The Syntax-Semantics reading group will be meeting on Thursday, January 18th at 1pm in Rm. 117 of the McGill Linguistics department, with a Zoom room open for those unable to join in person.

This week, Jonny will be giving a practice talk for NELS. The abstract is below:

Quantifier Raising (QR) is a standard tool for analyzing scope and the interaction of quantificational expressions in natural language. In this talk, I explore whether universal quantifiers can undergo QR out of tensed clauses (henceforth, ‘non-local QR’) to derive what I will call variation readings. The evidence in the literature is conflicting given that the availability of non-local QR seems to be sensitive to the particular predicate that embeds the tensed clause. This has lead some authors to propose that QR is not in principle restricted by tensed clause boundaries but by certain embedding predicates (Barker, 2022). However, this proposal provides no explanation as to which predicates allow non-local QR—it is simply stipulated. Building on a novel empirical generalization, I propose an alternative approach which doesn’t rely on non-local QR but instead relies on the cumulation properties of certain embedding predicates. This approach provides more explanatory power concerning the predicate sensitivity of variation readings. Furthermore, I present novel observations which suggest that QR cannot be the right mechanism underlying variation readings.

Please register in advance HERE to receive the Zoom link. You can also share this link with others who may want to join.