Upcoming LUSH talks

The following speakers have been confirmed for the coming months.
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  • Elizabeth Coppock (Boston University), Malte Zimmermann (Universität Potsdam), and Jenny Doetjes (Leiden University): Utrecht, June 7 (special LUSH event on occasion of the defense of Dominique Blok)

Have a look at our previous speakers in the sidebar.


June 7, special LUSH event

Here’s the schedule for the special LUSH event on the occasion of Dominique Blok’s defense:

Date: Friday, June 7
Location: Utrecht, Trans 10, room 0.19 (A.W. de Grootkamer)

  • 9:00 coffee & tea
  • 9:15 Elizabeth Coppock (Boston University): Range expressions ameliorate Depictive Sincerity violations
  • 10:15 Jenny Doetjes (Universiteit Leiden): Count/mass asymmetries
  • 11:15 coffee & tea
  • 11:30-12:30 Malte Zimmermann (Universität Potsdam): The Return of the Base Generators Reloaded – A QR-free analysis of modal-degree interactions?


April 5, Ana Bosnić

We are happy to announce that on Friday, April 5, Ana Bosnić (University of Groningen / Utrecht University) will give a LUSH talk in Utrecht. We hope to see you all there!

Date: Friday, April 5, 13:00 – 14:30
Location: Utrecht, Trans 10, room 0.19 (A.W. de Grootkamer)
Speaker: Ana Bosnić
Title: Event-distributive markers are not universal quantifiers – experimental evidence from Serbian


We put forward novel, experimental data on whether so-called Distributive Share (DS) markers are universal quantifiers, by investigating whether they have a Sorting Key (SK) that needs to be exhausted. There are two major trends in analyzing DS markers – one analyzes them as universal distributive quantifiers over events, predicting an exhaustivity requirement on the SK, while the other argues DS markers are pluractional markers that do not impose exhaustivity but merely a plurality of events. Previous experiments with intransitive verbs in Serbian and Korean suggested DS markers require exhausting over non-atomic groups of individuals, crucially not predicted by either account. In a series of three experiments, we investigated DS exhaustivity requirements further, by testing transitive verbs with DS-marked objects in Serbian. Our first experiment reveals the existence of two linguistic populations, each with its own systematic pattern of response: those exhausting the SK and those not exhausting the SK. Our second and third experiments show, however, that the source of exhaustivity requirements does not come from the DS marker itself, but from a different source.

March 28, Elizabeth Bogal-Allbritten

We are happy to announce that on Thursday, March 28, Elizabeth Bogal-Allbritten (University of Gothenburg) will give a LUSH talk in Leiden. We hope to see you all there!

  • Date: March 28, 2019
  • Time: 15:15-16:30
  • Venue: P.N. van Eyckhof 4, 2311 BV Leiden, Room 0.04

Title: Phrasal standards, quantificational standard markers: Evidence from Navajo
Speaker: Elizabeth Bogal-Allbritten (University of Gothenburg) (presenting a joint work with Elizabeth Coppock)

Abstract: Two analyses of comparatives have been proposed and, more recently, explored from a crosslinguistic perspective. In individual comparison the comparative morpheme takes an individual-type standard as argument, while in degree comparison the comparative morpheme composes with a degree or interval-type standard. These semantic analyses are typically tied to particular syntactic treatments (e.g. Bhatt and Takahashi 2011): whereas the standard is a reduced clause in cases of degree comparison, the standard consists of only a DP on analyses that assume individual comparison.

In this talk, I present novel evidence from Navajo (Dene/Athabaskan) to argue that while standards are syntactically phrasal (contra Bogal-Allbritten 2013, 2016), Navajo must nevertheless make use of (only) a degree comparison strategy. This result is unexpected on views in which a phrasal syntax implies individual comparison, and is surprising given Kennedy’s (2007) reasoning that any language with degree comparison should also have individual comparison.

The key data comes from the expression of superlative meaning in Navajo in which an existential quantifier serves as the standard of comparison. This superlative strategy has not been previously discussed from a formal semantic perspective and is crosslinguistically exceedingly rare (Coppock, Bogal-Allbritten, and Nouri-Hosseini, in prep.). Taking the superlative data as my starting point, I present a treatment of Navajo comparative constructions that is equipped to handle the apparent conflict between their syntactic and semantic analysis, and locate the analysis of Navajo within a broader crosslinguistic typology.

December 7, Renato Miguel Basso (Universidade Federal de São Carlos / Utrecht University)

We are happy to announce that on Friday, December 7, Renato Miguel Basso (Universidade Federal de São Carlos / Utrecht University) will give a LUSH talk in Utrecht. We hope to see you all there!

Date: Friday, December 7, 13:00 – 14:30
Location: Utrecht, Trans 10, room 0.19 (A.W. de Grootkamer)
Speaker: Renato Miguel Basso (joint work with Joost Zwarts)
Title: A semantic investigation of the Brazilian Portuguese preposition ‘em’


In its locative interpretation, the Brazilian Portuguese preposition ‘em’ covers some of the meanings of the English prepositions ‘in’, ‘inside’, ‘on’, and ‘at’. Since the spatial notions expressed by these prepositions are in principle different, ‘em’ presents an interesting empirical problem: how to characterize an item whose meaning overlaps with both ‘in’, ‘inside’, ‘on’, and ‘at’? In this talk, our main claim is that the interpretations of ‘em’ can be explained by working out the notion of “sphere of influence” (SOI).

