April 7: Lisa Bylinina (Meertens Institute)

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We are happy to announce that on Thursday, April 7th, Lisa Bylinina (Meertens Institute, Amsterdam) will give a talk in the Rose series. We hope to see you all there!
Date: Thursday, April 7, 2016
Time: 15:00-17:00
Location: Trans 10, room 0.51
Speaker: Lisa Bylinina
Title: Perspective-sensitivity as a type of context-sensitivity (partly based on joint work with Yasutada Sudo and Eric McCready)

Perspective-sensitivity as a type of context-sensitivity 
Natural language constantly confronts us with perspective. Not only can perspective dependence be found in spatial expressions (‘left’, ‘right’, ‘in front’ etc.), but also in socio-cultural nouns like ‘foreigner’ or ‘alien’ and subjective predicates like ‘tasty’, ‘interesting’. All these expressions share the feature that their interpretation depends on someone’s perspective – call such a person the perspective center or PC. Intuitively, perspective-sensitivity is a kind of context-¬sensitivity, in that who counts as a PC is largely determined by the context. There are other kinds of context–sensitive items in natural language – for example, indexicals and pronominal anaphora. The main question I will address is whether we can analyse perspective-¬sensitivity as an instance of other known types of context¬-sensitivity. There are indeed non-trivial similarities between perspective-sensitive items and both pronominal anaphora and anaphoric expressions. However, I will argue that there are crucial differences between all three classes, which any theory of perspective-sensitivity has to capture. I will discuss one preliminary version of such theory. New data on the interaction between indexicality and perspective will be presented.

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