Michael Wagner gave a series of workshops from May 22-23 in London as this year’s Randolph Quirk Fellow at Queen Mary University. The fellowship is capped by a public online lecture on June 13th at 10am. Michael will send the link to join the lecture virtually to the department when it’s available, or you can email him if you’d like to join.
Oddball phenomena—such as focus and coordination below the word level, metalinguistic uses of focus and disjunction, expletive insertion within words, and echo questions (see Artstein 2002 for pioneering work on these)—make sense if grammatical expressions can danote operate over other expressions of the grammar (following Potts 2007). If we allow expressions to denote and operate over pluralities of expressions, we can shed light on these fringes of grammar, and arguably learn something about the general architecture of grammar. They seemingly call for a grammar in which structural pieces are inserted early, before they are assigned syntactic features and a meaning, and in which the process of combining syntactic expressions and composing their meaning is itself negotiated by expressions of the grammar. The public lecture shows how this approach can resolve a paradox in the analysis of right-node raising.