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Empirical observations on the interpretation of the Macedonian articles : master's thesis
Metodi Efremov, 2024, master's thesis

Abstract: This thesis investigates the use and the interpretation of three alleged definite articles in Macedonian from a formal perspective. It is concerned with the following questions: (i) does Macedonian indeed have a definite article? (ii) are all three articles in Macedonian definite articles or demonstratives? (iii) what are the formal features that distinguish among these items and how are they licensed in different semantic contexts? The thesis provides evidence that Macedonian has only one definite article – the t-root one – as it presupposes uniqueness and does not have a deictic feature. The other two items – the v- and n-root articles – are at the intersection of a definite article and a demonstrative: they have a deictic feature but do not presuppose uniqueness or non-uniqueness. In addition, it is demonstrated that Macedonian has a set of three demonstratives that have a deictic feature and presuppose non-uniqueness.
Keywords: master's thesis, semantics, definite articles, demonstrative, uniqueness, deixis, reference
Published in RUNG: 12.07.2024; Views: 227; Downloads: 1
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Why even ask? : on the pragmatics of questions and the semantics of answers
Elena Guerzoni, 2003, doctoral dissertation

Keywords: presupposition projection, questions, focus, negative polarity, semantics, pragmatics, dissertations
Published in RUNG: 27.02.2024; Views: 912; Downloads: 7
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Kazakh esh-words and negative concord
Assem Amirzhanova, 2021, master's thesis

Keywords: Kazakh, semantics, negative concord, master's thesis
Published in RUNG: 23.02.2024; Views: 864; Downloads: 2
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Questions on the interface : lecture at NETS, IUSS lab for NEurolinguistics, Computational Linguistics, and Theoretical Syntax, Pavia, 27. 11. 2015
Elena Guerzoni, 2015, invited lecture at foreign university

Keywords: Questions, Semantics, Pragmatics
Published in RUNG: 21.02.2024; Views: 868; Downloads: 1
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Even if, factivity and focus
Elena Guerzoni, 2019, published scientific conference contribution

Abstract: Pollock (1976) observes that some, but not all, even-if-conditionals appear to convey the speaker’s commitment to the truth of their consequent, a phenomenon Lycan (1991) dubbed as the ‘consequent-entailment problem.’ Providing an account of this phenomenon within a unified and compositional theory of even-if-conditionals has proven to be far from trivial (c.f. Bennett 1982, Lycan 1991, Barker 1994, Lycan 2001, Bennett 2003). This paper argues that once the focus and scope of even (in the sense of Rooth 1985-1996’s theory of association with focus) are correctly singled out, the truth of the consequent in the relevant cases follows as an entailment of the assertion together with the existential presupposition of even. This view is argued to be preferable over previous attempts in that it provides a compositional and unified analysis of even if conditionals which builds on independently justified theories of even and of focus association (c.f. Horn 1969, Karttunen and Peters 1979, and Rooth 1985). 1
Keywords: concessive conditionals, focus semantics, factivity
Published in RUNG: 21.02.2024; Views: 730; Downloads: 4
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NPIs in questions, disjunction and ellipsis
Elena Guerzoni, Yael Sharvit, 2014, published scientific conference contribution abstract

Keywords: alternative questions, syntax, semantics, negative polarity, strong exhaustivity
Published in RUNG: 21.02.2024; Views: 811; Downloads: 1
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On Karttunen’s "The syntax and semantics of questions"
Elena Guerzoni, 2022, independent scientific component part or a chapter in a monograph

Abstract: Karttunen’s article on the syntax and semantics of questions is a milestone in the truth-conditional compositional semantics of interrogatives and of verbs that embed them. It is the first comprehensive study of the mapping between the syntax and the interpretation of the three different types of questions (polar, constituent and alternative questions) and presents the first semantic analysis of question-embedding verbs (QEVs henceforth) that assumes the same intensions for matrix and embedded interrogatives. This analysis continues to vastly inspire the ongoing research on the properties of questions and QEVs. This chapter illustrates Karttunen’s theory focusing on those formal details that have been the most influential in subsequent literature. In doing so, however, I will take the liberty to suggest a less than literal rendition of these details, in an attempt to make the discussion more accessible to today’s reader. The main departure that I make here from Karttunen’s 1977 is in the formal framework. Whereas Karttunen adopts Montague’s PTQ, here I will expose his ideas in Heim and Kratzer‘s type driven semantics.
Keywords: interrogatives, questions, syntax-semantics interface, compositionality, wh-movement
Published in RUNG: 20.02.2024; Views: 683; Downloads: 4
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When tense shifts presuppositions : hani and monstrous semantics
Furkan Dikmen, Elena Guerzoni, Ömer Demirok, 2024, original scientific article

Abstract: This study shows that the Turkish expression hani exhibits interesting properties for the study of the semantics and pragmatics interface, because, on the one hand, its function is merely pragmatic, but on the other hand, it is subject to the truth-conditional effect of other constituents at LF. This notwithstanding, studies on this expression are remarkably scarce. The only attempts to describe its properties are Erguvanlı-Taylan (Studies on Turkish and Turkic languages; proceedings of the ninth international conference on Turkish linguistics, 133–143, 2000), Akar et al. (Discourse meaning, 57–78, 2020), and Akar and Öztürk (Information-structural perspectives on discourse particles, 251–276, 2020). In the present study, we introduce the first formal semantic and pragmatic treatment of clauses containing hani. Unlike previous accounts, we claim that hani can have one of the following two major pragmatic functions: making salient a proposition in the Common Ground or challenging one in a past Common Ground, therefore requiring a Common Ground revision. Despite its variety of occurrences, we argue that hani has a uniform interpretation and provide a compositional analysis of the different construals that it is associated with. Furthermore, we show that a formally explicit and accurate characterization of hani clauses requires operating on indexical parameters, in particular the context time. Therefore, if our proposal is on the right track, hani clauses may provide indirect empirical evidence in favour of the existence of “monstrous” phenomena, adding to the accumulating cross-linguistic evidence in this domain (see Schlenker in Linguistics and Philosophy 26(1):29–120, 2003 and much work since then). The definition of monsters is intended as in Kaplan (Themes from Kaplan, 481–563, 1989).
Keywords: tense, monsters, common ground, presuppositions, semantics, Turkish
Published in RUNG: 20.02.2024; Views: 767; Downloads: 2
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Two ʺmanyʺ- words in Italian? : on molto-tanto and cross-linguistic differences in quantification
Greta Mazzaggio, Penka Stateva, 2023, original scientific article

Abstract: This article investigates the variability in the meaning of vague quantifiers across different languages, focusing on Italian’s m(any)-words molto and tanto. The aim was to replicate a previous analysis conducted on Slovenian m-words – precej and veliko – examining whether the Italian ones exhibit a similar pragmatic strengthening effect. Using a sentence-picture verification task, we tested 88 Italian monolingual participants on their evaluation of sentences of the form “Quantifier X are Y”. Our results showed that, unlike Slovenian speakers, Italian speakers do not exhibit a difference in the evaluation of molto and tanto, suggesting that the two words have the same numerical bound and are interchangeable as amount modifiers. Our analysis suggests that there are underlying semantic distinctions between molto and tanto that require further investigation. These findings contribute to our understanding of the variability in the use of quantifiers across languages and highlight the importance of examining subtle differences in meaning when studying vague quantifiers.
Keywords: cross-linguistic differences, pragmatics, quantification, semantics, vague quantifiers
Published in RUNG: 03.10.2023; Views: 1287; Downloads: 8
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