Inquisitive Semantics: Theoretical Foundations and Empirical Explorations

Place: Umass Amherst, Hasbrouck Lab Add 104A
Time: Spring 2010, Mondays 2.30 - 5.15.
Lecturer: Floris Roelofsen

Overview

We will first discuss some of the theoretical foundations of inquisitive semantics and pragmatics, and then explore several empirical domains. We will look at the interpretation of disjunction, questions, and existentials in various languages, in interaction with modality, conditionals, and focus. We will also consider evidentials, and the semantic contribution of certain prosodic features.

Schedule (provisional)

 Date
 Topic               Reading   Optional reading 
Week 1
1/25
 
Intro to inquisitive semantics (slides)


From truth- and answerhood-conditions to propositions as proposals

From partitions to possibilities
  
 
GR-09a
sections 1-3

GR-10-notes


Masc-09-first-part

 
CR-09-jpl


Groe-09
Groe-99

Masc-09
 Week 2
2/1

 Inquisitive semantics and pragmatics (slides)

GR-09b
sections 4-6

 Week 3

2/8
 
Inquisitive implicatures (slides)


Focus, congruence, and exhaustification (slides)


Computing compliance (slides) (website)



GR-09b
sections 7








Balogh-09
chapters 2-4

CCGR-09-lori
CR-09-jpl 

 Week 4
2/16 (TUE)

Attentive might in inquisitive semantics



CGR-10

Zimmermann-00
 Week 5
2/22
 
Attentive might in inquisitive pragmatics



 Week 6
3/1

  Disjunction, intonation, and highlighting (slides)
Joint presentation with Kathryn Pruitt

 
PR-10


Pruitt-07RvG-10
 Aloni-Egre-de-Jager-09Schaffer-07
 Week 7
3/8

Location: Bartlett 125

Inner negation polar questions
Martin Walkow

Polar questions in Finnish
 Anisa Schardl

Seminar ends at 4:25, job-talk at 4:30


   
 
 Spring break

   
 Week 8
3/22
 
Location: Bartlett 125

Evidentials in Cheyenne
Sarah Murray (Rutgers)

Seminar ends at 4:25, job-talk at 4:30

 


Murray-09a
 


Murray-09b
 Week 11
3/29
 
Questions in Yukatek Maya
Scott Anderbois (UCSC)


Anderbois-10a

 Anderbois-10b 
 Week 10
4/5
 
Wh-questions in Tlingit
Seth Cable


Cable-08
Jayaseelan-01
Jayaseelan-08


Cable-10
 
 Week 9
4/12
 
Radical inquisitive semantics



 

 Week 12
4/21 (WED)

More radical inquisitive semantics 

Alternatives and counterfactuals



 chapters 1-2




Kratzer-Shimoyama-01 
 Week 13
4/26

Rise-fall-rise and inquisitive semantics
Noah Constant  

Questions in Yudja
Suzi Lima

Modality and evidentiality
Aynat Rubinstein




 
 
 Week 14
5/3
 
Finale

   

Potential additional topics

  • Inquisitive logic: Mascarenhas, Sano, Ciardelli, Roelofsen.
  • First-order case: Ciardelli-09a, chapter 6, and Ciardelli-09b.
  • Hypothetical information exchange: supposition, modal subordination, conditional questions, counterfactuals.
  • Unconditionals: Rawlins, Kaufmann.
  • Inquisitiveness cross-linguistically: Haspelmath-01, Bhatt-00
  • Questions and indefinites in dynamic semantics: Haida.
  • Intervention effects: Beck, Kim, Pesetsky, Haida, Cable.
  • Question-based models of discourse: Roberts, Büring.
  • Acquisition of disjunctive questions in Japanese and Mandarin: Akagi.
  • Exhausitivity marking in Hungarian: Balogh-09, ch.4,5 

Assignments and grading

  • Mid-term paper
    Length: 5-10 pages
    Due: March 22
    Weight: 30%
  • Presentation
    Length: depending on total number of presentations
    Topic: either your own paper-in-progress, or related work
    Date: 4/21 or 4/26
    Weight: 20%
  • Final paper
    Length: 10-20 pages
    Due: May 15
    Weight: 50%