Archive for the 'Student news' Category

Gui Garcia to appear in Phonology, and workshop in Brazil

Guilherme Garcia‘s paper “Weight gradience and stress in Portuguese” has just been accepted for publication in the journal Phonology. A draft of the paper, based on his first Eval, can be found on LingBuzz. Congrats Gui!

Gui also recently taught a workshop on Bayesian data analysis using R at Pontifícia Universidade Católica do Rio Grande do Sul (PUC-RS), in Brazil.

Michael Wagner in Tromsø

Michael Wagner recently returned from giving an invited lecture at the Workshop on Hierarchical Structures in Phonology, Morphology and Syntax which took place October 27–38th at UiT in Tromsø, Norway.
The title of his talk was: “Allophonic variation and the locality of production planning”, which reported on joint work with Meghan Clayards, Oriana Kilbourn-Ceron, Morgan Sonderegger and James Tanner.  The abstract can be found here.

McGill at NELS 47

McGill linguists presented at the 47th Annual Meeting of North East Linguistic Society (NELS 47), which was hosted at the University of Massachusetts Amherst October 14–16. Presentations by current McGill affiliates included:

McGill affiliates of past and present gathered for a photo at the dinner:

Gui Garcia, Laura Kalin, Michael Wagner, Jessica Coon, Aron Hirsch, Cora Lesure, Bernhard Schwarz, Hadas Kotek

Gui Garcia, Laura Kalin, Michael Wagner, Jessica Coon, Aron Hirsch, Cora Lesure, Bernhard Schwarz, Hadas Kotek

McGill at GALANA-7

GALANA-7 took place last week at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign. Guilherme Garcia presented a talk titled “Second Language Acquisition of Stress in Second Language Portuguese: Extrametricality and Default Stress.” Roumyana Slabakova (PhD ’97), Öner Özçelik (PhD ’12), and Silvina Montrul (’97) also presented.

Roumyana Slabakova (PhD, 1997), Guilherme Garcia, Öner Özçelik (PhD, 2012) and Silvina Montrul (PhD, 1997)

Roumyana Slabakova (PhD, 1997), Guilherme Garcia, Öner Özçelik (PhD, 2012) and Silvina Montrul (PhD, 1997)

 

Welcome new graduate students!

Welcome to this year’s incoming class of graduate students!

Emily Kellison-Linn is interested in phonology, historical linguistics, and language change, and computational methods of studying these. She completed her B.A. in computer science at MIT.

Gouming Martens received his bachelor and master’s degree in Linguistics at Leiden University. For his master’s thesis he examined Dutch exclamative constructions and its relationship to ego-evidentiality. His main interests lie in the syntax-phonology interface and more specifically the interaction between syntax and prosody, and exclamative constructions across languages. Besides that, he is very interested in many other fields of linguistics, such as, the connection between music and language, the diachronic development of the Sino-Tibetan languages and the tonal system of Limburgish (Dutch/German dialect).

Yeong Woo Park‘s main interests lie in prosody and phonetics-phonology interface. He completed his B.A. in Linguistics at University of California, Los Angeles.

Clint Parker‘s research interests include syntax, morphosyntactic alignment systems, fieldwork, and endangered languages.  He completed a B.A. in linguistics and Chinese at the University of Kentucky.

James Tanner is interested in phonological and phonetic variation, sociophonetics, and psycholinguistics. He completed his B.A. in linguistics at the University of Kent, and his M.A. in linguistics at McGill University.

Jiaer Tao’s main research interests lie in phonetics. Particularly interested in the phonetic implementation of phonological patterns, Jiaer is mostly familiar with the acoustics and production aspects. But she also wants to discover more in her graduate study. Jiaer completed her B.A. in Chinese linguistics at Fudan University. She is looking forward to a lively research life in McGill.

