Seminar Schedule

Seminars in Fall Term 2020

Upcoming seminars can also be found on the SOL Kalenderium.

Monday, September 21 (15:15–17:00)

Speaker: Shin Ishihara (Lund)

Title: Testing MatchClause: The prosody of embedded clauses in Japanese

Abstract:  This study reports results of a phonetic production experiment which tests one of the implications of Match Theory (MT), namely, the categorically distinctive prosodic marking of syntactic phrase and clause boundaries.  MT assumes that a syntactic clause tends to be mapped onto prosody as an intonational phrase (ι) and a syntactic phrase as a phonological phrase (φ). These syntax–prosody correspondences are derived by OT constraints MatchClause and MatchPhrase, respectively. The experiment is designed to test whether sentence-medial embedded clauses are mapped to ι's. The results show no indication of distinctive difference between prosodic boundaries at phrase edges and those at clause edges. Based on the results, several implications to the understanding of Japanese intonation and the theory of syntax–prosody interface will be discussed.


Monday, October 19 (15:15–17:00, online)

Speaker: Arthur Holmer (SOL, Lund University) and Lars Larm (University of Gothenburg)

Title: The curious case of the excessive construction in Japanese

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The excessive morpheme in Japanese -sugi- ‘too much’ is intriguing in two ways. Firstly, while it is normally realized on the verb, it can refer to a variety of different elements in the clause, such as a manner adverb, an adverb of frequency, the action of the verb itself, the quantity of the object, a gradable property of the object, and in some cases even the quantity of the subject. For example, in (1) – (3) it targets, respectively, the quantity of the object (biiru‘beer’), the manner of the action (hayaku ‘fast’), and the property of the object (takai ‘expensive’):

(1)    biiru   o      nomi-sugi-ta
        beer ACC  drink-EXC-PST
        ‘(I) drank too much beer.’

(2)   hayaku    nomi-sugi-ta
       fast         drink-EXC-PST
       ‘(I) drank too fast.’

(3)   takai          kuruma   o        kai-sugi-ta
       expensive car          ACC buy-EXC-PST
       ‘(I) bought a too expensive car.’

Secondly, while its status as a verbal affix is fairly fixed, its placement among the other verb affixes is very variable, and the different positions are reflected by different meanings. For instance, it may precede or follow negation:

(4)   nomi-sugi-nai-de             kudasa-i
       ‘Don’t drink too much.’

(5)   tabe-nasa-sugi-ta.
       ‘S/he ate too little.’
       (i.e. ‘S/he was excessive at non-eating.’)

The presentation shows how the variable interpretation of -sugi- to other elements in the clause is semantico-pragmatically determined, and that the semantic effect of affix ordering can be explained in terms of scope.


Monday, November 2 (15:15–17:00, online)

Speaker: Kazuko Yatsushiro (ZAS, Berlin)

Title: TBA

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Monday, November 30 (15:15–17:00, online)

Speaker: Jens Karlsson (Stockholm University)

Title: Beskrivningsordens funktioner och markörer i kinesiska

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