8 found
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  1.  95
    Universals in semantics.Kai von Fintel & Lisa Matthewson - manuscript
    This article surveys the state of the art in the field of semantic universals. We examine potential semantic universals in three areas: (i) the lexicon, (ii) semantic “glue” (functional morphemes and composition principles), and (iii) pragmatics. At the level of the lexicon, we find remarkably few convincing semantic universals. At the level of functional morphemes and composition principles, we discuss a number of promising constraints, most of which require further empirical testing and/or refinement. In the realm of pragmatics, we predict (...)
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  2.  66
    On The Interpretation of Wide-scope Indefinites.Lisa Matthewson - 1998 - Natural Language Semantics 7 (1):79-134.
    This paper argues, on the basis of data from St'át'imcets (Lillooet Salish), for a theory of wide-scope indefinites which is similar, though not identical, to that proposed by Kratzer (1998). I show that a subset of S'át'imcets indefinites takes obligatory wide scope with respect to if-clauses, negation, and modals, and is unable to be distributed over by quantificational phrases. These wide-scope effects cannot be accounted for by movement, but require an analysis involving choice functions (Reinhart 1995, 1997). However, Reinhart's particular (...)
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  3. Quantification and the Nature of Crosslinguistic Variation.Lisa Matthewson - 2001 - Natural Language Semantics 9 (2):145-189.
    The standard analysis of quantification says that determiner quantifiers (such as every) take an NP predicate and create a generalized quantifier. The goal of this paper is to subject these beliefs to crosslinguistic scrutiny. I begin by showing that in St'á'imcets (Lillooet Salish), quantifiers always require sisters of argumental type, and the creation of a generalized quantifier from an NP predicate always proceeds in two steps rather than one. I then explicitly adopt the strong null hypothesis that the denotations of (...)
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  4. Temporal semantics in a superficially tenseless language.Lisa Matthewson - 2006 - Linguistics and Philosophy 29 (6):673 - 713.
    This paper contributes to the debate about ‘tenseless languages’ by defending a tensed analysis of a superficially tenseless language. The language investigated is St’át’imcets (Lillooet Salish). I argue that although St’át’imcets lacks overt tense morphology, every finite clause in the language possesses a phonologically covert tense morpheme; this tense morpheme restricts the reference time to being non-future. Future interpretations, as well as ‘past future’ would-readings, are obtained by the combination of covert tense with an operator analogous to Abusch’s (1985) WOLL. (...)
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  5.  77
    Modals as distributive indefinites.Hotze Rullmann, Lisa Matthewson & Henry Davis - 2008 - Natural Language Semantics 16 (4):317-357.
    Modals in St’át’imcets (Lillooet Salish) show two differences from their counterparts in English. First, they have variable quantificational force, systematically allowing both possibility and necessity interpretations; and second, they lexically restrict the conversational background, distinguishing for example between deontic and (several kinds of) epistemic modality. We provide an analysis of the St’át’imcets modals according to which they are akin to specific indefinites in the nominal domain. They introduce choice function variables which select a subset of the accessible worlds. Following Klinedinst, (...)
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  6.  4
    Methodologies in semantic fieldwork.M. Ryan Bochnak & Lisa Matthewson (eds.) - 2015 - New York: Oxford University Press.
    This volume brings together papers that discuss methodological issues in conducting elicitation on semantic topics in a fieldwork situation. Each author pairs explicit methodological proposals with concrete examples of their use in the field. The range of languages discussed span 11 language families and four continents.
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  7. Blackwell Companion to Semantics.Lisa Matthewson, Cécile Meier, Hotze Rullman & Thomas Ede Zimmermann (eds.) - forthcoming - Wiley.
     
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  8. Methods in cross-linguistic semantics.Lisa Matthewson - 2019 - In Claudia Maienborn, Klaus von Heusinger & Paul Portner (eds.), Semantics: foundations, history and methods. De Gruyter.
     
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