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Back: James Tanner, Yeong Woo Park, Clint Parker,
Front: Guoming Martens, Emily Kellison-Linn, Jiaer Tao

McLing summer news

What did McGill linguists do this summer? Some answers can be found below. If you didn’t get your post in on time, email the editors for round two.

Meghan Clayards co-organized a satellite workshop at LabPhon 15 on “Higher-order structure in speech variability: phonetic/phonological covariation and talker adaptation”. She also presented a poster with Hye-Young Bang as the first author titled “Structured Variation across Sound Contrasts, Talkers, and Speech Styles”.

Many more McGill linguists presented at LabPhon, held this year at Cornell University, as seen below:
McGill faculty, students, alums at LabPhon 15 banquet

McGill faculty, students, alums at LabPhon 15 banquet

Jessica Coon spent two weeks in June at CoLang (the Institute on Collaborative Language Research) at the University of Alaska, Fairbanks and in July she participated in the ANVILS (A National Vision for Indigenous Languages Sustainability) workshop at the University of Alberta.
rainbow from UAF campus, taken at midnight

rainbow from UAF campus, taken at midnight

Guilherme Garcia gave two talks at the 24th Manchester Phonology Meeting (one of which he co-authored with Natália Guzzo and Heather Goad). He then attended a workshop on Bayesian Data Analysis at the University of St. Gallen in June, and presented a poster at LabPhon 15. He also wrote the second chapter of his dissertation, which proposes a probabilistic representation of weight effects on stress—he will be presenting this at NELS and AMP later this year. In addition, he worked with Heather Goad and Natália Guzzo on a project about footing and stress in Québec French, which will also be presented at AMP. Finally, he finished writing a proceedings paper (46th Linguistic Symposium on Romance Languages), and prepared a workshop on data analysis using R, which he will teach in September.
Brendan Gillon spent the first three weeks of May lecturing on semantics at the Nanjing University of Science and Technology. At the end of June, he participated in a workshop on Buddhist Logic (hetuvidyā / yinming / inmyō) and its Applications in East Asia sponsored by the Austrian Academy of Sciences’  Institute for the Cultural and Intellectual History of Asia.
Henrison Hsieh presented talks at the 26th Southeast Asian Linguistics Society and the 23rd Austronesian Formal Linguistics Association meetings entitled “An argument for the noun-verb distinction in Tagalog” and “Prosodic indicators of phrase structure in Tagalog transitive sentences”, respectively.
Henrison presenting at SEALS

Henrison presenting at SEALS

Oriana Kilbourn-Ceron, Donghyun Kim, and Jeff Lamontagne, and Michael McAuliffe also presented posters at LabPhon 15.
In July, Bernhard Schwarz visited the University of Tübingen (Collaborative Research Centre 833) and presented joint work with Sasha Simonenko (PhD McGill 2015); in August, he traveled to Tokyo to present joint work with Francesco Gentile at  “Theoretical Linguistics at Keio” (TaLK).
Junko Shimoyama gave an invited talk titled ‘Connectivity effects in dislocated phrases and fragments’ at TaLK 2016 (Theoretical Linguistics at Keio) in August in Tokyo. Her joint work with Elizabeth Bogal-Allbritten and Keir Moulton (postdoc 2009-2011), ‘Stay inside: the interpretation of internally-headed relative clauses in Navajo’, was presented by the co-authors at the CLA meeting in Calgary. Her joint work with Alex Drummond (postdoc 2012-2014), ‘Complex degrees and an unexpected comparative interpretation’, will be presented by Alex at the annual meeting of the Linguistics Association of Great Britain (LAGB) this week. Earlier in the summer, Junko co-presented with Christopher Fuhrman (ÉTS) and Maria Orjuela-Laverde (McGill TLS) at the annual SALTISE conference, sharing her experience with a new activity in Syntax 2 last year, called ‘Would you publish it?’, where the students participated in a process modelled after journal article reviewing. Many thanks to the students for trying it out!
Liz Smeets presented at the EuroSLA conference in Jyvaskyla, Finland this August and in June she collected data on the acquisition of object movement on Dutch in The Netherlands. Her proceedings paper from WCCFL34 “The Syntax of Focus Association in Dutch and German; Evidence from Scope Reconstruction”, joint work with Michael Wagner, is now available online: http://ling.auf.net/lingbuzz/003036.
Liz's view from the conference dinner

