[PLing] Two talks by Marcin Wagiel - April 26 and April 29

Viola Schmitt viola.schmitt at univie.ac.at
Tue Apr 19 12:27:39 CEST 2016

Dear all,

we are happy to announce two talks by Marcin Wagiel (Masaryk University 

Tuesday, April 26, 1:30 pm - 3 pm
Seminarraum 8, Institut für Sprachwissenschaft, Sensengasse 3a

'Compositional semantics of derivationally complex numeral expressions 
in Slavic'  (please find abstract below)

Friday, April 29, 3 pm - 4.30 pm
Seminarraum 8, Institut für Sprachwissenschaft, Sensengasse 3a

'Collectivity over time: From group nouns to measure words and 
indefinite quantifiers' (please find abstract below)

All are invited (of course),


Viola Schmitt

Compositional semantics of derivationally complex numeral expressions
in Slavic

It has been recently observed by Dočekal (2012, 2013) that Slavic
numeral morphology reflects some of the shifting operators postulated
in the kind-oriented and plurality-oriented theories of Chierchia
(1998) and Landman (1989, 2000). In this paper I present a unified
semantic analysis of Polish derivationally complex numeral
such as presuppositional numerals, e.g., dwoje ('two (one male and
female)', numeral group nouns, e.g., dwójka (‘(group of) two’), and
multiplicative adjectives such as podwójny (‘double’) and dwukrotny
(‘two-time’). Both classes of the expressions in question are
derivationally complex and consist of a numeral root. Nevertheless,
they differ semantically from cardinal numerals in a significant way.
In the analysis I presume a lattice-theoretic approach and adopt the
core idea behind the theories of Krifka (1989, 1990, and 1995). I
argue that Slavic complex numeral expressions are compositional.
Following Scha (1981) I assume that there is a distinct type n of
integers. I posit that it is always the root that introduces a
e.g., [[dw-]] = 2, different morphemes, however, behave somewhat like
measure words and insert additional semantic information such as
presuppositions, group-forming operations, and specialized measure

Collectivity over time: From group nouns to measure words and
indefinite quantifiers

In some Indo-European languages, measure words allowing for counting
entities denoted by pluralia tantum and group nouns referring to
collections of two individuals are homophonous, conf. English pair,
Russian para, Spanish par etc. Furthermore, a homophony between group
nouns and indefinite quantifiers denoting an unspecified but rather
low number of entities is also attested, cf. English couple, German
Paar/paar, Czech pár etc. In this paper, I focus on the semantic
relationship between such expressions and show that the homophony is
not accidental. I trace the semantic change the Polish measure word
para (‘pair’) and quantifier parę (‘several, a few’) have undergone.
show that both words originated from the Old Polish group noun pår
(‘pair’) and explore both historical and Modern Polish data
puzzles related to the distribution and interpretation of para and
parę in phrases with regular count nouns and pluralia tantum.
on the theories of Krifka (1989, 1990, and 1995) which I extend with
the group-forming operation developed by Landman (1989, 2000) I
propose a semantic analysis of the Modern Polish measure word para
which can be further used to reconstruct its semantic development.
analysis assumes distinct denotations of singular and plural regular
count nouns on the one hand and pluralia tantum on the other. The
approach can be further extended to other Indo-European languages.

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