Friday, June 2: Carlos Cisneros

Please join us this Friday as Carlos Cisneros from the Linguistics Department presents work on compositional sources of anti-episodicity.

Date and time: Friday, June 2, 11:00 a.m. – 12:50 p.m.

Location: Stuart 209 (Philosophy seminar room)

Title: Anti-episodicity as a general constraint on on even just


This presentation offers evidence that the string of focus-sensitive particles even just displays a restricted grammatical distribution while occurring as a nominal modifier.  The string seems to display anti-episodicity, or a ban on occurrence in episodic contexts, while its component lexical items, even and just, do not.  The presentation additionally shows that the particular style of anti-episodicity displayed by even just may be derivable from the composition of the individual meaning contributions of the component lexical items, in particular, scalar additive readings of even and rank-order readings of just.  Essentially, anti-episodicity is the result of contrary inferences that are generated by the string even just within a proposition.  The particle even generates a presupposed propositional alternative to an assertion that is exhaustified by just, thus creating contrary readings.  In order to avoid unacceptability, the particle just must be interpreted within the scope of an appropriate logical operator.  The distribution of even just corresponds greatly to the acceptable environments for free choice items crosslinguistically, such that this work expands the class of items known to display such behavior.

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