Roundtable 1 Abstracts

L. Tieu & J. Kang
“Reconciling neg-raising and NPI licensing in Korean”
Gajewski (2007) argues that neg-raising predicates (NRPs) introduce a set of alternatives that includes their internal negation, and trigger an excluded middle (EM) presupposition that projects through negation; he also shows that negated NRPs support anti-additive inferences, thus licensing strict NPIs. Since Korean exhibits neg-raising, we might expect licensing of strict NPIs such as amu-(N)-to, contrary to fact (Bošković, 2008). To capture this unavailability while preserving a unified account of NRPs, we propose that an even-like presupposition triggered by the emphatic particle to (An, 2007) is crucially incompatible with the EM presupposition triggered by the NRPs.

Y. Shibata
“Identification effect of overt experiencers”
In (subject-to-subejct) raising constructions in English, the existence of overt experiencer phrases can affect the interpretation of the raised subject.
For example, (for speakers who find this effect,) the subject in (1a) can receive either specific or non-specific interpretation, while the one in (1b) cannot have non-specific reading (or the reading is degraded):

(1) a. A student from the class seems to be absent.
b. A student from the class seems to John to be absent.

I look into this effect and discuss potential relation between the effect and other phenomena relevant to interpretation of raised subjects.

A. Talić
“Why can’t I get out of this phase?”
Assuming the Phase Impenetrability Condition (PIC) (Chomsky 2001), elements that are at the edge of a phase should be available for movement to higher phrases, regardless if these elements are base generated in this position or they moved into it. Certain elements (some APs) have been claimed in the literature to be placed in SpecDP, and by just observing such sentences (see (1a)) we can see that those phrases precede the determiner. There are also assumptions that these elements move to SpecDP from the NP-adjoined position (Alexiadou et al. 2007).

(1)a. [How important] a t decision is this?
b. This is a [very important] decision.

Taking into consideration Bošković’s (2005) notion of anti-locality, it is impossible to move elements from an NP-adjoined position to SpecDP (this is why left branch extraction is impossible in English). Now the question arises how come these APs end up in a pre-determiner position if they do originate in the NP. Also, if these elements are indeed in SpecDP, it is puzzling why they cannot move out of the DP on their own, but rather they need to pied-pipe the whole DP.

N. Todorović
“Distribution of perfective aspect in matrix and subordinate clauses in Serbian”
In matrix clauses in Serbian, perfective aspect is incompatible with morphological present tense that refers to the Utterance Time. In subordinate clauses, there is a two-partite division with respect to availability of perfective aspect with morphological present tense: 1) perfective is entirely prohibited on the embedded verbs whose temporal interpretation is simultaneous with one of the matrix verb, or 2) perfective is allowed on the embedded verbs whose temporal interpretation is posterior to the one matrix verb. I am adopting Kratzer’s (1998) definition of perfective according to which the event time interval of the predicate marked for perfective needs to be included in the reference time interval. In addition, I am assuming that in Serbian, the semantics of present requires overlap of the event time interval with the reference time interval. I suggest that the Tense and Aspect pair needs to locate the event with respect to reference time and that the conflict between present and perfective arises only in instances when the reference time is directly specified in the context.

In addition, I try to determine the parallelism between the aforementioned distribution of perfective in Serbian and the restrictions on the bare, non-progressive forms of eventive predicates in English, discussed in Wurmbrand (2011), given that the two constructions are prohibited in a large number of identical environments.

V. Petroj
“My name is Maggie, I’m two, and I speak a pro-drop language”
Analyzing and comparing instances of N-S sentences in Child Language Acquisition has been a hot topic in Linguistics for a long time. Empirical evidence shows that subjectless sentences are produced by children that are speakers of not only languages that have the N-S Parameter, but also in languages in which subjectless sentences are considered ungrammatical in the adult speech. Precisely this discrepancy between the grammars of a child and of an adult has made this topic very intriguing to a large number of researchers. In the literature, Italian has been widely used as a representative of the languages that have the N-S Parameter, as opposed to English, in which the subject is always obligatory.

In this study, sample sentences were taken from a thirty-minute interview with a Romanian child named Maggie, of age 2;1. The interview took place Maggie’s home and the persons present were Maggie, her mother and aunt, who was also the interviewer. Maggie was shown a series of pictures (24) that represented actions whose description required either transitive or intransitive verbs. Maggie was asked to describe the pictures by answering questions like: “What’s going on in this picture?”, “What do you see in this picture?” and follow up questions like “What else is going on?” and “How/Why is this going on?” and so on. Questions that included the subject from the pictures were avoided, giving the child a chance for an unbiased response.