LLF – Bât. ODG – 5e étage – Salle du conseil (533)
Modals and Compositionality
The classical analysis of modals (Kratzer 1977, 1981) is satisfying and elegant but falls short when it comes to capturing the interaction between modal interpretation, syntactic selection and hierarchical position within the clause structure. Recent work (Hacquard 2006, 2010 ) has made some progress towards addressing this problem with minimal modifications of the classical system. In this course, I first briefly summarize the state of the art, and then lay out a series of outstanding generalizations, problems and mysteries concerning the behaviour of circumstantial and epistemic modals with regard to the way they interact with clause structure and the tense-aspect system. I will argue that these patterns require a radical re-thinking of modal semantics that allows modal polysemy to fall out compositionally from the type of constituent it combines with in the three different zones of sentential phrase structure. I suggest a new model that does not treat modals as quantificational elements (over possible worlds), but as focus operators over choice alternatives (Ramchand 2018).
D+CP: syntactic category and semantic opacity
This crash course will examine the syntax-semantics of clausal complementation and embedding through the lens of constructions in which a determiner appears to combine directly with a clausal constituent. We’ll investigate the external syntactic and semantic restrictions on these, as well as their internal composition. The goal of the course will be to provide, first, background in current thinking on the compositional syntax-semantics of propositional and non-propositional arguments, and second, to explore the different ``flavours of propositionality’’ that are exhibited by D+CP constructions in a range of languages (Spanish, Russian, Hebrew, Greek) as well as nominalized CPs in Korean, Japanese, and Navajo.