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Course Materials for Ling 720 Fall 2009 --
Schedule, Handouts, Readings, Assignments





Check this weekly!  Course reading list with links
(updated periodically, so re-download it from time to time).

Week 1

Sept 9

Introductory survey of issues concerning implicit arguments.
Assignment for weeks 2 and 3 when I will be away: read Heim's dissertation, work through it together, prepare homework for Sept 30. (See Heim-work handout for more details.)

Week 2

Sept 16

Heim Chapter 1.  Handout.   Uniqueness and Familiarity theories of definites. Can Uniqueness theories be salvaged by positing implicit material?  (See Heim-work handout for more details.)

Week 3

Sept 23

Heim Chapter 2. Handout.  How does Heim's Chapter 2 anaphoric theory of definites work? (See Heim-work handout for more details.)

Week 4

Sept 30


 Heim Chapter 3. Handout. Making the semantics dynamic. Compare Chapters 2 and 3; the contrast between them sets the stage for many of the debates of the next decades. (See Heim-work handout for more details.)

Week 5

Oct 7

Pronouns, demonstratives, indexicals. Properties of some "invisible arguments" that make them seem like pronouns, demonstratives, indexicals, or definite descriptions.

Main readings: Partee 1989, Condoravdi and Gawron 1996, Zeevat 1999.  Handout

Week 6

Oct 14

Domain restriction of quantifiers and implicitly restricted definites. Debates about whether to capture them via implicit variables, a situation parameter, or other possibilities. Handout

Part I (Partee): on Elbourne, Stanley, von Fintel, Martí.
Part II: Presentation on Kratzer 2004, 2009 by Suzi Lima and Masashi Hashimoto.

Week 7

Oct 21

Implicit arguments and perspective with predicates of personal taste. Lasersohn's recent papers and related works. Contextualism in philosophy of language. (More in Week 9)  Handout

Readings: See "Dynamic reading list" (the link is above). Lasersohn, Fillmore, Kaplan, Kölbel, Schlenker, Lewis, Richard. 

Week 8

Oct 28

Part I: Elbourne issues, continued. More on unifying definites, pronouns, implicit arguments.     Handout.

Part II: Guest presentation:  Ana on Florian Schwarz's two kinds of bridging in German definites: different sorts of implicit material in the two different kinds of definites. (Schwarz 2008)   Handout

Week 9

Nov 4

Term paper proposal due.  Then make an appointment with me Nov 5-10 to get my feedback and discuss it.

Part I: Implicit arguments and perspective with predicates of personal taste, continued. Lasersohn et al (see Week 7). Stephenson on similarities and differences between tasty and might. Adding recent work by Moltmann on  First-person-oriented content, generic one, and relative truth. What kinds of arguments can be given for choosing between an implicit argument in the linguistic structure vs. a "judge" parameter of evaluation?
Part II: (not on handout; brief oral introduction only) Super-equi and other puzzles about implicit datives.  Today a very preliminary glance at Datives and Experiencers that are sometimes proposed for constructions similar to the ones Lasersohn has studied.  Grinder 1971, Kimball 1971, Partee 1975, and more recent work including Landau 2001. 
-- See latest version of Course reading list with links
No class November 11


Week 10

Nov 18

Implicit arguments, continued. Continued looking at issues related to Lasersohn's "Judge" (non-)argument with predicates of personal taste and epistemic modals, and the problems of faultless disagreement and others. What's in the semantics, what's in the pragmatics? What notion(s) of assertion are involved? Interaction between linguistic and philosophical issues, including issues concerning the contextualism-relativism debates.
Philosophical debates about contextualism in ascriptions of knowledge and elsewhere.

Guest presentations: Heidi Buetow
on pragmatic aspects of Tamina Stephenson's account of judge-dependence with predicates of personal taste and epistemic modals; is there a normative aspect to taste-statements that Stephenson doesn't capture? Ana Aguilar Guevara on the possibility of treating assertions as proposals for updating the common ground in certain ways, and can taking that idea seriously help resolve some of the problems in this area? Looking in particular at Section 5 of Stephenson's paper.

BHP: more on recent work by Moltmann on first-person-oriented content, generic one, and relative truth, and how it relates to work by Lasersohn, MacFarlane, Stephenson.
Main readings: Stephenson (2007) in L&P: Judge dependence, epistemic modals, and predicates of personal taste. Moltmann (to appear in Philosophical Studies), Relative truth and the first person. (Also Moltmann (2006) in NLS: Generic one, arbitrary PRO, and the first person.)

Week 11

Nov 25

Pre-Thanskgiving Wednesday.

"BHP term paper presentation". Topic: What Moltmann, Stephenson, and Lasersohn might say to each other. The main readings will be the readings by those three that have been on the agenda for Weeks 7, 9, and 10, and I'll be trying to relate them more explicitly to each other, to see how Moltmann's proposals might address various problems they identified, and to try to construct a debate they might have with one another and see where it would go.

And we'll include a little bit of discussion of the very interesting (and award-winning) paper "CIA Leaks" by Kai von Fintel and Thony Gillies.


Readings -- cumulative from weeks 7, 9, and 10, focusing on Lasersohn, Stephenson, and Moltmann.
-- See latest version of Course reading list with links

Week 12

Dec 2

Syntax Day: Guest presentations by Tom Roeper and Rajesh Bhatt
Implicit arguments and syntax. Lots about control. Debates about what needs to be explicitly in the syntax, with emphasis on studying the kinds of arguments used for and against.

Week 13

Dec 9

Last class: Participant presentations

Term paper presentations by Suzi and Masashi, Guest presentation by Floris Roelofsen.

Suzi: on first-person-based generic pronoun la gente in Brazilian Portuguese.

Masashi: on constructions related to coming and going in Japanese and point-of-view effects. Arguments against a classical 'empathy' account and for an alternative account.

Floris: on concealed questions, based on a new paper, Aloni & Roelofsen (submitted), arguing that the range of interpretations of concealed questions is much wider than has previously been assumed, and arguing for a pragmatic account.



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