This week’s syntax-semantics reading group meeting will take place Wednesday, November 30th at 4pm in room 117. Jonny will present work, “The modal ingredients of causative have”.

Abstract: As observed in Myler (2014), causative have constructions are ambiguous between two different interpretations: the cause interpretation and the engineer interpretation. These two interpretations correlate with subject animacy: Mary had John cook dinner vs The chef’s absence had John cooking dinner. In this talk, I present novel evidence in favor of an ambiguity analysis and show that both interpretations interact differently with disjunction. This motivates an analysis where one Voice head, corresponding to the engineer interpretation, introduces a quantificational meaning — a modal operator — that interacts scopally with disjunction whereas the other, corresponding to the cause interpretation, doesn’t.