This workshop is the fourth one in a series of workshops organized by the Weak Referentiality Project. Full information about the project as well as the previous workshops can be found [here].
On this page you can find a browsable programme including short and long versions of the abstracts as well as the full handouts (where available). The workshop leaflet can be found [here].
We would like to thank all invited speakers, speakers, chairs and participants for making this workshop into a success. Special thanks to Maartje, Maaike and Stavroula for helping out in more ways than we could possibly imagine.
Gabriella Toth: Achievement verbs and bare deep objects
(University of Groningen)
Are Dutch children delayed in their production of scrambled indefinites, too?
In Dutch, an indefinite object NP may be assigned either a weak interpretation (referring to a nonspecific entity) or a strong interpretation (referring to a specific entity), based on its position in a sentence. When it appears to the right of an adverb, in the unscrambled position, it receives a weak interpretation; when it appears to the left of the adverb, in the scrambled position, it receives a strong interpretation. Previous research shows that children until a late age incorrectly allow a weak interpretation of indefinites in scrambled position. However, it has also been found that children correctly produce scrambled indefinites in particular contexts - which is surprising as scrambled indefinites hardly ever occur in spontaneous adult speech. Will children use indefinites correctly in exactly the same situations in which they allow a non-adult (weak) interpretation? This study aims to investigate this apparent asymmetry by looking at the production and comprehension of scrambled indefinites across the adverbial phrase twee keer ("twice") in the same group of children, using similar materials for both tasks.
Weakly referential' Bare NPs in Chinese
Despite the observation that Chinese BNPs may freely occur in argument position (Chierchia 1998) and that they are number-neutral (Rullman & You 2003), we find the use of “indefinite” BNP much more restricted than that of the indefinite NP. Based on a corpus study, I will argue that the predicative and NI (noun incorpoation) use are in fact the only two uses of Chinese BNPs (both weakly referential uses) (in addition to the generic use and the definite use).
(University of Crete)
The distribution and interpretation of bare singular count nouns in Greek
According to Chierchia (1998) languages differ with respect to whether nominals are mapped directly as semantic arguments (type e), or semantic predicates (type <e,t>). His Nominal Mapping Parameter is implemented in terms of the binary features that differentiate three language types: [+/- arg] and [+/- pred]. Greek is considered to be similar to Romance languages in exhibiting the features [-arg] [+pred]. According to Chierchia, in this type of languages nouns are mapped onto predicates and since by definition predicates cannot appear in argument positions, this group of languages should disallow bare arguments. The data in Romance (for Spanish and Catalan see Espinal & McNally 2011) and Greek suggest that this prediction is not borne out and that in these languages we do find bare nominals in object position.
(ZAS & Humboldt University of Berlin)
Bare NPs vs. edin-NPs in Bulgarian
The paper deals with the expression of indefiniteness in Bulgarian that has two kinds of indefinite NPs: a bare NP and an edin-NP (edin 'one'/'a' ). In the literature (cf. Georgiev 1978, Kabakciev 1990, Stankov 1995, among others), there are different opinions concerning the distinction between these two indefinite forms. Some linguists claim the interchangeability of edin-NPs and bare nouns without difference in the meaning of a corresponding sentence, the others argue in favour of the semantic distinction between these NPs.
(University of Osnabrück)
Seemingly weak definites - German preposition-determiner contractions
Prepositional phrases (PPs) in German typically have the same structure as English PPs which we call "regular PPs" (rPPs). But German also has another type of PP that is headed by forms that look like contractions of prepositions and determiners: am, beim, im, vom, zum, zur. We refer to these as "contracted PPs" (cPPs). cPPs, at least the lexical forms just given, are forms of standard written German (survey in Duden 2006:622), while in many German dialects, and also in rapid speech in standard German, additional contracted forms can be observed that will here be ignored. It has been known for a good while that cPPs and rPPs have different distribution (e.g., Hartmann 1980, Heidolph et al. 1981:371, Hinrichs 1984, Raffelsiefen 1987), even though the (a) and (b) sentences in (1)-(3) translate into English uniformly as in (c). Despite some descriptive work there is no formal linguistic account so far (with the exception of Schwarz 2009, which we cannot discuss here) that could explain the distributional difference between the two forms of PPs.
(John Hopkins University)
Existential prepositional possessives
gives an account of prepositional possessives (the sister of a linguist,
the top to a
(Karoli Gaspar University)
Achievement verbs and bare deep objects
Verkuyl (1993) claims that all dynamic verbs combined with bare deep objects (BDO) will result in atelic events in the VP. This talk will argue in support of Moens and Steedman (1988) and Rothstein (2000) that achievement verbs form an independent aspectual class. In Hungarian dynamic verbs can co-occur with singular and plural BDOs. While process verbs are unambiguously atelic independently of the number of the BDO, achievement verbs will be unambiguously interpreted as telic when they are combined with singular BDOs. They are ambiguous between the telic and atelic reading when they are combined with plural BDOs like their English counterpart.
(University of Bochum)
A Refined Model of Determiner Omission in German PPs
In this talk, we present a refined model for determiner omission in PPs headed by ohne. We express the polysemy of a noun by assigning the probability of occurring to a certain GermaNet lexical field, instead of assuming that membership in a lexical field is a categorial property of nouns. With regard to the influence of frequently occurring nouns, we present a generalized mixed-effects model (Agresti 2002, Baayen 2009) to determine possible effects of individual lexical items. The model cannot directly be applied to the same data set as used for the initial model, since the semantic structure of the noun must not show up as a fixed effect and a random effect at the same time. The modified models are reassuring: We could increase the predictive power of the model by taking into account polysemy in terms of probabilities, and the mixed model shows that high-frequency lexical elements only play a minor role, if at all.