s11050-015-9113-0

Sudo, Yasutada (2014) Dependent plural pronouns with Skolemized choice functions. Natural Language Semantics, 22(3): 265-297. doi: 10.1007/s11050-014-9107-3 [ link ] [ pre-final version ]

Sudo, Yasutada (2014) Hidden nominal structures in Japanese clausal comparatives. Journal of East Asian Linguistics. doi: 10.1007/s10831-014-9125-7 [ link ] [ pre-final version ]

Shklovsky, Kirill and Yasutada Sudo (2014) The syntax of monsters. Linguistic Inquiry, 45(3): 381-402. doi:10.1162/LING_a_00160 [ link ]

Hartshorne, Joshua, Yasutada Sudo, and Miki Uruwashi (2013) Are implicit causality pronoun resolution biases consistent across languages and cultures? Experimental Psychology, 60(3): 179-196. doi: 10.1027/1618-3169/a000187 [ link ]

Book Chapters

Bylinina, Lisa, Eric McCready, and Yasutada Sudo (2015) Notes on perspective-sensitivity. In Peter Arkadiev, Ivan Kapitonov, Yuri Lander, Ekaterina Rakhilina and Sergei Tatevosov (eds.), Donum Semanticum: Opera Linguistica Et Logica In Honorem Barbarae Partee A Disscipulis Amicisque Rossicis Oblata. 67-79. Moscow: Languages of Slavic Culture.

Sudo, Yasutada (2014) Presupposition satisfaction in attitude contexts and modal subordination. In Luka Crnic and Uli Sauerland (eds.), The Art and Craft of Semantics: A Festschrift for Irene Heim. Vol.2. pp.175-199. Cambridge, MA: MITWPL.

Romoli, Jacopo, Manizeh Khan, Yasutada Sudo and Jesse Snedeker (2014) Resolving temporary referential ambiguity using presupposed content. In Florian Schwarz (ed.), Experimental Perspectives on Presuppositions. Studies in Theoretical Psycholinguistics, 45. Berlin: Springer.

Sudo, Yasutada (2014) Presupposition. In Mark Aronoff (ed.), Oxford Bibliographies in Linguistics. Oxford: Oxford University Press.

Sudo, Yasutada (2013) Biased polar questions in English and Japanese. In Daniel Gutzmann and Hans-Martin Gaertner (eds.), Beyond Expressives: Explorations in Use-Conditional Meaning. Current Research in the Semantics/Pragmatics Interface (CRiSPI) 28. Leiden: Brill.

Kotek, Hadas, Yasutada Sudo, Edwin Howard, and Martin Hackl (2011) Most meanings are superlative. In Jeff Runner (ed.), Syntax and Semantics 37: Experiments at the Interface. New York: Academic Press.


Sudo, Yasutada (2012) On the Semantics of Phi Features on Pronouns. Ph.D. dissertation, MIT.

Other Papers

Sudo, Yasutada (2014) On de re predicates. In Robert E. Santana-LaBarge (ed.), Proceedings of WCCFL 31. 447-456. Somerville, MA: Cascadilla Press.

Shklovsky, Kirill, and Yasutada Sudo (to appear) Indexical shifting in Uyghur and the syntax of monsters. To appear in Proceedings of NELS 40.

Sudo, Yasutada (to appear) Person indexicals in Uyghur indexical shifting. To appear in Proceedings of BLS 36.

Shibata, Natsumi, Yasutada Sudo, and Jun Yashima (to appear) On (non)-resultative V-V compounds in Chinese. To appear in Proceedings of GLOW in Asia VI.

Sudo, Yasutada, Jacopo Romoli, Martin Hackl, and Danny Fox (2012) Presupposition projection out of quantified sentences: Strengthening, local accommodation and inter-speaker variation. In Proceedings of Amsterdam Colloquium 2011.

McCready, Eric, and Yasutada Sudo (2012) Operating on presuppositions: 'Sekkaku' revisited. In Proceedings of Formal Approaches to Japanese Linguistics 5. Cambridge, MA: MITWPL.

Kotek, Hadas, Yasutada Sudo, and Martin Hackl (2011) Three readings of most. In Proceedings of SALT 21. pp.353-372.

Romoli, Jacopo, Yasutada Sudo, and Jesse Snedeker (2011) An experimental investigation of presupposition projection in conditional sentences Proceedings of SALT 21. pp.598-608.

Romoli, Jacopo, and Yasutada Sudo (2011) Conditional and non-conditional presuppositions. The Proceedings of ESSLLI Student Session.

Sudo, Yasutada (2011) The small reading of the scalar particle mo in Japanese and negative polarity. Ms., MIT.

