All talks are from 3:30 to 5:00 p.m. in room 32-155 (unless otherwise indicated). For further information, please contact Agnes, Christopher, or Neil. This schedule is subject to change; please check back for changes.
Title: Gradient Symbolic Representations and the Typology of Phonological Exceptions
Abstract: The assumption of Gradient Symbolic Representations that phonological elements can have different degrees of activation (Smolensky and Goldrick, 2016; Rosen, 2016; Zimmermann, 2018, 2019) allows a unified explanation for the typology of phonological exceptions. The crucial theoretical mechanism for exceptional behaviour are gradient constraint violations: The activation of a phonological element in an underlying morpheme representation determines 1) how much the element is preserved by faithfulness constraints and 2) how much it is penalized by markedness constraints. I argue that this simple mechanism predicts the attested typology of phonological exceptions. Two cases…
Colloquium: Nicholas Fleisher [Wisconsin-Milwaukee]
March 6, 2020 @ 3:30 pm - 5:00 pm 32-155
Title: On Binding-Strict Configurations
Abstract: Many prominent approaches to binding and ellipsis countenance binding-strict configurations: cases where strict identity is licensed for an elided pronoun while the corresponding pronoun in the ellipsis antecedent is locally bound. I argue that such a licensing regime overpredicts the distribution of strict readings. This is a particularly dire problem for theories that involve what I call compulsory binding (Reinhart 1983, Grodzinsky & Reinhart 1993, Fox 2000, Büring 2005), but it also afflicts the widely adopted ellipsis licensing framework of Rooth (1992). I suggest that we should seek a theory of ellipsis that bars binding-strict configurations.…