The primary aim of LFRG is to give you an opportunity to have informal discussions of your own and other people’s ideas without having to worry about saying something wrong. Thus, practice talks and presentations of works in progress (or in regress) or papers that you find interesting are especially welcome.

The range of possible topics include semantics, syntax, their interface, and what not having a connection to either syntax or semantics. The idea is that a lot of research does not fit into the straight jacket of a narrow area – though it is by no means required to have any interdisciplinary interests to attend LFRG.

Meetings this semester are:

Wednesdays, 1-2:00pm in 32-D461 unless noted

There are basically four main kinds of meetings: 1) presentations of one’s own work, including in progress and in regress; 2) a genuine reading group meeting: everyone reads, or at least browses, some interesting paper, and we discuss it; 3) a tutorial-like meeting where the persons in charge tell everyone something about not so widely known things – like cool experimental techniques, math tools, new empirical results, etc., and then optionally people say what they think about that; and 4) brainstorming sessions: the persons in charge provide a topic and the necessary background, and the point is to generate some ideas about what one can do about the topic.

Meetings and changes in the schedule are announced here and by email to interested people. If you want to receive the email announcements, want to be in charge of a meeting, or have any other comments about the Syntax-Semantics Reading Group, email either Tatiana Bondarenko or Christopher Baron.

Claiming an LFRG slot is not scary at all – so don’t hesitate to do that!

Spring 2020

February 19, 2020
  • LFRG: Tanya Bondarenko (MIT)

    February 19, 2020 @ 1:00 pm - 2:00 pm

    Title: Hyperraising and Logical Form: evidence from Buryat
    When: 1pm - 2pm, February 19th (Wednesday)
    Where: 32-D461
    Abstract: Languages differ in whether they allow hyperraising to object: movement of an argument of an embedded finite clause into the matrix clause. Languages like Buryat (Mongolic) allow such movement, languages like English don't:

    (1) a. bair badm-i:jɘ-1 [CP t-1 sajan-i:jɘ zura-xa gɘʒɘ] han-a:
    Bair.NOM Badma-ACC Sajana-ACC draw-FUT COMP think-PST
    `Bair thought that Badma will draw Sajana.'
    b. *Bair thought Badma-1 [CP that t-1 will draw Sajana].


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February 26, 2020
  • LFRG: Patrick Elliott (MIT)

    February 26, 2020 @ 1:00 pm - 2:00 pm

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April 1, 2020
  • LFRG: Peter Grishin (MIT)

    April 1, 2020 @ 1:00 pm - 2:00 pm

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April 15, 2020
  • LFRG: Patrick Elliott (MIT)

    April 15, 2020 @ 1:00 pm - 2:00 pm

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April 22, 2020
  • LFRG: Ido Benbaji, Omri Doron, Margaret Wang (MIT)

    April 22, 2020 @ 1:00 pm - 2:00 pm

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April 29, 2020
  • LFRG: Itai Bassi & Tanya Bondarenko (MIT)

    April 29, 2020 @ 1:00 pm - 2:00 pm

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May 6, 2020
  • LFRG: Dmitry Privoznov (MIT)

    May 6, 2020 @ 1:00 pm - 2:00 pm

    Abstract: Let us define discourse anaphora as a referential dependency between an indefinite noun phrase and a pronoun like in (1) which could be established across a sentence boundary. Descriptively speaking, the indefinite introduces a discourse referent that the pronoun picks up.
    (1) a. A person who came in with a woman1 offered her1 drinks.
    b. *A person who came in with her1 offered a woman1 drinks.
    Looking at the contrast in (1) one might think that for this relation to hold the indefinite must linearly precede the pronoun. However, it is an established fact in the quite extensive…

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