[PLing] Talk by Ryan Bochnak, 24.10.

Viola Schmitt viola.schmitt at univie.ac.at
Sat Oct 15 12:01:43 CEST 2016

Dear all,

we are happy to announce the first event of our new FWF-project 
`Conjunction and disjunction from a typological perspective' 

RYAN BOCHNAK (University of Leipzig) will give a talk with the title
'Optional past tense in Washo and paradigmatic presuppositional 
(see below for abstract).

TIME: MONDAY, OCTOBER 24, 4.45 pm- 6.15 pm
LOCATION:Seminarraum I Germanistik Hauptgebäude, 1.Stock/Unterteilung, 
Stiege 7a

Everyone is cordially invited.

Viola Schmitt (in the name of all members of the project)

Optional past tense in Washo and paradigmatic presuppositional 

Descriptively, Washo (language isolate; USA) is a language where past 
tense is optional, in the sense that a past tense morpheme is not 
obligatory in finite clauses with past temporal reference (Jacobsen 
1964). I first argue that the past marker in Washo can be given an 
analysis as a vanilla past tense, contra Plungian and van der Auwera 
(2006). Second, I argue that tense features in Washo truly are optional, 
in the sense that morphologically tenseless clauses do not even contain 
a covert semantic tense (e.g., Matthewson 2006). To make this case, I 
provide a new argument based on Maximize Presupposition, which is made 
available to us precisely because Washo is an optional tense language. 
This analysis raises issues regarding the nature of optional tense 
marking in languages that instantiate the phenomenon, as well as 
tenselessness and the asymmetry between past and future reference. Along 
the way, I also highlight strategies for collecting the relevant data in 
a fieldwork situation.

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