News at the 28th Semantics and Linguistic Theory (SALT) conference

There will be several presentations by members at The 28th Semantics and Linguistic Theory (SALT) conference, which will take place on May 18-20, 2018 at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology, Cambridge, MA. coordinator Uli Sauerland (ZAS Berlin) will give a talk on Saturday, May 19th at 9 a.m. on “The Thought Uniqueness Hypothesis”.

Furthermore there will be four poster presentations by members.

On Friday, May 18th at the Poster session 2 (4:00-5:30), members Nicole Gotzner (SiGames, Berlin), Stephanie Solt (associate, ZAS Berlin) and Anton Benz (SiGames, Berlin) will present a poster on “Scalar implicature and negative strengthening in different types of gradable adjectives”

On Saturday, May 19th at the Poster session 3 (11:30-1:00), Nicole Gotzner will present a second poster together with Jacopo Romoli (Ulster) and Paolo Santorio (San Diego) on “More free choice and more inclusion: An experimental investigation of free choice in non-monotonic environments”

On Saturday, May 19th at the Poster session 4 (4:00-5:30), associate Stephanie Solt will present a second poster together with Jon Stevens (Ohio) on “Some three students: Towards a unified account of ‘some’”. A further poster will be presented by member Carla Bombi (ExQ, Potsdam) on “Definiteness in Akan (Kwa): familiarity and uniqueness revisited”.

Talk by PhD-student Carla Bombi from project “ExQ” in Potsdam

On May 8th, PhD-student Carla Bombi from project “ExQ” in Potsdam will present joint work with Lea Fricke (Graz), Edgar Onea (Graz) and Malte Zimmermann (Potsdam) in the SynSem colloquium. The title of the talk is “Exhaustivity in questions: Two pilot studies on interrogatives embedded under German wissen (know)”

Time and venue: 8th May 2018, 16.15 – 17.45; Potsdam Golm, building 14, room 0.32

The talk is concerned with sentences such as (1), containing an interrogative clause embedded under the factive “know”:
(1) Johannes knows which students failed.
The semantic literature disagrees as to what (1) means, concretely how much Johannes needs to know for (1) to be true: does he have to know of every student that failed that she failed? Or is partial knowledge sufficient? Is knowledge about the set of people who didn’t fail also required? As a result of this debate, a number of so-called “exhaustivity levels” have been posited in the literature, which capture the different conceivable readings of (1). Although there is a consensus that some notion of exhaustivity/completeness is required in this type of sentences, its exact source and the conditions under which it arises are still unclear. Elucidating the readings that are possible and as well as their sources is crucial for understanding the semantics of
(embedded) questions.
In this talk, we present the results of two pilot studies on German interrogatives embedded under “wissen” (“know”). In the first study, the availability of the different “exhaustivity levels” was tested for sentences such as (1) in a truth value judgement task. The second study investigates the sources of exhaustivity in (1). The hypothesis entertained is that two of the readings that have been posited for (1) (the so-called strongly exhaustive and intermediate exhaustive readings) arise as the result of a de re / de dicto ambiguity, i.e. a clash between the knowledege of the reporter of the sentence and the knowledge of the subject (“Johannes” in (1)).

Talk by member Marie-Christine Meyer in Göttingen

On May 8th, Marie-Christine Meyer from project LISI at ZAS Berlin will give a talk at the Oberseminar English Linguistics (Syntax–Semantics). The title of the talk is “Towards a compositional semantics for L+H*LH%”

In this talk I will work towards a compositional semantics of complex intonational structures involving a contrastive pitch accent L+H* and a final fall or rise (LL% or LH%). I will show how the semantic composition of L+H* with LX% offers a unifying new perspective on constructions traditionally described as “meta-linguistic negation”, “contrastive negation” and “contrastive focus”.