Liz’s view from the conference dinner

Morgan Sonderegger went to Scotland, where he co-organized a workshop and gave talks at U. Glasgow and U. Edinburgh. He co-organized the BigPhon workshop (including with Michael McAuliffe) and gave a poster at LabPhon 15 at Cornell.
Michael Wagner presented a paper with Jeff Klassen (PhD ’16), Heather Goad, and Annie Tremblay — ‘Prominence Shifts in English and Spanish Parallel Constructions’ — at SemDial. (Proceedings here)

Travel awards to Gui Garcia

PhD student Gui Garcia was recently awarded a CRBLM travel grant. Gui used the grant for his trip to the 24th Manchester Phonology Meeting, where he presented his work on lexical access (“Computing segmental and suprasegmental information in lexical decision.”) as well as joint work with Natália B. Guzzo and Heather Goad (“High vowel deletion in Queìbec French: Evidence for vestigial iambs”).
He was also recently awarded a GST Travel Award (“Schull Yang International Experience Award”), which he will use for his trip to the Global School of Empirical Research Methods at the University of St. Gallen later this month.
Congrats Gui!

Riente Memorial Prize to Hye-Young Bang

Congratulations to PhD student Hye-Young Bang, this year’s recipient of the Lara Riente Memorial Prize in Linguistics. This award was established in 2002 by family, friends, fellow students, professors and the Jewish Rehabilitation Hospital Foundation in memory of Lara Riente, B.A. 1992, M.A. 2001. More about the award can be found here. Congratulations Hye-Young!

Undergraduate Linguistics Awards

The Department of Linguistics is pleased to announce this year’s Linguistics Undergraduate award recipients. Congratulations all!

Departmental Award

Cremona Memorial Prize in Linguistics: Michaela Socolof

In-House Undergraduate Student Awards

Academic Leadership: Daniel Biggs

Department Citizenship Award: Christopher Burnett

Excellence in Research Award: Cora Lesure

U2 Academic Achievement Award: Eva Portelance

Colin Brown in Northern BC

Colin Brown is in Northern British Columbia from May 2nd until May 12th working with Gitksan speakers across five villages (photos below are of neighbouring Nisga’a territory).

 IMG_4749 IMG_4788

Proceedings of AFLA 22 edited by Henrison Hsieh

The Proceedings of the 22nd meeting of the Austronesian Formal Linguistics Society (AFLA 22), edited by Henrison Hsieh, has just been published by Asia-Pacific Linguistics. The volume is freely available for download here: http://hdl.handle.net/1885/101155. AFLA 22 was held at McGill University in Quebec, Cananda in May, 2015

AFLA 22

AFLA 22

 

Summer news round-up, 2nd edition

Grad student news

Anouk Dieuleveut will go to NASSLLI (North American Summer School on Logic, Language, and Information), this summer at Rutgers. In the fall, she’ll start the PhD program at the University of Maryland––congratulations Anouk!

Donghyun Kim will be presenting a talk with Meghan Clayards at the Korean Society of Speech Sciences titled “Individual differences in the relation between perception and production and mechanisms of phonetic imitation. Also, he will be presenting a poster with Meghan Clayards and Heather Goad at LabPhon 15 titled “Individual differences in second language speech perception across tasks and contrasts”.

