Eventos do 2° Semestre de 2017
Data: 4 à 8 de dezembro de 2017
Data: de 1 a 4 de agosto de 2017
Resumo: I provide novel empirical evidence that the distinction between grammatical and semantic agreement can be derived from the theoretically postulated distinction between Spell-Out and Transfer (Chomsky 2008, 2013). I use the term grammatical agreement as a shortcut for morphological realization that is faithful to φ-feature valuation within narrow syntax, including failed agree (Preminger 2009), and semantic agreement for morphological realization that is faithful to the intended semantic denotation but does not necessarily isomorphically realize φ-feature bundles present in narrow syntax (e.g., feminine gender on anaphors referring to grammatically neuter nouns, as in German). I argue that a phase can be sent to morphology either (i) immediately after Spell-out, or (ii) after Transfer. In (i) morphological realization reflects only φ-features present in narrow syntax; in (ii) morphology reflects the CI-labeled structure which may be semantically enriched. Empirical support for the proposal comes from nominal agreement in Standard Italian, and conjunct agreement in Italian and Czech.
Resumo: Object mass nouns like furniture and footwear have long been a topic for linguistic debate. While they have the morphosyntactic properties of mass nouns, they intuitively denote sets of individuable entities. Rothstein 2010, Schwarzschild 2011 show that grammatical operations such as adjectival modification are sensitive to the apparently atomic structure of these predicates, while Barner and Snedeker (2005) show experimentally that that comparisons such as who has more furniture? typically are answered by comparing cardinalities. On this basis they suggest that object mass nouns have essentially the same denotations as count nouns. In the first part of the talk, I will show that the conclusions drawn by Barner and Snedeker (2005) are too strong: while comparisons of object mass nouns may involve comparing cardinalities, they need not do so. This allows us to draw a distinction between object mass nouns and count nouns: count nouns require comparison by cardinality while object mass nouns allow this, but also allow comparisons along other, continuous dimensions. I will support this with elicited data from English, Brazilian Portuguese, Hungarian and Mandarin. This means that object mass nouns and count nouns must have different semantic denotations, contra e.g. Bale and Barner (2009). But whatever semantics we give for object mass and count nouns, we need to answer the obvious question: If object mass nouns are not countable, how can they be compared in terms of cardinality? In the second part of the talk, I offer a solution to this problem, proposing that there are cardinality scales, which allow us to evaluate and compare quantities in terms of their perceived or estimated number of atomic parts without actually counting the atoms. This allows us to clarify the distinction between counting and measuring, and to maintain the general principle that only count nouns have countable denotations.
Resumo: There has been much interest in the semantics and syntax of numeral nominal expressions. Numeral noun phrases are used in (at least) two ways. Either to count individuated entities (e.g. five apples, five pieces of furniture) or to measure quantities of entities (e.g. five kilos of apples, five liters of water). Linguists often assumed that counting and measuring constructions have the same grammar. Either measuring was treated as a form of counting (Lyons 1977, Gil 2013) or, conversely, counting was represented as a form of measuring (Krifka 1989/1995). Recently it has been argued that at least in some languages counting and measuring are two different semantic operations which cannot be reduced on to the other. This view has been introduced and developed in Rothstein (2009, 2011, 2016, 2017) and Landman (2004, 2016). In this framework counting and measuring are distinguished as follows. Counting constructions involve a cardinal operation which applies to sets of sums of atoms (pluralities) and specifies how many atoms there are in each sum, λx. |x|= n. Measuring constructions involve an operation which applies to non-atomic pluralities and maps them onto a value on a dimensional scale in terms of numbers of measure units, λnλx. MEAS(x) = <n, UNIT>. Growing cross linguistic research has shown that the grammatical distinction between counting and measuring is attested in a variety of languages from different families including Hebrew (Rothstein 2009), Mandarin (Li 2011/2013) and Hungarian (Schvarcz 2014, Schvarcz in press, Schvarcz and Rothstein in press). Against this background Russian is an interesting case. On the one hand it seems to express counting and measuring in the same way as English (pjat’ jablok PL ‘five apples’, pjat’ predmetov PL mebeli PL ‘five items of furniture’ vs. pjat’ kilogrammovPL jablok PL ‘five kilos of apples’, pjat’ litrov PL vody SG ‘five liters of water’). On the other hand Russian has a range of numeral constructions which do not have parallels in English. These include (i) constructions with collective numerals (troe ‘three individuals’, troe studentovPL ‘three students/a group of three students’); (ii) inverted constructions with an approximative interpretation (knigPL pjat’ ‘about five books’, litrovPL pjat’ vody SG‘about five liters of water’) and (iii) numeral constructions with plural nouns and optional unit classifiers (pjat’ štukPL jablok PL ‘five items of apples’, pjat’ čelovekPL stroitelejPL ‘five persons of building’, pjat’ golov PL korovPL ‘five head of cows’). In this talk I will focus on the latter construction. I will show that these apparently counting expressions have properties of measuring expressions like five liters of water. Based on that I will argue that these constructions are not count expressions in which atomic entities are counted but, instead, these are measure predicates in which quantities of entities are measured in terms of natural units.