Syntax-Semantics Reading Group, 09/16 – First Meeting

For this year’s edition of the syntax-semantics reading group, we will be trying something a little different. This edition will be more of a reading group as we will attempt to work through a number of papers together. The goal is to cover some of the literature concerning the use of alternatives in grammar (that is, we will explore the proposal that utterances invoke alternatives and the ramifications of such a proposal). In particular, we will aim to understand theories addressing how alternatives are introduced (and projected) in the grammar – both syntactically and semantically – and how this relates to the syntax-semantics interface. This will include looking at different theories in alternative semantics (and how alternative semantics interacts with the regular semantic framework), but also other theories which propose that alternatives are syntactic objects which are syntactically projected rather than semantically (and how these theories differ from the semantic ones). Here is a link to a Google doc which includes a list of potential readings (however, if anyone has any recommendations or anything else they’d like to read, please feel free to add it to the Google doc or let Jonny know!).
The reading group will primarily be in person, but I can make it hybrid if that makes it easier for anyone (in that case, I will circulate a Zoom link once the date and time are confirmed).
One thing to emphasize: Looking at alternatives is one focus of the reading group, but other presentations are always welcome. There will always be slots available for students who want to present their ongoing research and receive feedback (especially if people want to prepare for upcoming conference presentations)!
Finally, please remember to fill in the Doodle poll by September 5th.
Thanks, and please don’t hesitate to contact Jonny if you have any questions!

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