Undergraduate news

Eva Portelance received the ARIA award to work with Professor Andrew Piper at the .txtlab@McGill this summer. The lab specializes in the use of computational and quantitative methods to study literary and cultural phenomena. She is currently working on a project which explores the possibility of teaching a computer to read literature. She is designing algorithms using concepts from syntax and semantics for the computer to extract meaning. The core goal is to have the computer predict narrative shifts and their type in novels from different genres and eras.

Summer news round-up, 1st edition

See below for what McGill linguists are up to this summer. Did you miss this edition? Send your summer plans to mcling.linguistics@mcgill.ca and we’ll get you in for round 2.

Undergrad news

Lydia Felice is finishing U2 and received an ARIA award to continue her work on Kabyle over the summer with Jessica Coon. She will be looking at so-called “free state” and “construct state” alternations.

Recent graduate Cora Lesure will head to Boston in the fall to start a Linguistics PhD at MIT. Cora’s honours thesis was titled Prosodic Boundary Marking in Ch’ol: Acoustic Indicators and Their Applications.

Dorothy Loong, who is finishing U2, will be doing an internship at the Chinese University of Hong Kong at their Childhood Bilingualism Research Centre.

Sarah Mihuc will be going to Johns Hopkins University for a summer research internship in the Computer Science department, working on machine translation of world languages with Dr. David Yarowsky.  She will also be working in the Prosody Lab.

Michaela Socolof will graduate and then will be working in the Montreal Language Modeling Lab, on software development and other MLML projects. In the fall she will head to the University of Maryland Linguistics Department as a Baggett Fellow.
Elias Stengel-Eskin (Cogsci) received an ARIA award to work over the summer with Morgan Sonderegger.  He will be working on Speech Corpus Tools and other MLML projects.

Grad student news

Chris Bruno is heading to New Jersey for the North American Summer School on Logic, Language, and Information (NASSLLI), held this year at Rutgers.

Gui Garcia will give two talks in late May at the 24th Manchester Phonology Meeting, at the University of Manchester. One of the talks investigates the role of suprasegmental information in lexical access. The second talk is joint work with Natália B. Guzzo and Heather Goad (Guzzo, Goad and Garcia), and explores high vowel deletion (/i/) patterns as evidence for vestigial iambs in Québec French. In June, he will participate in the Global School of Empirical Research Methods, at the University of St. Gallen, where he will take an intensive course on Bayesian data analysis. In July, he will present a poster (joint work with Natália B. Guzzo) on English stress acquisition by Québec French speakers at the 15th LabPhon, at Cornell University. Finally, in early September, he will be presenting a poster on extrametricality and default stress at GALANA, at the University of Illinois (Urbana-Champaign).

Henrison Hsieh will be presenting a talk at the South East Asian Linguistics Society meeting (SEALS 26) titled “An argument for the noun-verb distinction in Tagalog”. He’ll also be presenting a talk at the Austronesian Formal Linguistics Association meeting (AFLA 23) titled “Prosodic indicators of phrase structure in Tagalog transitive sentences”. Finally, he’s in the process of arranging a visiting student position at the Department of Linguistics at the University of the Philippines Diliman to gather data and do research for his dissertation.

Martha Schwarz will be spending the summer doing fieldwork in India through a Mitacs Globalink Research Award.  She will be staying in the Nepali-speaking Darjeeling region, collecting data on Nepali ergativity and Nepali laryngeal contrasts.  The ergativity project is co-supervised by Jessica Coon and Ayesha Kidwai (Jawaharlal Nehru University, Delhi).

Liz Smeets will be collecting more data from L2 learners of Dutch on the acquisition of semantic and discourse constraints on object movement in The Netherlands in June. In August she will be presenting this work at EuroSLA at the University of Jyväskylä, Finland (https://www.jyu.fi/en/congress/eurosla26).

Faculty news

Meghan Clayards will be presenting a poster with Hye-Young Bang at LabPhon 15 at Cornell, and where she is also co-organzing a workshop on Higher-order structure in speech variability: phonetic/phonological covariation and talker adaptation.

