Archive | December 2014

December 11th: Edwige Dugas (Université Charles de Gaulle Lille 3) – Utrecht

We are happy to announce that on Thursday, December 11th, Edwige Dugas (Université Charles de Gaulle Lille 3) will give a LUSH talk in Utrecht. We hope to see you all there!

Date: Thursday, December 11, 2014

Time: 11:00 – 12:30

Location: Utrecht, Drift 23, room 0.12

Title: The semantics of morphological negation: nouns prefixed by “non-” in French

Abstract: In this talk, I address the question of the semantics of nouns prefixed by non-, e.g. non-remboursement ‘non-refund’, non-italien ‘non-Italian’, non-match ‘non-match’ ([non-N]N ). On the basis of a large corpus built on data drawn from the Trésor de la Langue Française informatisé, Frantext and the online press watch engine GlossaNet, I show that [non-N]N can have three different readings, which I call ontological, complementary and contrary, and that these readings correspond to the scope of non- prefixation over three different components of the semantics of the base noun: the referential index, the kind component, and the properties component. I also show that to each of these three interpretations can be associated a preferred formal and semantic type of base; conversely, each formal and semantic type of base has a preference for a particular interpretation of the derived lexeme.

Special Announcement: ROSE seminar talk by Nicole Gotzner (ZAS Berlin)

This is to let you know that Nicole Gotzner (ZAS Berlin) will give a talk in the ROSE seminar next Wednesday.

Date: Wednesday 10 December 2014

Time: 15:00

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

Title: Exhaustivity and models of implicature computation

Abstract: A sentence like ROB came to the meeting may give rise to the inference that no other person came to the meeting. Whether or not such an exhaustivity inference arises depends on the information structure and intonational realization of the sentence (e.g., Rooth, 1992; Pierehumbert & Hirschberg, 1990). In this talk, I will address the question how psycholinguistic experiments may adjudicate between different theoretical proposals concerning the mechanisms underlying the derivation of exhaustivity inferences.

The psycholinguistic literature in this area has to a large extent focused on scalar implicatures triggered by the quantifier some. One much discussed phenomenon is that the computation of implicatures incurs a processing cost, however, it is currently unclear what this processing cost is due to (see for example Chemla & Singh, 2014 for an overview). Moreover, the relationship between focus, exhaustivity and implicatures has been neglected in many previous studies (though see for example Zondervan, 2010 and Tomlinson & Bott, 2013).

I will present a series of studies comparing exhaustivity inferences triggered by the focus particle only and contrastive pitch accents. The results indicate that contrastive prosody is as effective in conveying an exhaustive inference like the focus particle only. This inference is derived quickest when the referent noun is preceded by only (e.g., Only Rob came to the meeting), intermediate when the referent is realized with a contrastive pitch accent (L+H*) and slowest with neutral realization (H*). These data can be explained under the following assumptions: (i) exhaustivity inferences come about via a silent only operator (e.g., van Rooij & Schulz, 2004); (ii) the application this operator incurs a processing cost, possibly because listeners need to decide among alternative readings of the sentence (see also Marty & Chemla, 2013) and (iii) contrastive prosody facilitates this decision process.


Pierrehumbert, J. & Hirschberg, J. (1990). The meaning of intonational contours in the interpretation of discourse. In P. Cohen, J. Morgan & M. Pollack, eds., Intentions in Communication, 271-311, Cambridge, MA: MIT Press.

Marty, P. P., & Chemla, E. (2013). Scalar implicatures: working memory and a comparison with only. Frontiers in psychology, 4.

Tomlinson, J. & Bott, L. (2013). How intonation contrains pragmatic inference. In Markus Knauff, Michael Pauen, Natalie Sebanz & Ipke Wachsmuth (eds.), Proceedings of the 35th Annual Conference of the Cognitive Science Society, 3569 – 3575.

van Rooij, R. & Schulz, K. (2004). Exhaustive interpretation of complex sentences. Journal of Logic, Language, and Information, 13, 491-519.

Zondervan, A. (2010). Scalar implicatures or focus: An experimental approach. LOT Dissertation Series 249, Utrecht.

Special Announcement: December 05th Workshop on the occasion of Hongyuan Su’s defence

The Leiden-Nantes Workshop on Tense, Aspect and Modality

Date: December 5, 2014
Venue: Lipsius 203, Leiden
9.30 – 10.30 Hongyuan Su, Université de Nantes
Evidence for a syntactic and semantic tense in Mandarin
10.30 – 11.30 Wei-Tien Dylan Tsai, National Tsing Hua University (Taiwan)
Bare quantity construction in Mandarin Chinese and the typology of

11.30 – 11.45 Break

11.45 – 12.45 Jiyoung Choi, Université de Nantes
(Degree) inchoative states in Korean

12.45 – 14.00 Lunch

14.00 – 15.00 Brenda Laca, CNRS/Paris 8
The forms of uncertainty : the Spanish epistemic future and the
Romanian future-based presumptive
15.00 – 16.00 Henk Verkuyl, Universiteit Utrecht
Events and temporality in a binary approach to tense and aspect

16.00 – 16.15 Tea break

16.15 – 17.15 Lisa Matthewson, University of Britisch Columbia
Inchoativity meets the perfect time span: The Niuean perfect