Archive | October 2012

November 9: Daniel Altshuler (Düsseldorf)

We’re happy to announce that on Friday, November 9, Daniel Altshuler (Heinrich Heine University Dusseldorf) will give a LUSH talk in Utrecht entitled There is no such thing as neutral aspect. Hope to see you all there (note the unusual day and time)!

Date: Friday, November 9, 2012

Time: 11:00-13:00

Location: Trans 8, room 0.19  (A.W. de Grootkamer)

Carlota Smith (1991) proposed the notion of ‘neutral aspect’ in order to classify aspectual operators in many of the world’s language as having properties of both the perfective and the imperfective. I argue that this notion is not necessary once we assume that the imperfective/perfective distinction is inherently related to the boundedness requirement: a VP-event part must either have culminated or not have developed any further (cf. Krifka 1989, Koenig & Muansuwan 2000). Based on the imperfective in Russian, the progressive in English and the perfective in Hindi and Thai, I argue that perfective operators are those that impose the boundedness requirement, while imperfective operators are those do not. I also argue that the culmination entailment, which many take to be a key property of sentences with perfective VPs, is actually independent of the perfective/imperfective distinction; it is inherently tied to whether an aspectual operator requires a proper VP-event and both perfective and imperfective operators may impose such a requirement. Finally, I argue that the culmination implicature, which many also take to be a key property of sentences with perfective VPs, is also independent of the perfective/imperfective distinction. Instead, the culmination implicature arises due to ‘competition’ with aspectual markers in a given language. I finish the talk by discussing how the culmination implicature found with the perfective in Hindi—which has a five-way contrast between two perfectives, the perfect, the progressive and the imperfective—likely differs in how it arises from the imperfective in Russian, which solely has a two-way contrast between the perfective and the imperfective.


Upcoming LUSH talks

The following speakers have been confirmed for the coming months.
If you wish to receive regular updates via email, please subscribe to our mailinglist. If you are interested in giving a talk, please send an e-mail to one of our organisers.

LUSH talk by Nadine Theiler (ILLC, University of Amsterdam): Utrecht, May 22, 10:30-11:30

Have a look at our previous speakers in the sidebar.

October 17, 2012: Emar Maier (University of Groningen) — LUCL

We are very happy to announce that Emar Maier (University of Groningen) will be giving a LUSH talk entitled Quotation and Unquotation in Free Indirect Discourse.

Time: 15:15 – 17:00

Location:  LEIDEN, van Eyckhof 4, room 005


Beside direct and indirect discourse, a third mode of reporting speech and thought has emerged in fictional narratives, the so-called Free Indirect Discourse:

(1)   Ashley was lying in bed freaking out. Tomorrow was her six year anniversary with Spencer and it had been the best six years of her life.

The passage starts with a third person omniscient narrator telling us about a character named Ashley. The second sentence starts with the paradoxical future+past combination “tomorrow was”. From a narratological perspective, what’s happening is that the narrator reports what Ashley is thinking (“tomorrow is my six year anniversary”), without fully switching over to the character’s perspective in the form of a literal quotation. In fact, the adjustment of tense (“is” –> “was”) and pronouns (“my” –> “her”) to fit the narrator’s story telling context, strongly suggest that it must be of the indirect variety. But then where is the subordinating “She thought that”? And why not adjust other indexicals like “tomorrow” –> “the next day”?

I argue against the emerging consensus among the (few) semanticists that have studied this phenomenon, that FID involves interpretation with respect to a shifted context, either by a covert context shifting operator, or otherwise. Building on recent developments in the semantics of “mixed quotation”, I then propose that FID should be analyzed in terms of quotation and “unquotation”.

Scheduling notice: timeslot Utrecht talks

A while ago we sent around an e-mail asking for your preferred day and timeslot for our LUSH meetings. Based on your responses, we’ve decided to make Thursday 15:00-17:00 our usual timeslot (at least for the Utrecht talks). There might be exceptions based on the availability of the speakers, so make sure to check the individual talk announcements for definitive dates and times.

October 26: Daisuke Bekki (Ochanomizu University) – special talk

Rick Nouwen (UiL OTS) has organized a special talk on Friday, October 26, Daisuke Bekki (Ochanomizu University) entitled Dependent Type Semantics: The Framework. We hope to see you all there! (Note the unusual timeslot.)

Location: Utrecht, Janskerkhof 13, room 0.06 (Stijlkamer)

Time: 11:00-13:00


This talk introduces dependent type semantics, a new framework of natural language semantics based on dependent type theory.  Main features of dependent type semantics are the following:

1) it is dynamic: it analyzes E-type/donkey anaphora with well-formed representations.
2) it is proof-theoretic: entailments between the representations can be calculated without recourse to their models.
3) it is compositional: the semantic representations of sentences are derived from the lexicalized representations by a fixed number of combinatory rules.
4) it explains accessibility: accessibility/inaccessibility of anaphora is reduced to the structural differences between proofs.

These are achieved by a specific way of combining type theoretical approaches (cf. Ranta (1994)) and the continuation-based approaches (cf. de Groote (2006)) to dynamic binding.  From the perspective of dependent type semantics, the source of dynamics in natural language is the dependence on proofs of the preceding discourses.

LUSH archives

We will soon add a list of past LUSH talks (including abstracts and/or handouts) to the ‘LUSH archives’ section of this website. Until then, all talks from 2004 to 2010 can be found here.