Lisa Matthewson

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1. Introduction This paper argues that languages differ in whether they possess pragmatic presuppositions in the sense of Stalnaker (1974). I will argue for this somewhat radical claim on the basis of data from St'át'imcets (a.k.a. Lillooet, Northern Interior Salish). I will show that St'át'imcets displays no evidence for presuppositions which place(More)
The phenomenon of ''frozen scope'' in double object and spray-load constructions is shown to hold robustly across contexts, constructions, and quantifier types. Nevertheless, frozen scope is not absolute, holding only between two objects but not between an object and a subject or an object and some other operator. The rigidity of two object quanti-fiers(More)
This article surveys the state of the art in the field of semantic universals. We examine potential semantic universals in three areas: (i) the lexicon, (ii) semantic " glue " (functional morphemes and composition principles), and (iii) pragmatics. At the level of the lexicon, we find remarkably few convincing semantic universals. At the level of functional(More)
1 Introduction This paper discusses the relationship between the German particles doch and ja, focusing on the former of the two, doch. It argues for a specific analysis of doch which makes predictions both on the semantic distribution of doch versus ja and on the syntactic ordering restrictions between doch and ja. The core analysis is presented in section(More)
The St'át'imcets (Lillooet Salish) subjunctive mood appears in nine distinct environments, with a range of semantic effects, including weakening an imperative to a polite request, turning a question into an uncertainty statement, and creating an ignorance free relative. The St'át'imcets subjunctive also differs from Indo-European subjunctives in that it is(More)
This paper addresses the question of whether and how the semantics of third-person pronouns can vary across languages. I investigate third-person non-demonstrative pronouns in St'át'imcets (Lillooet Salish), including null pro and its overt animate plural counterpart wit. I provide evidence for a striking cross-linguistic difference between the St'át'imcets(More)
While the adult English determiner system encodes a definiteness distinction, many languages do not do so. This cross-linguistic variation raises the question of how the acquisition of determiner systems proceeds. In this paper we report on an experiment which tested English-acquiring children's comprehension of definite and indefinite articles. On the(More)
Studies on the relationship between bookreading and language development typically lack data about which books are actually read to children. This paper reports on an Internet survey designed to address this data gap. The resulting dataset (the Infant Bookreading Database or IBDb) includes responses from 1,107 caregivers of children aged 0-36 months who(More)