Ash Asudeh has been promoted to Professor of Semantics at Oxford University, where he also holds an appointment. He continues as Associate Professor of Cognitive Science here at Carleton.
Congratulations to lab members Daniel Di Giovanni and Marly Mageau on the completion of their master’s theses, Neural & Predictive Effects of Verb Argument Structure and Foreign Accents in Song and Speech, respectively. They are available on the theses page.
Ash Asudeh and Gianluca Giorgolo’s article Perspectives is now available in an early access version:
Asudeh, Ash and Gianluca Giorgolo. 2016. Perspectives. Semantics and Pragmatics 9(21). http://dx.doi.org/10.3765/sp.9.21.
We present a new solution to long-standing puzzles about substitution of co-referential terms. Our solution is based on a notion of perspective, where the speaker’s perspective can be differentiated from the perspective of the agent whose thoughts, beliefs, etc., the speaker is reporting. Our formalization is a conservative extension of the simply-typed lambda calculus utilizing monads, a construction in category theory that provides a way to map a set of objects and functions into a more complex space of objects and functions. This allows a lexicalist analysis of perspective whereby certain lexical items introduce potential shifts of perspective while others do not. We show that this provides the means to give a general semantics of perspective with respect to substitutability, allowing us to capture not just the standard embedded cases of non-substitutability of distinct but co-referential terms, but also cases involving no embedding and no distinct terms. We also show that our semantics generalizes to cases outside the nominal domain, such as synonymous natural kind terms and other predicates.
Lev Blumenfeld and Ida Toivonen’s article A featural paradox in Votic harmony has appeared in Natural Language and Linguistic Theory. The work that led to this fourteen-page article began in 1998. The paper is available here and the abstract follows.
In this paper we present a novel argument against strict locality in vowel harmony: a vowel’s feature may have a double identity, active in one process and neutral in another. Such is the behavior of [back] in Votic [i]. It is invisible to harmony, while simultaneously triggering an assimilation process. We argue that no feature-sharing account of this phenomenon is plausible, including the relatively powerful extension of Span Theory that permits vowels in a harmonic span to remain unassociated (and unharmonized) with the span’s head. We offer instead an account based on the Agreement-By-Correspondence approach to long-distance assimilation.
Ida Toivonen has co-edited a new book, Structures in the Mind: Essays on Language, Music, and Cognition in Honor of Ray Jackendoff, published by MIT Press. The festschrift was presented to Ray on November 15th in Boston.
Ash Asudeh and Ida Toivonen are co-authors of Lexical-Functional Syntax (2nd ed.), by Joan Bresnan, Ash Asudeh, Ida Toivonen and Stephen Wechsler. The book is published by Wiley-Blackwell. LFS2 is both a major resource/reference book on Lexical-Functional Grammar and a textbook for upper undergraduates and especially graduate students.
Lab member Raj Singh has published an article called Accommodating Presuppositions Is Inappropriate in Implausible Contexts in the prestigious journal Cognitive Science. The article is available here.
Raj Singh, Evelina Fedorenko, Kyle Mahowald and Edward Gibson. 2015. Accommodating Presuppositions Is Inappropriate in Implausible Contexts. Cognitive Science. doi: 10.1111/cogs.12260
Lev Blumenfeld has published an article in Natural Language & Linguistic Theory, one of the top international journals in theoretical linguistics. The article is called Meter as faithfulness. You can find it here.
Lev Blumenfeld. 2015. Meter as faithfulness. Natural Language & Linguistic Theory 33(1): 79-125.
Raj Singh and Ida Toivonen and former lab member Dejan Milacic have published an article in the prestigious Proceedings of Sinn und Bedeutung. The article is available here.
Dejan Milacic, Raj Singh and Ida Toivonen. 2015. On the Morphosyntactic Representation of Dependent Quantification: Distance Distributivity, Dependent Indefinites, and Skolemization. In Eva Csipak and Hedde Zeijlstra (eds.), Proceedings of Sinn und Bedeutung 19, 411–425.
Former lab member Claire Lesage and lab members Nalini Ramlakhan, Ida Toivonen, and Chris Wildman have published a paper in the Proceedings of the 37th Annual Meeting of the Cognitive Science Society. The paper is available here.
Claire Lesage, Nalini Ramlakhan, Ida Toivonen and Chris Wildman. The reliability of testimony and perception: connecting epistemology and linguistic evidentiality. Proceedings of the 37th Annual Meeting of the Cognitive Science Society.