Hartshorne, Joshua, Tim O'Donnell, Yasutada Sudo, Miki Uruwashi, and Jesse Snedeker (2010) Linking meaning to language: Linguistic universals and variation. In Proceedings of the 32nd Annual Conference of the Cognitive Science Society (COGSCI 2010). [ proceedings ]

Sudo, Yasutada (2010) Metalinguistic semantics for echo questions. Ms., MIT.

Romoli, Jacopo and Yasutada Sudo (2009) De re/de dicto ambiguity and presupposition projection. In Proceedings of Sinn und Bedeutung 13 (SuB 13).

Sudo, Yasutada (2009) Invisible degree nominals in Japanese clausal comparatives. In Proceedings of the 5th Workshop on Altaic in Formal Linguistics (WAFL 5). Cambridge, MA: MITWPL.

Sudo, Yasutada (2008) An E-type analysis of tokoro-relatives. In Proceedings of the 4th Workshop on Altaic in Formal Linguistics (WAFL 4). pp. 279-290. Cambridge, MA: MITWPL.

Sudo, Yasutada (2008) Quantification into quotations: Evidence from Japanese wh-doublets. In Proceedings of Sinn und Bedeutung 12 (SuB 12), pp.613-627.

Sudo, Yasutada (2008) Japanese wh-doublets and metalinguistic variables. In Proceedings of International Conference on East Asian Linguistics (ICEAL). Toronto: Toronto Working Papers in Linguistics.

Sudo, Yasutada (2007) A metalinguistic semantics for echo questions. In Proceedings of the 16th Amsterdam Colloquium. pp.205-211.

Recent and Upcoming Conference Talks

Sudo, Yasutada (2016) TBA. ConSOLE 2016. University of York.

Nicolae, Andreea, Patrick D. Elliott, and Yasutada Sudo (2015) Pair-list readings of conjoined singular which-phrases. North East Linguistics Society (NELS) 46. Concordia University, Quebec, Canada. October 16-18, 2015.

Sudo, Yasutada (2015) The existential problem of scalar implicatures and anaphora in alternatives. Colloque de Syntaxe et Sémantique à Paris (CSSP) 2015. Université Paris 7, Paris Diderot. October 8-10, 2015.

Bylinina, Lisa, Eric McCready, and Yasutada Sudo (2015) Perspective-sensitive anaphora: The case of Japanese 'zibun'. Semantics and Philosophy in Europe (SPE) 8. Newnham College, Univeristy of Cambridge, Cambridge, UK. September 17-19, 2015.

Sudo, Yasutada and Giorgos Spathas (2015) Nominal ellipsis and the interpretation of gender in Greek. Talk at Sinn und Bedeutung 20. University of Tübingen, Tübingen, Germany. September 9-12, 2015. [ slides ]

Elliott, Patrick D. & Yasutada Sudo (2015) E-type readings of quantifiers under ellipsis: Consequences for the Identity Condition. Poster at Sinn und Bedeutung 20. University of Tübingen, Tübingen, Germany. September 9-12, 2015.

Sudo, Yasutada (2015) Come and go. Perspectives in Context Workshop, Georg-August Universität Göttingen. July 10, 2015. [ handout ]

Bylinina, Lisa, Eric McCready, and Yasutada Sudo (2015) Perspective-sensitive anaphora: The case of Japanese 'zibun'. Pronouns: Syntax, Semantics, Processing (PSSP). Higher School of Economics, Moscow, Russia. June 16-19, 2015.

Sudo, Yasutada and Giorgos Spathas (2015) Nominal ellipsis and the interpretation of gender in Greek. Poster at Agreement Across Borders Conference 2015. University of Zadar, Zadar, Croatia. June 15-16, 2015. [ poster ]

Sudo, Yasutada (2015) Notes on the semantics of nouns and classifiers in Japanese. Workshop on Altaic Formal Linguistics (WAFL) 11. University of York, UK. June 4–6, 2015. [ handout ]

Elliott, Patrick, Eric McCready and Yasutada Sudo (2015) Discourse even vs. attitude even. Poster at Semantics and Linguistic Theory 25. Stanford University. May 15-17, 2015. [ poster ]

Old Conference Talks [+]

Linguistic Inquiry Squibs and Discussion

I am currently serving as Editor of Linguistic Inquiry Squibs and Discussion, together with two colleages at UCL, Andrew Nevins and Hans van de Koot. LI Squibs and Discussion publishes short papers (up to 12 pages, excluding references and endnotes) in all sub-areas of theoretical linguistics, including not only syntax and phonology, but also semantics/pragmatics and experimental linguistics. We are working hard to cut down the turn-around time. On average, we get back to you in less than two months. If you have short papers, please do submit!

UCL Linguistics

This is where I work.

UCL Linguistics is in the Division of Psychology and Language Sciencies (PALS), which is part of the Faculty of Brain Sciences. It occupies the first floor (in the European sense) of Chandler House, 2 Wakefield Street, London, UK (open in Google Maps) and my office is there too (Room 115h).