At the end of June Jessica Coon will head to Fairbanks, Alaska for the CoLang 2016 Institute for Collaborative Language Documentation. In July she will participate in an Indigenous Language Sustainability Workshop, held concurrently with CILLDI at the University of Alberta.

Brendan Gillon will be giving guest lectures at the Nanjing Institute of Technology and Shanghai Maritime University in May. In June he will give a lecture at Workshop on Logic in East Asia, sponsored by the Austrian Academy of Sciences.

Junko Shimoyama will be giving an invited talk at TaLK 2016 (Theoretical Linguistics at Keio) in Tokyo in August.

Morgan Sonderegger will be attending LabPhon 15 at Cornell, where he will give a poster with Michael McAuliffe and Michael Wagner and is co-organizing a workshop on tools for “big data” in laboratory phonology (BigPhon).

Michael Wagner will be presenting an invited talk at a workshop on Speech Planning at LabPhon 15, and will be teaching a class at the DGFS summer school on Mapping Meaning: Theory – Cognition – Variation in Tübingen, Germany in August.

Smeets and Wagner at WCCFL

Liz Smeets and Michael Wagner just presented a joint paper at WCCFL 34 at the University of Utah in Salt Lake City. The title of their talk is “The syntax of focus association in German/Dutch: evidence from scope reconstruction.” The full program is available here.

Sasha Simonenko (McGill PhD '14) and Liz Smeets at WCCFL

Sasha Simonenko (McGill PhD ’14) and Liz Smeets at WCCFL

Kabyle Mini Workshop

This year’s Field Methods class wrapped up with a successful Kabyle Mini Workshop. A subset of the class is pictured below, along with invited speaker Karim Achab and language consultant Karima Ouazar.

IMG_1521

back row: Michaela Socolof, Karim Achab, Daniel Biggs, Dejan Milacic, Morgan Sonderegger, Jeffrey LaMontagne
front row: Jessica Coon, Lydia Felice, Sarah Mihuc, Inés Patiño Anaya, Alex Elias, Karima Ouazar

 

McGill at MOTH

Bing'er Jiang, Chris Bruno, Martha Schwarz, Symon Stevens-Guille (UofT; McGill BA '15), Jessica Coon, Bronwyn Bjorkman (Queen's; McGill BA '06)

McGill affiliates of past and present at this year’s MOTH Syntax Workshop at University of Toronto Mississauga: Bing’er Jiang, Chris Bruno, Martha Schwarz, Symon Stevens-Guille (UofT; McGill BA ’15), Jessica Coon, Bronwyn Bjorkman (Queen’s; McGill BA ’06)

Kabyle Mini-Workshop, 4/13

This year’s Field Methods class is happy to announce a Kabyle Mini Workshop, which will take place this Wednesday, April 13th, in Education room 129. In addition to short 10-minute presentations by all class members, we will have an invited presentation by Karim Achab (U. Ottawa), from 1:10–2:10. The full program, along with Achab’s abstract, is below. Anyone is welcome to join for any portion of the workshop.

Kabyle Mini Workshop

Wednesday, April 13th, 2016

Education Building, room 129

11:00–11:40

  • Lydia Felice: Feminine plural noun formation
  • Sarah Mihuc: Noun-initial a- and the Construct State
  • Francesco Gentile: On the morphosyntax of causatives in Kabyle
  • Alyssa Gold: Complements and adjuncts in Kabyle noun phrases

11:40–12:00 – Questions & Break

12:00–12:30

  • Becca Hoff: The role of sonority sequencing in Kabyle syllable formation
  • Martha Schwarz & Bing’er Jiang: The role of sonority in schwa epenthesis: Stem level and beyond

12:30–1:10 – Lunch (provided for class members)

1:10–2:10 – Karim Achab: Lexical roots, nouns and nominal aspect (abstract below) 

