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  1. Semantics with Assignment Variables.Alex Silk - forthcoming - Cambridge: Cambridge University Press.
    This book develops a syntactic and semantic framework for natural language. The principal focus is a spectrum of "shifting" phenomena in which the context relevant for interpreting certain expressions seems to depend on features of the linguistic environment. A key innovation is to introduce explicit representations of context in linguistic structure and meanings. Central applications include local and non-local contextual dependencies with quantifiers, attitude ascriptions, conditionals, questions, and relativization. The project integrates conceptual insights from contemporary philosophy of language, formal tools (...)
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  • Three Kinds of Ellipsis: Syntactic, Semantic, Pragmatic?Jason Merchant - 2010 - In Francois Recanati, IIsidora Stojanovic & Neftali Villanueva (eds.), Context-Dependence, Perspective, and Relativity (pp. 141-192).
    The term ‘ellipsis’ can be used to refer to a variety of phenomena: syntactic, semantic, and pragmatic. In this article, I discuss the recent comprehensive survey by Stainton 2006 of these kinds of ellipsis with respect to the analysis of nonsententials and try to show that despite his trenchant criticisms and insightful proposal, some of the criticisms can be evaded and the insights incorporated into a semantic ellipsis analysis, making a ‘divide-and-conquer’ strategy to the properties of nonsententials feasible after all. (...)
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  • Concealed Causatives.Maria Bittner - 1999 - Natural Language Semantics 7 (1):1-78.
    Crosslinguistically, causative constructions conform to the following generalization: If the causal relation is syntactically concealed, then it is semantically direct. Concealed causatives span a wide syntactic spectrum, ranging from resultative complements in English to causative subjects in Miskitu. A unified type-driven theory is proposed which attributes the understood causal relation—and other elements of constructional meaning—to type lifting operations predictably licensed by type mismatch at LF. The proposal has far-reaching theoretical implications not only for the theory of compositionality and causation, but (...)
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  • Cross-Linguistic Semantics for Questions.Maria Bittner - 1998 - Linguistics and Philosophy 21 (1):1-82.
    : The Hamblin-Karttunen approach has led to many insights about questions in English. In this article the results of this rule-by-rule tradition are reconsidered from a crosslinguistic perspective. Starting from the type-driven XLS theory developed in Bittner (1994a, b), it is argued that evidence from simple questions (in English, Polish, Lakhota and Warlpiri) leads to certain revisions. The revised XLS theory then immediately generalizes to complex questions — including scope marking (Hindi), questions with quantifiers (English) and multiple wh-questions (English, Hindi, (...)
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  • Comparative Notes On Ergative Case Systems.Maria Bittner & Ken Hale - 2000 - In Robert Pensalfini & Norvin Richards (eds.), MITWPEL 2: Papers on Australian Languages. Dep. Linguistics, MIT.
    Ergative languages make up a substantial percentage of the world’s languages. They have a case system which distinguishes the subject of a transitive verb from that of an intransitive, grouping the latter with the object — that is, the object of a transitive verb and the subject of an intransitive verb are in the same case, which we refer to as the nominative. However, ergative languages differ from one another in important ways. In Greenlandic Eskimo the nominative, whether it is (...)
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  • Phrasal and Clausal Comparatives in Greek and the Abstractness of Syntax.Jason Merchant http://homeuchicagoedu/~merchant/publicationshtml - manuscript
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  • D-linking and the inability of subjects in English to topicalise.Georgios Ioannou - 2013 - Logos: Revista de Lingüística, Filosofía y Literatura 23 (1):4-31.
    This paper inquires into the inability ofsubjects in English to topicalise. Treatingtopicalisation as a specific case of d-linking,it asks: why don’t subjects topicalise inEnglish? And why cannot they be d-linkedthrough further movement? It concludes thatthe property of [aboutness] of subjects is anunderspecified instance of a more compositederivative effect realised as [topic]. Giventhe ability of objects in English to be readilyd-linked through extraction in CP, theanalysis takes a detailed look at the structuraldifferences between subjects and objects. Itconcludes that d-linking of an (...)
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