Linguistics Colloquium: Suzi Lima

06/06/2017 - 14:00 - 15:30

Suzi Lima, University of Toronto/Federal University of Rio de Janeiro

Title: The interpretation of container phrases across languages

Abstract: The possible interpretations of container phrases (such as ‘cups of sugar’) has been long debated in the formal semantics literature given that container phrases can be associated with a variety of possible readings that goes from individuation to measure. In this paper we explore the interpretation of container phrases in Yudja (Tupi stock, Brazil), which is a language where container phrases are optional in constructions with numerals and are morphosyntactically identical to locative phrases. Based on experimental studies with Yudja children and adults we intend to show that these expressions are ambiguous in at least three ways (locative, individuation and measure) and that a locative reading might emerge even in scenarios where the verb and the context bias a measure interpretation. We will contrast the results from the studies in Yudja with the results of similar studies in English.


Building 604, room 11