***This talk has unfortunately been cancelled due to illness. A new date will be posted soon.***
We are happy to invite you to Lisa Bylinina’s (Meertens Institute) talk as part of the ROSE seminar series, which will take place this coming Thursday, 14 January. Lisa’s talk is entitled “On the semantics of ordinals.” (See below for abstract).
Date: Thursday, 14 January, 2016
***Location: Janskerkhof 2-3, Room 111 (26)***
We hope to see you all there!
the ROSE team
On the semantics of ordinals
The semantics of ordinal expressions has been neglected in the literature until very recently, and only a few concrete proposals have been put forward so far. Curiously, these previous studies all adapt the relatively well-understood syntax and semantics of superlatives for ordinals. This strategy is natural given initial motivation from certain similarities between the two types of expressions.
In this talk based on joint work with Yasutada Sudo, Natalia Ivlieva and Alexander Podobryaev, I bring up a previously unnoticed contrast between ordinals and superlatives that points to a crucial difference between them. Specifically, we observe that unlike superlatives, ordinals do not give rise to upstairs de dicto readings. This leads us to renounce the idea that ordinals and superlatives are alike in all respects. In particular, adopting the movement theory of superlatives, we propose that ordinals, unlike superlatives, are always interpreted in situ. As for their similarities pointed out by the previous studies, we claim that they all stem from the fact that both superlatives and ordinals refer to ‘comparison classes’ in the same manner.
I will also discuss some open issues in the semantics of ordinals, and the problem of non-homogeneity of ordinals as a lexical class.