LINGUIST List 33.2546

Thu Aug 18 2022

Confs: Pragmatics, Psycholinguistics, Semantics/France

Editor for this issue: Everett Green <everettlinguistlist.org>



Date: 10-Aug-2022
From: Keny Chatain <hnm1.workshopaol.com>
Subject: 1st Workshop on Homogeneity and Non-Maximality in Plural Predication and Beyond
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1st Workshop on Homogeneity and Non-Maximality in Plural Predication and Beyond
Short Title: HNM1


Date: 18-Nov-2022 - 19-Nov-2022
Location: Online, France
Contact: Keny Chatain
Contact Email: < click here to access email >
Meeting URL: https://homogeneity-workshop.netlify.app/

Linguistic Field(s): Pragmatics; Psycholinguistics; Semantics

Meeting Description:

A long-standing observation (since at least Fodor 1970) is that in certain contexts, sentences containing plurals exhibit gaps between their truth and falsity conditions. If John read half of the books he was assigned, neither (1-a) nor (1-b) seems true; furthermore, in three-valued judgment tasks (Križ & Chemla 2015), speakers tend to judge sentences like (1-a) “neither completely true nor completely false” in such scenarios.

(1)
a. John read the books.
b. John didn’t read the books.

This curious gap in meaning has been dubbed homogeneity. For definite plurals and type e conjunctions, homogeneity effects have been studied extensively and are attested in unrelated language families (e.g. Szabolcsi & Haddican 2004). But homogeneity effects have also been observed in other domains: mass and group nouns (Löbner 2000), generics (von Fintel 1997, Löbner 2000 a.o.), time (Agha 2021), embedded questions (Križ 2015; Blok & Chark 2021), conditionals (von Fintel 1997 a.o.), neg-raising predicates (Gajewski 2005), t-based conjunctions (Schmitt 2013), donkey anaphora (Krifka 1996, Champollion et al. 2019), clefts (Büring & Križ 2012) etc.

The stability and pervasiveness of homogeneity call for a general theory. Yet, despite extensive theoretical work (Schwarzschild 1994; Löbner 2000; Gajewski 2005; Križ 2015; Magri 2014; Križ & Spector 2021, Bar-Lev 2021), many things remain unknown, from the precise conditions under which homogeneity is found to its potential connection to other gappy phenomena.

Another set of open questions concerns the relation between homogeneity and imprecision or non-maximality: In some contexts, (1-a) can still be judged true if John read, say, 7 out of 10 assigned books (see Brisson (1998), Malamud (2012), Križ (2015), Burnett (2017) a.o. for discussion). Non-maximality is characteristic of plural definites, but absent in constructions like (2) that also lack homogeneity. This raises the question of whether homogeneity and non-maximality are due to the same underlying mechanism (see e.g. Križ 2015, Bar-Lev 2021, Križ & Spector 2021, Feinmann 2020 for discussion).

(2) John read all the books.

The aim of this workshop is to bring together researchers working on homogeneity and non-maximality and have a discussion on some of the outstanding issues related to homogeneity and non-maximality.





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