Malte Zimmermann, professor of linguistics at Potsdam University, will be visiting the department for a couple weeks in his capacity as Guru of Semantics.
Here's what Angelika says about his stay:
Our semantics guru Malte Zimmermann will arrive on March 20 and will be with us until April 1st. Malte will give a department colloquium on March 25, and a seminar-style, more specialized, talk on Thursday, March 31st, from 4:00 to 6:00. Please consult the department website for information about the room for the seminar. The titles and abstracts of the talks are below. There will be a 'Welcome the Guru' event at our place with cake and fake champagne on March 20th, a reception after his March 25 colloquium in the department, and a dinner party at our place after his seminar on March 31.
In this talk, I discuss the realisation of focus in Ngamo, which like many (West) African languages does not require the explicit marking of focus on non-subjects in terms of absolute prominence (pitch, movement, markers). I discuss various analyses of the realisation of focus in Ngamo and show that only two are compatible with the observable facts: (i) Analysis I assumes that focus in Ngamo is consistently marked on all constituents, but not in terms of absolute prominence, but in terms of alignment with major prosodic phrases(Féry , submitted); (ii) Analysis II assumes an asymmetry in the focus marking system of Ngamo in that only subject foci must be marked. In the final part of the talk, I show that the association behaviour of focus-particles (exclusive 'only' vs additive 'also') provides us with evidence in favour of analysis I.
Seminar-style talk on March 31 from 4:00 to 6:00 PM (room to be announced)
In this talk, I discuss the two ways of expressing indefiniteness in Hausa, namely by means of bare NPs or the structurally more compelx wani-DPs. I argue that the two kinds of indefinite NPs involve different modes of semantic composition, i.e. RESTRICT (Chung & Ladusaw 2004) and choice functions plus existential closure at various levels. The Hausa data would thus seem provide evidence in favour of Reinhart's (1997) flexible choice function approach, as opposed to the
more restricted choice function accounts in Kratzer (1998) and Matthewson (1999). The final part of the talk looks in more detail at how the Hausa data fare
with respect to these alternative analyses and other criticism levelled against the flexible choice function approach by Schwarz (2001).