UCL Linguistics has a Twitter account, but I don't know how it works (I'm yet to use Twitter).

If you are interested in studying linguistics at UCL, please visit our website for undergraduate programs and for masters programs.

If you are a prospective student, and are wondering whether to major in linguistics, you will find this page on our website useful. In addition, you might want to check these things:

You can also check the actual career paths of some of the graduates of our BA, MA and PhD programs here.

My Background

I enjoy reading about other peoples' lives in general, especially fellow linguists', so I write about my own here.

This is me, when I was three.

I was born in Japan in 1982, and spent the first 25 years of my life in a suburban area of Tokyo, close to the border of Setagaya and Chofu. I was raised almost completely monolingually, as are the vast majority of people in Japan.

My father and my grandparents, who I lived with for 19 years, are originally from Isesaki, Gumma, and always spoke the dialect of Japanese spoken in that area, which is different from my Japanese, primarily in lexical accents (there are a dozen or so words that do not belong to my Japanese as well). It seems I never picked it up, but I recognise its distinctive accents, and I think I have a certain emotional attachment to it.

Despite my monolingual and monocultural upbringing, I was always interested in languages, as far as I can recall. I really do not know why. But I remember that as a child I found it strange and interesting that people speak different languages in different places, and foreign languages do not make sense to me. And I liked learning English, which was mandatory at junior high and high school.

I met linguistics at International Christian University (ICU), where I did my BA. I decided to go to ICU without knowing much about it. It is not a famous university (it was not at least back then), and I hadn't even heard of it until I took the entrace exam. I had almost dropped out from high school and was not particularly enthusiastic about going to college, but my parents ardently persuaded me to apply (for which I cannot thank them too much). I applied to several universities, but ICU was the only one that admitted me. I chose the Division of Languages (which does not exist anymore), which turns out to be one of the rare programs in Japan that offer systematic education in theoretical linguistics. I got particularly interested in generative linguistics through courses by Tomoyuki Yoshida, Junko Hibiya, and George Bedell and decided to go to graduate school. My linguistics friends at ICU, especially, Ai Matsui, Hiroki Narita, Eri Takahashi, and Masahiro Yamada, influenced me a lot in making this decision. All of us became linguists eventually.

I went on to the MA program in Arts and Sciences at the University of Tokyo, and studied formal semantics with Chris Tancredi there in 2005-2007. I was lucky to be his student. I liked the way he taught and supervised his students. He has had tremendous influence on what I am today in many respects. But I defintely spent more time with another student of Chris', Satoshi Ito. Back then, I think Satoshi and I were the only students in the Tokyo area who had ambitions in becoming formal semanticists. We did many things together, but above all, we went to the LSA Summer Institute at MIT and Harvard in 2005. In April 2007, I wrote my MA thesis on the semantics of metalinguistic phenomena, and Satoshi wrote his on multiple wh-questions.

In September 2007, I moved to Cambridge, MA, to study in the Ph.D. program in linguistics at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT). Our class (Ling-07) was nine when we started: me, Peter Graff, Hrayr Khanjian, Claire Halpert, Jeremy Hartman, Pritty Patel, Guillaume Thomas, Jessica Turon, and Jason Varvoutis. Needless to say, MIT is an exceptional environment to do theoretical linguistics. I was especially happy to have so many people interested in the same thing as me, which is what I craved but couldn't have when I was in Tokyo. I was so lucky to have many collaborators at MIT and Harvard. It's not at all an exaggeration to say that I spent all my time there, just studying linguistics. It was sometimes stressful, especially final year was tough, because I wasn't very happy with my dissertation (well, very few people are, I guess) and I wasn't doing very well on the job market, but I was generally very happy, thanks to my great friends.

After getting my Ph.D., I had a postdoc position at Institut Jean Nicod, Ecole Normale Supérieure in Paris, France from September 2012 until August 2013. I was on Philippe Schlenker's Euryi grant on presuppositions, and worked closely with Benjamin Spector. Paris is of course an exciting city to live in (even if you are a linguist and not rich by any standard). I rented an apartment in Montmartre, by the funiculaire. It was a nice place. Besides the attractiveness of the city itself, Institut Jean Nicod is one of the best places in the world to do the kind of linguistics I do. If I had had more time, I would have stayed there, but, by some miracle, I got a job offer from UCL and moved to London in September 2013.

My native language is (Tokyo) Japanese. My English is OK, I think, but my French is not as good. I can definitely read things like news articles in French, and also understand most of what my francophone friends are saying, but cannot really have smooth conversations. I also speak Russian,which I started when I was 29, but it's very rudimentary and conversational, and I cannot really read or write. Besides these, I have tried to learn many languages before, including Spanish, Korean, Hawaiian, Uyghur, and Hebrew, but they did not really stay.