2:10–2:50

  • Anisa Amin: Methods of nonverbal negation in Kabyle
  • Michaela Socolof: Two functions of ara in Kabyle
  • Dejan Milacic: Aḏ and ara in irrealis and negation
  • Melanie Custo-Blanch: Questions and clitics in Kabyle 

2:50–3:10 – Questions & Break

3:10–3:50

  • Alex Elias: Kabyle “double” consonants: Long or strong?
  • Jeff LaMontagne: Motiver ses choixExamining variability in schwa placement and acoustics
  • Daniel Biggs: A question of word order in Kabyle: VSO vs. SVO
  • Ines Patino Anaya: ḏ as a copular particle

3:50–4:00 – Questions and wrap-up

 

Lexical roots, nouns, and nominal aspect – Karim Achab 

It has been widely accepted in Afroasiatic linguistics that verbs and nouns in Afroasiatic languages are derived from lexical roots, considered as the smallest building block in the lexicon[1]. A lexical root is traditionally defined as the basic entity that conveys the semantics of a word but which lack a category feature. For instance the Tamazight root mɣr conveys the meaning of ‘tall’, ‘big’, ‘elder’, etc. It may yield a noun (eg. amɣar ‘old man’) if associated with the category feature [n], or a verb (eg. imɣur ‘grow up’, if associated with the category feature [v]. Lexical roots consist of consonants only; they are later combined with thematic vowels to form the (word) stem. Much has been said in the literature as regards the thematic (or stem) vowels associated with verbs, which indicate inflection (tense/aspect and agreement), as well as the initial vowel of nouns, which results from incorporation into the noun of an old determiner[2]. However, analyses regarding the inner vowel of nouns are almost inexistent, except in the situations where this vowel alternates with respect to number, known as internal plurals in the literature[3]. In the example amɣar ‘old man’, the internal vowel is by no means associated with number as the plural imɣarn is derived by means of the suffix –n. In this presentation, I argue that the inner vowel is associated with perfective (bound, telic or accomplished) aspect. Nominal aspect is not as investigated as verbal aspect in the literature, but it has been the topic of a number of studies[4] which point out to some inherent aspectual properties of nouns. However, unlike the aspect investigated in such studies, which is often of the type mass/count distinction, the nominal aspect that is dealt with in the present study is of the perfective/imperfective type, which is more reminiscent of verbal lexical aspect (or aktionsart). An example of a perfective nominal aspect in English is provided by nouns derived from participles such as a grown-up or writing where the perfective and imperfective aspect is inherited from the past and present participle, respectively. However, even in English, this type of nominal aspect is not restricted to nouns derived from participles. They are for instance implicit in deverbal nominals derived by means of the suffix –ion such as constructioninspection, etc. Similarly, some basic nouns, no matter the language, refer to an entity that is inherently perfective or accomplished. For instance, if we say a ‘house’ or an ‘adult’, these words are understood in their accomplished state or aspect (perfective, bounded or telic). Exploring data from Tamazight, I argue that the primary property of the inner vowel of nouns is aspectual and that in the case of internal plural, this aspectual vowel is put into contribution to indicate number. I further demonstrate that aspect is an essential property of the internal structure of nouns, without which the nominal structure cannot be complete. Finally, I explore the ways in which aspect interacts with other nominal properties such as class and number along the nominal spine.


[1] With the exception of Bohas (2000) who suggests the concept of etymon as an alternative.

[2] See Achab (2003, 2012) and references cited therein.

[3] There are three types of plurals in Tamazight: (i) internal, obtained by changing the internal vowel, (ii) external, obtained by means of the plural suffix –n and (iii) the mixt plurals, which is a combination of (i) and (ii).

[4] See among others Rijkhoff (1991, 2002), Nordlinger and Sadler’s (2004) and I Wayan Arka (2013) and references cited therin.

