[PLing] Talk by Martin Hackl (July 15)
viola.schmitt at univie.ac.at
Tue Jul 9 18:37:25 CEST 2019
our project `Conjunction and disjunction from a typological perpective'
is happy to announce a talk by Martin Hackl (MIT) with the title 'A
Null-Theory of Haddock’s Puzzle and its Implications for the Role of
Presupposition in Reference Resolution' (abstract below this message).
When: July 15 (Monday), 2.30 pm
Where: Seminarraum 8, Linguistics Department, Sensengasse 3a
We hope you'll find the time to attend,
Viola Schmitt + all the other project members
A Null-Theory of Haddock’s Puzzle and its Implications for the Role of
Presupposition in Reference Resolution
Haddock's Puzzle presents a well-known challenge to the canonical
treatment of definite descriptions according to which their use requires
contextual uniqueness of the NP-restrictor of the. More specifically, as
pointed out in Haddock 1987, in a situation with two hats and two
rabbits, one rabbit in one of the hats while the other rabbit is not
inside a hat, the definite description in (1), in which a definite DP
the hat is nested inside a larger definite description is felicitous
(Haddock 1987). Importantly, the utterance in (2) used as a description
of the very same scene is not.
(1) The rabbit in the hat is excited.
(2) #The excited rabbit is in the hat.
In this talk, I present a "null-theory" of Haddock's puzzle according to
which Haddock-definites are situational uniqueness definites (Schwarz
2009) in order to the shed light on the role of presupposition in
reference resolution. The central claim motivated by this null-theory
and empirically supported in a variety of heterogenous test environments
is the constraint in (3).
(3) Constraint on Reference Resolution:
Presupposed content of an utterance can be used for identifying the
extension of referring
expressions in the utterance, at-issue content cannot.
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