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Course Materials for Formal Semantics of Noun Phrases --
Schedule, Handouts, Readings, Assignments

SCHEDULE SUBJECT TO CHANGE  -- this is the version of May 18, 2010.

WEEK

TOPIC

HANDOUTS AND READINGS

ASSIGNMENTS

Week 1

Feb 9

Intro to Formal Semantics - 1

Handout [1-up] [2-up]
Seminar handout: a sample exercise
Readings: Larson (1995) "Semantics" Partee (1999) "Semantics" 

Partee (in press) "Formal semantics"

Homework #0: Anketa

Due Week 2

Week 2

Feb 16

Intro to Formal Semantics - 2

Handout [1-up] [2-up]
Readings: No new ones.

Homework #1: Lambdas

Due March 5

!!! !!! No class February 23! !!!

Week 3

Mar 2

Intro to Formal Semantics - 3

Handout [1-up] [2-up]
Extra handout: Keywords for Lectures 1-3

Readings: All optional: 
Heim & Kratzer (1998). Semantics in Generative Grammar. Chapters 1-3. 
Partee (1978) Bound variables and other anaphors

See other suggestions on Reading List

 HW #1 due 
March 5!

(Ask BHP for a copy of answers to HW #1. )

Week 4

Mar 9

NPs and Generalized Quantifiers

Weak and Strong NPs

Handout [1-up] [2-up

Readings: Larson (1995) "Semantics"
Partee, ter Meulen, Wall (1990), Chapter 14: Generalized Quantifiers
Keenan (2003). The definiteness effect: semantic or pragmatic?

Optional: Barwise & Cooper (1983), Partee (1989).

See other suggestions on Reading List

Homework #2: See class handout of Week 4.  

Due April 2

!!! !!! No class March 16, March 23! !!!

Week 5

Mar 30

Modifiers, arguments, numerals, and determiners: NP-internal syntax and semantics

Handout [1-up] [2-up]

Appendix on orange juice and chicken soup

Readings: Partee (1995) Lexical semantics and compositionality

Optional: Partee (1986), Pereltsvaig (2006), Matushansky (2008)


Week 6

Apr 6

NP/DP interpretation, quantification, and type-shifting

Handout [1-up] [2-up]

Readings: Partee (1986) Noun phrase interpretation and type-shifting principles. 

Optional: Heim (19821983); Partee & Rooth (1983) on conjunction and type-shifting; Matushansky & Spector (2005)

Homework #3:  Quantification, NP types.

Due April 16
or proposal for Alternative Hw #3-4-5: Project.

Week 7

Apr 13

Indefinite Noun Phrases and their uses and interpretations. Heim and Kamp. Landman's Adjectival Theory of Indefinites.

Handout [1-up] [2-up]

Indefinite NPs/DPs; Predicate nominals; Issues in the correspondence of syntactic categories and semantic types. Heim's Chapter II theory of indefinites as novel discourse referents with no quantificational force of their own. Indefinites as type e variables plus 'open sentence' semantics. Landman: indefinites are born at type <e,t>; Landman's "Adjectival Theory of Indefinites" vs "Montague-Partee" theory.

Readings: Heim (1982), Ch. 2; Landman (2003). Optional: Heim (1983); Kamp (1981);  Mikkelsen (2004); McNally (to appear).


Week 8

Apr 20

Plural nouns and mass nouns. Interpretation of bare plurals. Semantic typology of bare plurals.

Handout [1-up] [2-up]

Mass/count, singular/plural; kinds, individuals, stages; collective and distributive plurals, groups. Classifier languages. Typology issues, especially about bare singulars and bare plurals.

Readings: Link (1983), Krifka (1995),  Dayal (2004), Bronnikov (2006), Bittner and Hale (1995)

Optional: Carlson (1977), Bronnikov (2007)

Homework #4, DUE May 10 

Week 9

Apr 27

Bare plurals and bare singulars in languages with and without articles. NP-DP debates. Hypotheses about bare NPs. Semantic typology.

Including a guest lecture by Vadim Kimmelman on Bošković's claims that Russian has NP and no DP, and debate between Bošković and Pereltsvaig about whether Russian has DPs. 

Handout [1-up] [2-up]

Note: This is the same handout as week 8: it's a 2-week handout. There will also be a handout by Vadim Kimmelman on the Bošković-Pereltsvaig debate about whether Russian has DPs.

Readings: Krifka (1995) Common nouns: a contrastive analysis of Chinese and English; Chierchia (1998) Reference to kinds across languages;
Bošković (to appear) on DP - NP parameter; Pereltsvaig (2007) arguing that Russian does have DPs;

 

Week 10

May 4

Semantics of English, Chinese, and Russian numeral phrases. Definiteness in languages without articles. More typology.

Handout [1-up] [2-up]

Readings: Rullmann and You (2006) General number and Mandarin Indefinites; Partee (2006) A note on Mandarin possessives, demonstratives, and definiteness; Dayal (to appear) Bare NPs cross-linguistically; von Fintel and Matthewson (2008) Universals in semantics.


Week 11

May 11

Introduction to Pragmatics. Pragmatic issues in the interpretation of NPs and DPs.

Handout [1-up] [2-up]

Referentiality; definiteness and specificity; familiarity vs. novelty. Kinds of definites and indefinites. Presuppositions and implicatures. Expressives. Non-restrictive modifiers. NP speech acts.


Readings

Homework #5

Due 5 days before you want your ocenka or zachet, absolutely by May 31.

Week 12

May 18


Semantics of Possessives and Genitives.

Relational nouns; Arguments vs. modifiers. Two kinds of possessives?

Handout [1-up] [2-up]

Readings: Partee & Borschev (2003) Genitives, relational nouns, and argument-modifier ambiguity
Optional:
Vikner & Jensen (2002) A semantic analysis of the English genitive

 

Week 13

May 25

Genitives and Possessives, continued.

Russian genitive constructions as modifiers or arguments

Two presentations: 

In lecture para: Masha Rozhnova on DP-NP discussions in Russian syntax group

In seminar: Katya Garmash on Russian sam

Same handout as Week 12: [1-up] [2-up]

Readings: Nikolaeva (2007a) RGGU diploma thesis: Genitiv Kačestva v Russkom Jazyke; Nikolaeva (2007b) English summary of diploma thesis.

 

Week 14

June 1

Implicit arguments (or possibly a different topic)

Handout [1-up] [2-up]

Implicit arguments with adjectives and nouns like local and enemy.

Readings:  Partee (1989) Binding implicit variables in quantified contexts
Condoravdi and Gawron (1996) The context-dependency of implicit arguments

 

 

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