Deadline extended to May 15th! Workshop “Scalar Implicatures: Formal and Experimental Exploration” (July 11-13) in Siena

On July 11-13, 2018 the workshop “Scalar Implicatures: Formal and Experimental Exploration” will take place at the University of Siena, Italy. The workshop is organized by associate Salvatore Pistoia-Reda (ZAS Berlin, U Siena), coordinator Uli Sauerland (ZAS Berlin), associate Filippo Domaneschi (U Genoa for and Valentina Bianchi (U Siena). The new deadline for submissions is May 15th, 2018. More details and the call for papers can be found here!

Call for submissions Workshop “Computational Models of Language Generation and Processing in Pragmatics” in Bochum, September 26-28, 2018

On September 26-28, 2018, the workshop “Computational Models of Language Generation and Processing in Pragmatics” will take place at the Ruhr-Universität Bochum, Germany. The workshop is organized by the members Anton Benz (SiGames, ZAS Berlin), Michael Franke (Pro^3, Tübingen), Matthias Unterhuber and Markus Werning (both BayesPrag@EEG, Bochum) together with Christoph Hesse (ZAS Berlin) and Ralf Klabunde (Bochum). Deadline for submissions is June 1st, 2018! Please find the call for papers and more details here.

Camelia Adina Bleotu visits ZAS Berlin this week

This week, Camelia Adina Bleotu (ICUB, University of Bucharest) is visiting the projects at ZAS Berlin. Camelia is the principal investigator of a project on Experimental Pragmatics for Romanian (IRH-ICUB Grant). Today, she gave a talk on “Scalar Implicatures with Quantifiers in Child Romanian”

Call for submissions to the workshop “The pragmatics of quantifiers: implicature and presupposition”, June 6-7 at ZAS Berlin

On June 6-7th, 2018 the workshop “The pragmatics of quantifiers: implicature and presupposition” will take place at ZAS Berlin. The workshop is organized by Bob van Tiel and Uli Sauerland from the project “MUQTASP” together with associate Stephanie Solt (ZAS Berlin). Deadline for submissions is April 15th, 2018. More details and the call for papers can be found here! at CUNY 2018

An impressive number of members will present at the 31st Annual CUNY Sentence Processing Conference to be held at UCDavis, University of California, March 15-17, 2018.

On Thursday March 15th, 2018 at Poster Session A (6:00 PM – 8:00 PM), five posters will be presented by members:

  • “Predicting the negative: Investigating the comprehension of negated sentences in an event-related potential study”, Viviana Haase and Markus Werning (BayesPrag@EEG, Bochum)
  • “Incremental processing relies on underspecified morphosyntactic information”, Florian Bogner and Petra Schumacher (InfoPer2, Cologne)
  • “Adapting to the unreliable – speech adaptation in real-time interpretation of intonation”, Timo Roettger and Michael Franke (Pro^3, Tübingen)
  • “Communicative efficiency and implicature in multi-party conversation”, Nicole Gotzner (SiGames, ZAS Berlin), Lisa Raithel and Anton Benz (SiGames, ZAS Berlin)
  • “Rates of scalar inferences beyond ‘some’ – A corpus study”, Chao Sun (Fellow in MUQTASP, ZAS Berlin), Ye Tian and Richard Breheny

On Friday March 16, 2018 at Poster Session B (12:00 PM – 2:00 PM), 11 posters and one talk will be presented by members:

  • “The Aging Factor in Processing Presuppositions”, Simona Di Paola and Filippo Domaneschi ( associate, EXPRESS)
  • “Approaching scalar diversity through (RSA with) Lexical Uncertainty”, Chao Sun (Fellow in MUQTASP, ZAS Berlin) and Richard Breheny
  • “Integrating Listener and Speaker Characteristics into the Coordinated Interplay Account”, Katja Münster and Pia Knoeferle (FoTeRo, Berlin)
  • “Evidence for multiple memory representations from discourse anaphora and ellipsis”, John Duff and Lyn Frazier ( Mercator Fellow)
  • “Pronouns at the right frontier: discourse structure affects accessibility of final appositives”, Alexander Göbel (Fellow in InfoPer, Cologne)
  • “Exploring? Adjective? Ordering Preferences via Artificial Language Learning”, Michael Hahn, Richard Futrell and Judith Degen (Pro^3, Stanford)
  • “If I were you: Inducing Non-default Interpretations of Perspective-sensitive Items in the Visual World”, Johanna Klages (ProProCon, Göttingen), Elsi Kaiser, Anke Holler (ProProCon, Göttingen) and Thomas Weskott (ProProCon, Göttingen)
  • “Attentional cueing in non-canonical OVS sentences in German”, Diana Dimitrova and Petra B. Schumacher (InfoPer2, Cologne)
  • “Be timely: how turn-taking gaps constrain the integration of alternatives in implicatures”, John Michael Tomlinson, Jr. ( associate, ZAS Berlin)
  • “Shared mechanism underlying non-embedded and embedded enrichments: evidence from enrichment priming”, Chao Sun (Fellow in MUQTASP, ZAS Berlin) and Richard Breheny
  • “What do eye movements in the visual world reflect? A case study from adjectives”, Ciyang Qing, Daniel Lassiter ( associate, Stanford) and Judith Degen (Pro^3, Stanford)

In the afternoon at 2:00 PM, there will be a talk by Maria Spychalska (ImpliPer, Cologne), Viviana Haase, Jarmo Kontinen and Markus Werning (BayesPrag@EEG, Bochum) on “The role of alternatives in the processing of affirmative and negative sentences”.

On Saturday March 15, 2018 at 9:00 AM, coordinator Petra Schumacher (Cologne) will give a talk together with Melanie Fuchs on “Neural correlates of attentional (re-)orientation: The case of German demonstratives”.

At Poster Session C (12:00 PM – 2:00 PM) two further posters with members involved will be presented:

  • “Mutual Information Impacts Adjective Ordering Across Languages”, Michael Hahn, Richard Futrell, Judith Degen (Pro^3, Stanford), Dan Jurafsky and Noah Goodman
  • “Verbs, not subjects, drive subject-as-agent misinterpretation in children’s comprehension of passives”, Lara Ehrenhofer, Kazuko Yatsushiro ( associate, ZAS Berlin), Tom Fritzsche, Barbara Höhle, Jeffrey Lidz, Colin Phillips and Yi Ting Huang at the 40th Annual Meeting of the DGfS in Stuttgart

There will be serveral contributions by members at the 40th Annual Meeting of the German Linguistic Society (DGfS) to be held at the University of Stuttgart from March 7th-9th, 2018. coordinator Petra Schumacher is one of the organizers of the workshop AG2 on “The relation between prosodic and referential structure”. At this workshop, there will be a talk on March 7th, at 15:15 by principal investigator Stavros Skopeteas from project “FoTeRo” (now in Göttingen) together with Markus Greif on “Discourse status, lexical mention, and prosodic plasticity”. On March 8th, at 10:00, member Nicole Gotzner from project “SIGames” will talk together with Katharina Spalek (Berlin) on “Speakers’ expectations about upcoming discourse referents: Effects of pitch accents and focus particles”, followed by a talk of Petra Schumacher and colleagues on “The processing of German Pitch Accents by Italian learners of German” at 11:15.

On March 8th at 9:30, associate Stefan Hinterwimmer (Cologne) will give a talk together with Sandra Meuser on “Free indirect discourse and protagonist’s prominence” at the workshop AG10 “Rede- und Gedankenwiedergabe in narrativen Strukturen”. After this talk, the principal investigators Anke Holler and Thomas Weskott from project “ProProCon” in Göttingen will talk on “Perspektivierungstrigger: Vom Wort zum Diskurs (und zurück)”.

Furthermore, principal investigator Anton Benz from project “SIGames” is an invited speaker at the workshop AG16 “Applications of probability theory in linguistics”. On March 9th at 13:15, Anton will talk on “Inferring implicature from production: interactive experiments and a model”.