Monthly Archive for December, 2013

Semantics 4 & Seminar in Semantics, Winter 2014

LING 665 (Semantics 4) / LING 765 (Seminar in Semantics) will focus this year on the semantics of modality.

The class will consist of two parts. The first part will provide students with a gentle hands-on introduction to the classic analysis of modal auxiliaries and conditionals developed by Angelika Kratzer. We will start by surveying the limits of an extensional semantics of the type encountered in Semantics 3 and will then progressively introduce some basic tools to capture the meaning of modals and conditionals. In this part, we will familiarize ourselves with the analysis of modals as restricted quantifiers over possible worlds, the ranking of worlds in the domain of quantification, and the interaction between if-clauses and modals.

The second part of the course will survey some more recent developments in the semantics of modals. This part will focus on the interaction of modality and aspect and the semantic import of the syntactic distinction between `high’ (epistemic and some deontic) and `low’ (root) modals, as investigated in recent work by Valentine Hacquard. We will also survey recent work on the evidential component of epistemic modals by von Fintel and Gillies, and, time permitting, we will study two recent proposals by von Fintel and Iatridou on the interpretation of weak necessity modals and sufficiency constructions.


LING 665: homework assignments, class presentation, final paper.

LING 765 (Pass/Fail): homework assignments, class presentation.

McGill Canadian Conference for Linguistics Undergraduates (McCCLU)

March 14-16, 2014

SLUM is looking for speakers for the next McCCLU – a three-day conference held in the spring each year. Undergraduate Linguistics students will be coming from all over the Northeastern U.S., Ontario, and Quebec to give talks about their research. For more information, or to submit an abstract, please see our post on the Linguist List:
All are welcome (and encouraged) to attend!

McLingers to Amsterdam, Amsterdamfest at Syntax/Semantics Reading Group

McGill will be well represented at the 19th Amsterdam Colloquium, a major biannual semantics meeting. Alexandra Simonenko, Bernhard Schwarz and Luis Alonso-Ovalle will present at the main session and Dan Goodhue and Michael Wagner at the joint SemDial/Amsterdam Colloquium session.

To celebrate the occasion, at least a subset of the presenters will give practice talks at the Syntax/Semantics Reading Group on Friday December 6 from 2:30 to 4:30 (room 117). Everybody is invited to attend.

P.S: Note that Sepideh’s talk, originally scheduled for December 6 has been postponed.

Gretchen McCulloch CBC interview

Our very own Gretchen McCulloch has been in the news lately for her blogging on internet speech. Her blog post on a new type of internet-speak construction involving because  was quoted in a recent article in The Atlantic and she was interviewed last week by the CBC. You can here her full interview here. Because awesome.

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