In the first part of this talk we revise some possible explanations about the meaning of ‘em’, especially if this item can be considered ambiguous and/or vague. We will argue against these analyses and propose that ‘em’ is “indeterminate” with respect to the relevant interpretations. In the second part, we will show that an analysis based on a CONTACT-relation between FIGURE and GROUND is not sufficient to explain the locative uses of ‘em’, since this item cannot appear in all of the cases in which there is contact between FIGURE and GROUND, and it appears in some cases in which there is no such CONTACT. In the third part, we will expand on the idea of a SOI, and in section 4, we will revise the locative uses of ‘em’, and deal with its directional and temporal uses. We will argue that these uses can also be explained by the idea that ‘em’ denotes inclusion in the SOI of the GROUND.

November 21, Miguel Santin (University of Groningen)

We are happy to announce that on Wednesday, November 21, Miguel Santin (University of Groningen) will give a LUSH talk in Utrecht. We hope to see you all there!

Date: Wednesday, November 21, 11:00 – 12:30
Location: Utrecht, Trans 10, room 0.19 (A.W. de Grootkamer)
Speaker: Miguel Santin (joint work with Angeliek van Hout (RUG) and Monique Flecken (MPI))
Title: Means and results: change-of-state events in the memory of Mandarin, Dutch and Spanish speakers


Spanish differs from Mandarin and Dutch in how they verbally encode resultative events (i.e. events with resultant changes of state). While Mandarin and Dutch use resultative constructions to encode manner and result of actions together (e.g. in Mandarin: dào-măn ‘pour-full’, Chen 2016; in Dutch: vol-schenken ‘pour-full’, van Hout 1996), Spanish uses single verbs to encode either the manner or result (e.g., vertir ‘pour’ / llenar ‘fill’, García del Real, 2015). We investigated whether the use of different verbal constructions to encode results influences their representation in memory.

We compared how native speakers memorized event results in two experiments: Experiment 1 involved describing events shown in short videos (verbal experiment) and experiment 2 involved a non-verbal substitute task (non-verbal experiment). Participants saw 24 event-videos: resultative events in which objects suffered a change of state, and non-resultative events in which objects did not (n=12 each). Crucially, events were shown either as ceased (action came to an end at video offset) or ongoing (action still in progress at video offset). In a subsequent surprise recognition task, participants judged whether screenshots of the videos correctly depicted (as ceased or ongoing) the endings of the events they watched.

Results of the verbal experiment show that ceased resultative events had a positive effect on the recognition accuracy across languages groups. In the non-verbal experiment, Dutch and Mandarin speakers’ recognition accuracy of ceased resultative events was lower compared to Spanish speakers. We discuss that the habituation to use single verbs to express resultant changes of state boosted the representation of event results in the memory of Spanish speakers in the non-verbal encoding context.


Chen, J. (2016). When transparency doesn’t mean ease: learning the meaning of resultative verb compounds in Mandarin Chinese. Journal of Child Language, 1–24.

García del Real, I. (2015). The Acquisition of Tense and Aspect in Spanish. Doctoral dissertation, Universidad del País Vasco.

van Hout, A. (1996) Event Semantics of Verb Frame Alternations: A case study of Dutch and its acquisition. Doctoral dissertation, University of Tilburg. Published in 1998 in the series Outstanding Dissertations in Linguistics. Garland Publishing, New York.

October 22, Jos Tellings (UiL OTS, Utrecht University)

We are happy to announce that on Monday, October 22, Jos Tellings (UiL OTS, Utrecht University) will give a LUSH talk in Leiden. We hope to see you all there!

Date: Monday, October 22, 13:00 – 14:30
Location: Utrecht, Trans 10, room 0.19 (A.W. de Grootkamer)
Speaker: Jos Tellings
Title: The prosody of additives and the plurality of causation

Previous literature suggests that the prosody of additive particles (also, too) in English and German is determined by two factors: the information-structural status of the associate (Krifka’s 1999 “Contrastive Topic hypothesis”), and the linear order between the particle and its associate. In this talk I show that these generalizations are incorrect by considering a wider set of empirical data.

In the first part of the talk, I show that by considering all possible combinations of linearity and information-structural status, accented additives are more widely available than previously assumed.

In the second part of the talk, I consider additives that associate with clausal adjuncts, in particular antecedents of conditionals, and because-clauses. A crucial contrast exists between if-clauses and because-clauses in terms of their information-structural status, which has consequences for the interaction with additive particles.

On the one hand, it has been argued that because-clauses cannot be Contrastive Topics (Constant 2014), and why-questions require unique answers (Oshima 2007, Schwarz and Simonenko 2018). On the other hand, because-clauses can be combined using additive particles, and corpus searches reveal that it is very common to do so. This leads to the view that overt why-questions have different requirements than their covert counterparts.

October 11, Keren Khrizman (Heinrich Heine University, Düsseldorf)

We are happy to announce that on Thursday, October 11, Keren Khrizman (Heinrich Heine University, Düsseldorf) will give a LUSH talk in Leiden. We hope to see you all there!

Date: Thursday, October 11, 11:00 – 13:00
Location: Leiden, Wijkplaats 2 – zaal 5
Speaker: Keren Khrizman
Title: From Measures to Count Nouns: Numerical Measure Nouns in Russian

See attached PDF.