The Syntax-Semantics reading group will be meeting on Thursday, February 8th at 1pm in Rm. 117 of the McGill Linguistics department, with a Zoom room open for those unable to join in person.

This week, Mathieu Paillé (in person) and Nina Haslinger (remotely) will be presenting a talk entitled: ‘Contrastive reduplication, degree predication, and the case of numeral imprecision ‘. The abstract is below:

Contrastive reduplication (CR; e.g. Dray 1987, Ghomeshi et al. 2004, Huang 2015, Horn 2018) is the repetition of an expression leading to a particular set of related meanings, including prototypicality (‘This is a SALAD salad’) and intensity (‘He isn’t TALL tall’). We analyze CR as the spell-out of a high-degree operator, with CR’s syntax falling out from semantic scope. From there, we show CR provides a diagnostic for where in the structure degree arguments are introduced. It also teaches us about scales, in particular what meaning is associated with the high or low ends of a scale. We apply this to numeral imprecision as a case study; we show that CR can teach us about both the scale of imprecision and the locus of its degree argument.

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