Colin Brown at “Putting Fieldwork on Indigenous Languages to New Uses”

Colin Brown returned last week from a workshop in São Paolo, Brazil called Putting Fieldwork on Indigenous Languages to New Uses. The workshop was supported by the São Paulo State Research Foundation (FAPESP), and was held from March 21st to April 2nd, at the University of Campinas (UNICAMP), Brazil. Colin’s presentation was titled “A structural account of split ergativity in Gitskan”.

Congrats new PhD, Alanah McKillen!

Congratulations Alanah McKillen, who successfully defended her PhD, “On the interpretation of reflexive pronouns”, last week. Alanah’s thesis was co-supervised by Bernhard Schwarz and Michael Wagner.

Alanah with her superivosrs

Alanah with her superivosrs

IMG_3100

Michael performs the picture-moving ceremony

Dissertation defense, 3/31 – Alanah McKillen

All are welcome to attend Alanah McKillen’s PhD Dissertation Defense.

Title: On the interpretation of reflexive pronouns

When: Thursday, March 31st  at 10:00am

Where: Arts Buildling, room 230 (followed by a reception in the lounge)

Abstract

This dissertation is concerned with the interpretation of reflexive pronouns and how their interpretation requirements affect the formulation of Condition A in binding theory. In Standard Binding Theory, reflexives are assumed to be interpreted as bound-variables only (Chomsky, 1981; Reinhart, 1983; Büring, 2005). This assumption is explicitly reflected in Condition A, which requires that reflexives must be locally bound-variables. In this dissertation I question how well motivated this assumption is.

To test the bound-variable-only assumption for reflexives, I investigate the readings that reflexives give rise to in VP-ellipsis and focus constructions. It has previously been observed that reflexives are ambiguous in VP-ellipsis, giving rise to both a strict and sloppy reading (Dahl, 1973; Sag, 1976; Hestvik, 1995; Fiengo and May, 1994). Rather than take this as evidence for both referentially interpreted and boundvariable reflexives, as is the case with ambiguities that arise with non-reflexive pronouns (Sag, 1976; Reinhart, 1983; Heim and Kratzer, 1998), previous accounts aim to derive strict readings of reflexives while maintaining the bound-variable-only assumption (Hestvik, 1995; Büring, 2005). However, I argue that these accounts run into problems which could be avoided if reflexives were able to be interpreted as coferential with their antecedents, and not just as bound-variables.

The readings of reflexives in focus constructions have received far less attention. Judgements are mixed, with reflexives being claimed to only be interpreted as sloppy, and the strict reading being unavailable or marginal (McCawley, 1967; Heim and Kratzer, 1998; Reinhart and Reuland, 1993), which would seem to support the bound variable-only assumption. Yet others – such as Dahl (1973), Büring (2005), Roelofsen (2008), and Ahn and Sportiche (2014) – claim both strict and sloppy readings are equally possible. I present experimental evidence in this dissertation which shows that strict reflexives in focus constructions are judged as acceptable to speakers, and argue that these readings cannot be accounted for with the assumption that reflexives are interpreted as bound-variables only; and that instead, a binding theory is needed in which reflexives can be coreferential with their antecedents.

With the need for coreferential reflexives established, the remainder of this dissertation is concerned with how Condition A can be formulated to incorporate this interpretation option, and how strict readings in VP-ellipsis and focus constructions will follow once it has been incorporated. I follow Sauerland (2013) in adopting a Condition A which is built into the compositional semantics as an argument identity presupposition, which will allow reflexives the option of coreference, and accounts for strict readings as instances of weakened presupposition projection. Compared to the option of modifying Standard Binding Theory, this presuppositional approach appears to be more insightful, but is not without complications. In order for weakened projection to occur, Sauerland (2013) assumes that a presupposition must be purely presuppositional. I present data which are problematic for this assumption and outline a new direction for the conditions under which weakened projection in focus alternatives may proceed, which is based on the relation the presuppositional element bears to the focus-marked phrase.

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