Nino Grillo (Humboldt-Universität zu Berlin)

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We are happy to announce that on Thursday, April 14th, Nino Grillo (Humboldt-Universität zu Berlinwill give a talk in the Rose series. We hope to see you all there!

Date: Thursday, April 14, 2016
Time: 15:00-17:00
Location: Trans 10, room 0.51
Nino Grillo
Event Kinds and the Pseudo Relative

Pseudo-relatives (PRs) are finite embedded constructions that complement perception verbs (brack- eted in (1)). It is commonly thought that the tense of PRs must “match” matrix tense: only imperfective (=past) under matrix past forms (including perfect as in (1a)); only present under present (1b) (Radford 1977, Guasti 1988, Cinque 1995, a.o.). There are, however, under-reported cases of tense “mismatch”, where present is possible under perfect (1c) (see also Casalicchio 2013).

(1) a. Ho visto [Leo che correva].     b. Vedo [L. che corre]    c. Ho visto [L. che corre].

          I.have seen L. that run.IMPF      I.see L. that run.PRES  I.have seen L. that run.PRES

          ‘I saw L running.’                           ‘I see L. running.’          ‘I saw L. run.’

In recent work with Keir Moulton (Simon Fraser University) I argue that Tense-matching PRs (TM-PRs) (1a,b) can deliver an event-token interpretation where as Present-under-Perfect PRs (Tense-mismatching PRs, TMM-PRs) (1c) can only deliver an event-kind interpretation (Portner 1991, Gehrke 2015 a.o.). In support for this account, I will discuss the different quantificational properties of the two varieties of PRs. I will further discuss how the account derives several asymmetries between TM and TMM-PRs: including the ability to combine with temporal and spatial modifiers, introduce discourse referents, saturate kind-selecting predicates (common, widespread) and combine with kind-anaphora. I will derive the Kind interpretation of TMM-PRs as a result of two features: (i) the TMM-PR is habitual and so denotes a plurality of events (Ferreira 2005); (ii) whereas TM-PRs are headed by a definite determiner (Moulton and Grillo 2015), TMM-PRs are headed by Chierchia’s kind-forming . When TMM-PRs combine with token-taking verbs (see in (1c)) they combine by Derived Kind Predication (DKP, Chierchia 1998), and as predicted display different quantificational properties compared to TM-PRs.

Finally I will show that cross-linguistic variation in the availability of TMM-PRs is tied to the availability of kind-denoting singular definites in PR-taking environments and, time permitting, I will briefly discuss issues in kind-denoting nominals, parametrization and learnability.

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