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EALING: EALing 2009 - Program (page 2)

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EALing 2009 - Program (page 2)

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SIGMA LECTURES 2009 /CONFERENCES SIGMA 2009



We are happy to announce that Roger SCHWARZSCHILD (Rutgers) will deliver the "SIGMA Lectures" in September 2009. These lectures are organized by members of our group on topics related to language and meaning.
Professor Schwarzschild's will give one lecture for a general audience, followed by several lectures for specialists. Their content is described below (see Ealing Schedule for time and place).
The SIGMA [Structures and Interpretations: Grammars, Models and Analyses] includes researchers working on the structures and interpretation of language within the Department of Cognitive Studies (DEC) at ENS. The SIGMA Lectures are organized with the financial support of DEC and of a 'Euryi' grant of the European Science Foundation.

Nous sommes heureux d'annoncer que Roger SCHWARZSCHILD (Rutgers) donnera en septembre 2009 les "Conférences SIGMA", organisées au sein de notre groupe sur des thèmes portant sur le langage et la signification.
Le professeur Schwarzschild donnera une première conférence à destination d'un public général, suivie des plusieurs conférences pour spécialistes. Leur contenu est décrit ci-dessous (voir l'emploi du temps de Ealing pour les horaires et lieux des conférences).

Le groupe SIGMA [Structures et Interprétations: Grammaires, Modèles et Analyses] regroupe des chercheurs travaillant sur les structures et l'interprétation du langage au sein du Département d'Etudes Cognitives de l'ENS. Les Conférences SIGMA sont organisées avec le soutien du DEC et d'un financement Euryi de la Fondation Européenne de la Science.

SIGMA Lectures Committee /Comité des Conférences SIGMA:

Claire Beyssade (Institut Jean-Nicod)
Denis Bonnay (U. Paris 10 and DEC)
Paul Egré (Institut Jean-Nicod)
François Recanati (Institut Jean-Nicod and Arche)
Philippe Schlenker (Institut Jean-Nicod and NYU)
Benjamin Spector (Institut Jean-Nicod)
Dominique Sportiche (UCLA and Institut Jean-Nicod)
Isidora Stojanovic (Institut Jean-Nicod)



Roger Schwarzschild



SIGMA LECTURE, GENERAL AUDIENCE

Title: Events and the mass/count distinction
Abstract: There is a commonly held view that verbs are predicates of events. In this talk, I will advance the hypothesis that: nouns are predicates of events as well. Boy, for example, is true of an event whose sole participant is a boy. In this framework, whether or not some event is in the extension of a particular noun will depend on: (a) the nature of the participants in the event, (b) the number of participants and (c) relations among participants. By allowing (a) to be just one component in the meaning of a noun, it becomes easier to outline a semantic basis for the mass/count distinction with the following character. On the one hand, facts about the referents of a noun phrase influence the categorization of the head nouns: properties of water and of dogs, surely are relevant to the status of the nouns water and dog. On the other hand, properties of referents shouldn’t determine the status of the head, for as has often been observed, co-referential noun phrases can differ in the mass/count status of their head nouns.


SIGMA LECTURES
Title: Quantifier Domain Restriction
Description: Analyses of natural language often make use of silent variables in the logical form. These include world and time arguments and variables over domains of quantification. Domain variables are employed for a variety of phenomena including: incomplete definite descriptions, association with focus, distributivity, modals and superlatives. I will adopt a format for logical form in which all quantifiers come with explicit domain restrictions and in which all arguments of predicates appear as variables in logical form. We’ll make use of ‘resource situations’ (used in situation semantics) to facilitate a general picture of quantifier domain restriction that can apply across quantifier types.

There will be three parts to the course:

1. Introduce the framework in which predicate-argument relations are syntactically represented.
2. Discuss several diverse phenomena that can be understood in terms of binding variables that are part of quantifier domain restrictions. The phenomena include: relative pronouns, frequency adverbials, temporal PPs and distributivity operators.
3. Situations have been appealed to in discussions of quantifier domain restriction (Cooper, Recanati, Kratzer). It some cases it is assumed that situation variables are arguments of lexical predicates, so that for example a simple noun like dog comes out as a relational predicate. I explore some consequences of the idea that situation variables are part of restrictors attached to quantifiers directly and that lexical predicates are simple.




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