Information détaillée concernant le cours
Modality in Language
24-25 juin 2019
|Responsable de l'activité||
M. David Blunier, UNIGE
Mme Hasmik Jivanyan, UNIGE
Mme Anastasia Giannakidou, University of Chicago
M. Jason Merchant, University of Chicago
The aim of the workshop is to gather PhD students, post-docs and other interested scholars around the concept of modality in language. Modality is a pervasive category across human languages, allowing us to talk about possible, necessary, imaginary, desirable, and unrealized states or events: as such, it constitutes one of the most prominent topics in current linguistic theorizing. The analysis of modality has its roots in formal logic (Lewis & Langford 1932, Barcan Marcus 1993, Kripke 1959, 1963 i.a.), later adapted into a full semantic framework for natural languages by Kratzer (1977, 1978, 1981, 1986, 1989). This framework is now used by most linguists in order to handle the various (and sometimes, quirky) ways languages represent alethic, but also epistemic, deontic, and bouletic modality. Research questions emerging from this line of research are numerous, including how to model in an appropriate way the semantic value of modality and its pertaining categories, the mapping of these categories to different structural positions within the clause, but also concern the relations modality entertains with other categories such as tense, mood, and aspect, which are systemically correlated in natural languages. The purpose of this workshop is to catch a glimpse of this vast field of inquiry, by providing a dual set of lectures with different purposes: the first two talks shall consist in an introduction to the syntactic and semantic treatment of modality, while the remaining two will consist in more advanced treatments of topics in the syntax and semantics of modality.
Modality workshop, University of Geneva, 2019
Lecture 2: Doxastic and epistemic attitudesHere we build on the Hintikka semantics of belief and discuss the difference between belief and knowledge. We propose a new treatment of doxastic attitudes that relies on layers in the lexical entry of belief verbs, and distinguish between solipsistic belief which is subjectively veridical and selects the indicative, and conjectural belief which is nonveridical and selects the subjunctive.
Lecture 3: Volitional attitudes and complementizer (that/to) alternations. First we give a basic syntax and semantics for attitudes of volition which renders them nonveridical and correlates with future oriented tense. We offer an analysis of this tense NONPAST. We then discuss complementizer and mood shifts with verbs of promising and persuading, and distinguish the various syntactic realizations of to.
Lecture 4: The syntax of modals, modal complement ellipsis, and head movement
Programme détaillé CUSO Workshop: Modality in language
Geneva, June 24-25, 2019
University of Geneva, Bâtiment Candolle (2, Rue-de-Candolle), room L107 (first floor)
Monday, June 24
9h30-10h Coffee and Registration
10h-12h Lecture 1: Framework, types of modality, Nonveridicality Axiom
On possible worlds, assertion, and common ground: R. Stalnaker, "Assertion"
On veridicality and the non-veridicality axiom: A. Gianakidou, Polar sensitivity as (non-)veridical dependency
12h-14h Lunch at Emilios
14h-16h Lecture 2: Doxastic and epistemic attitudes
16h-16h30 Coffee break
16h30-18h Student session
Dinner at Pasta d'Oro
Tuesday, June 25
10h-12h Lecture 3: The syntax of modals, modal complement ellipsis, and head movement
12h-14h Lunch at Le Radar de pOche
14h-16h Lecture 4: Volitional attitudes and complementizer (that/to) alternations
16h-16h30 Concluding remarks