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Departmental seminar

Date: 
Tue, 04/12/201814:30-16:00
Location: 
LLCC seminar room
Lecturer: 
Moshe Bar-Lev, École Normale Supérieure & the Hebrew University of Jerusalem

Homogeneity and the distributive-collective distinction

This talk focuses on two questions in the semantics of plural predication: 

(1) Does plural predication give rise to `specified' (i.e., distributive or collective) meanings or to `underspecified' ones (compatible with both distributive and collective situations)? 

(2) What is the source of variation between non-distributive predicates with respect to Homogeneity (Križ 2015)?

Examining question (1), I argue that both specified and underspecified meanings should be derivable (following Schwarzschild 1991; Heim 1994), and observe that predicates differ in their Specification properties (whether they give rise to specified or underspecified meanings). I further claim that there is a correlation between the Specification properties of predicates and their Homogeneity properties, which calls for a unified perspective on questions (1)-(2). I propose such a perspective based on a novel trivalent semantics for Link's star operator (following but departing from Schwarzschild 1994) together with a relativization of that operator to `covers' (Schwarzschild 1991, 1994; Heim 1994).