News 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”. at the “Workshop 2018 Uncertainty in Meaning and Representation in Linguistics and Philosophy”

There will be several presentations by members at the “Workshop 2018 Uncertainty in Meaning and Representation in Linguistics and Philosophy” to be held in Jelenia Góra, 21-23 February 2018, as a satellite event to the 19th Szklarska Poreba Workshop.

On Wednesday 21 February, 21.10-22.00 Principal Investigator Anton Benz from project “SiGames” at ZAS Berlin will talk on “Implicature from production: Interactive experiments and a model”.
On Thursday 22 February, 17.50-18.30 associate Dan Lassiter (Stanford) will talk on “Conditionals are thoroughly probabilistic, and why that’s not scary”, followed by a talk by Principal Investigator Maria Spychalska from project “ImpliPer” in Cologne on “Scalar Implicatures in partial information contexts”.
On Friday 23 February, 9.00-9.50 Principal Investigator Edgar Onea from project “ExQ” in Graz will talk on “Exhaustivity Inferences with Focus”. members at the 19th Szklarska Poreba Workshop

There will be several presentions by members at the 19th Workshop on the Roots of Pragmasemantics to be held on the top of the Szrenica mountain in the Giant Mountains on the border of Poland and the Czech Republic on February 23-26, 2018.

On Friday February 23, 17:50-18:20, Lea Fricke and Carla Bombi from project “ExQ” will talk on “Exhaustivity of wh-interrogatives embedded under German wissen (‘know’)”. On 20:35-21:20 associate Daniel Lassiter (Stanford) will talk on “Mathematical counterfactuals and procedural meaning”
On Sunday February 25, 09:00-09:30, there will be a talk by coordinator Uli Sauerland together with Kazuko Yatsushiro, Artemis Alexiadou, Vasifye Geckin and Veronika Harmati-Pap with the title “The plural is unmarked: Turkish, German and Hungarian evidence”. at the “Linguistic Evidence 2018” conference in Tübingen

There are several presentations by members at the Linguistic Evidence 2018 to be held at Tübingen University, 15th to 17th February, 2018.

On Thursday, February 15, at 16:40 Johanna Klages, Anke Holler and Thomas Weskott from project “ProProCon” in Göttingen will give a talk together with Elsi Kaiser (Los Angeles) with the title “On interpreting perspective – sensitive items: An experimental study”.

On Friday, February 16, at 17:40 members Tim Graf, Markus Philipp and Beatrice Primus from project “AATIC” in Cologne will give a talk together with Franziska Kretzschmar (Cologne) on “What is a sentient agent?”

On Saturday, February 17, at 10:00 members Janna Drummer, Claudia Felser and Cecilia Puebla from project “L2PronRes” in Potsdam will give a talk together with the former project member Clare Patterson (now Cologne) on “The role of structural and surface-level constraints in real-time pronoun resolution”

At the Poster session on Thursday, February 15th, 18:10, there will be a poster presented by member Carla Bombi from project “ExQ” in Potsdam and the former member Joseph P. De Veaugh-Geiss (Potsdam) on “Quantitative data in the field: a case study on Akan”

Chao Sun joined as fellow at ZAS Berlin!

This month, the next fellow of our 2018 internship program joined Chao Sun from UCL is working with Uli Sauerland and Bob van Tiel in the project “MUQTASP” at ZAS Berlin. The title of her project there is “Online examination of focal ranges associated with quantifying expressions”. How is Chao herself describing the project? Chao: “Quantifying expressions have focal ranges that are independent from the pragmatic inferences. For example, given a statement like “Some of the As are Bs” in a context where the cardinality of the intersection set is ranging from 0 to 10, a hearer would associate ‘some’ with the range below half but above two. In this project, we aim to show that these focal ranges are relevant for experimental research into the online processing of quantifying expressions. In my PhD thesis, I have demonstrated that prior expectations about the set size associated with ‘some’ and ‘all’ influence anticipatory looks during online interpretation of scalar quantifiers. Thus, in this project, we will conduct another eye-tracking experiment to extend the scope of investigation to other quantifying expressions, in particular ‘most’, which implies ‘not all’, and ‘few’, which implies ‘not none’.”

Talk by member Maribel Romero at “Treffpunkt Sprache”!

On January 23rd, Maribel Romero, Prinicipal Investigator from project “BiasQ” (Konstanz) will give a talk on the meaning of questions at “Treffpunkt Sprache”. In this lecture series, current topics of interdisciplinary interest around language and their investigation are presented. The series is organized by ZAS Berlin in cooperation with the Institute for German Language and Linguistics and the Institute for Philosophy of Humboldt University and is aimed at scientists, students and interested laymen.

Title: “Was wir tun, wenn wir eine Frage stellen”
Time and Venue: 6:15 p.m., Humboldt University, Dorotheenstraße 24, 10117 Berlin, room 1.101

Second round of Short-term Collaboration Program has started!

We are happy to announce that the Short-term collaboration program of the 2nd period of has started. The Steering Board has selected the following projects for funding:

  • An Experimental Investigation of Anti-presuppositions
    Nadine Bade (ObTrEx, Tübingen) and Florian Schwarz (U Pennsylvania)
  • The role of world-knowledge in setting imprecise standards for absolute gradable adjectives: Probabilistic Modeling
    Petra Schumacher (InfoPer2, Cologne), Barbara Tomaszewicz (InfoPer2, Cologne), Michael Franke (Pro3, Tübingen), Judith Degen (Pro3, Stanford University) and Daniel Lassiter (Stanford University)
  • Combining EEG and virtual reality to investigate the processing of quantifiers and scalar implicatures in the context of partial information
    Maria Spychalska (ImplPer, Cologne) and David Peeters (MPI Nijmegen)

More information on the projects’ plans can be found here!

Three questions to intern Alice Rees

From October 2017 to January 2018, Alice Rees is an intern in the project “InfoPer2: Processing speaker’s meaning: Epistemic state, cooperation, commitment“ at the University of Cologne, supervised by Petra Schumacher. Alice is a final year PhD student at the School of Psychology at Cardiff University. The topic of her dissertation project is “Structural priming of pragmatic enrichment.”

Alice ReesQ: Alice, how would you describe the topic of your doctoral thesis in three sentences to your grandmother?
A: My thesis looks at how people make inferences and how the preceding context affects this. I’ve been looking at how deriving an inference influences subsequent interpretations and whether this also influences a speaker’s choice to make use of inferences.
Q: What led you to apply for an internship in our program ?
A: I was really keen to learn EEG and this internship offered the perfect opportunity. I also wanted to work in a different lab so the internship program was ideal.
Q: Your internship has been running for a while now. How do you like it? Does it meet your expectations?
A: I love it. I am having a great time and learning so much. It has exceeded my expectations.