The Syntax-Semantics reading group and MULL-lab will be meeting on Wednesday, November 15th at 4pm in Rm. 117 of the McGill Linguistics department, with a Zoom room open for those unable to join in person.
This week, Terrance will be presenting a MULL-themed talk entitled: ‘Kanien’kéha optional tense?’.
Kanien’kéha is a morphologically tenseless language, where clauses may appear without overt markers for tense. On the other hand, aspectual suffixes are obligatory. I discuss on-going collaborative work showing the interpretation of these aspectual suffixes depends on the event-structural properties of the predicate. I then discuss preliminary work on two optional past tense suffixes, where I suggest one suffix triggers an inference that the eventuality has ceased to hold by the reference time for one suffix, but the other suffix asserts this. I discuss this pattern in light of recent work on optional (past) tense suffixes in Tlingit (Cable, 2017) and Wá·šiw (Bochnak, 2016).
Please register in advance HERE to receive the Zoom link. You can also share this link with others who may want to join.