Syntax/semantics reading group at NUS

The syntax/semantics reading group at NUS meets weekly during the semester. Each week we choose a paper to read and discuss, or someone will share their work in progress.


Announcements are sent to the synsem mailing list. Subscribe to synsem on NUS Groups.

2020–2021 Sem 2

Our regular meeting time is Wednesdays at noon. Additional syn/sem events are also included, in bold.

Jan 7–10 LSA 2021 online, with talks by Joey+mitcho, Kenyon+mitcho, Ryan+colleagues, Zheng
Jan 15–16 Asian Junior Linguists 5 online, with talks by Joey and Zheng
Jan 20, 2021, 4pm Language & Linguistics cluster talk: Brian Rabern
Jan 27 JJ Lim, “A configurational account of case in Khalkha Mongolian”
Feb 3 Carlson et al 2006, “Weak definite noun phrases”
Feb 10 Huang to appear, “How Subjects and Possessors Can Obviate Phasehood”
Feb 17 Lee to appear, “Strength in deontic modals as acceptability and optimality”
Feb 24 No meeting (recess week)
Mar 3 Sabbagh 2016 “Specificity and objecthood in Tagalog”
Mar 10 Glass, “The negatively biased Mandarin belief verb yǐwéi
Mar 17, 10am Language & Linguistics cluster talk: Maria Polinsky
Mar 24 Belk, Neeleman, and Philip ms “What divides, and what unites, right-node raising”
Mar 31 No meeting
Apr 7 Ward, Sproat, and McKoon 1991 “A pragmatic analysis of so-called anaphoric islands”
Apr 14 Bruening and Al Khalaf 2019 “No argument–adjunct asymmetry in reconstruction for Binding Condition C”
Apr 21, 10am Masha Polinsky, “Variation in exceptive constructions”


2020–2021 Sem 1

Aug 12–14 SICOGG 22 online, including talks by Kenyon, Zheng, Joey + mitcho, and distinguished alumni Jian Gang and Yosuke
Aug 17–20 SALT 30 online, including “poster” by mitcho + Meghan
Aug 20–22 AFLA 27, hosted by NUS but held online, including a talk by Kenyon
Sep 3 JJ on switch reference in Mongolian
Sep 10 Spathas & Michelioudakis to appear, “States in the decomposition of verbal predicates: evidence from additive operators”
Sep 17 Keely on plural marking in Burmese
Sep 24 Erschler to appear, “On timing of ellipsis: Evidence from extra deletion processes”
Oct 1 Dell 1983 “An aspectual distinction in Tagalog”
Oct 8 Pietraszko “The timing of agreement and A-movement in Ndebele”
Oct 15 Jasinskaja & Poschmann 2018 “Attachment in syntax and discourse: Towards an explanation for the flexible scope of non-restrictive relative clauses”
Oct 22 Kush, Lohndal, Sprouse 2019 “On the island sensitivity of topicalization in Norwegian: An experimental investigation”
Oct 29 Overfelt “Nipped in the bud: Failed sprouting in QUD not-at-issue content”
Nov 5 Florio & Nicolas “Plurals and mereology”
Nov 12 Henrison on Tagalog A’-dependencies

2019–2020 Sem 2

Jan 20 Jasbi 2016 “Three types of indefinites in Persian”
Jan 27 No meeting (CNY)
Jan 28 4pm Nick Huang “‘Nounless’ nominal expressions in Mandarin Chinese: Implications for classifier semantics and nominal syntax”
Feb 3 Ngui Jiangang “Proposing to ignore updates in Colloquial Singaporean English” (joint work with Robert Henderson)
Feb 10 Sakamoto 2019 Overtly empty but covertly complex
Feb 17 Fenger 2019 Size matters: Auxiliary formation in the morpho-syntax and morpho-phonology
Feb 24 No meeting (recess week)
Mar 2 No meeting
Mar 9 Zheng “Agreement with exclusive disjunction in Slovenian and German”
Mar 16 Pancheva & Rudin 2019 “Speaker discourse roles and the discourse profile of reportative evidentials”
Mar 23 Andrew Murphy 2019 handout, “Left-Branch Extraction and Remnant Movement”
Mar 30 Nissenbaum 2000 “Investigations of covert phrasal movement”, chapter 2
Apr 6 Schlenker to appear “Inside Out: a Note on the Hierarchical Update of Nominal Modifiers”
Apr 13 Keely on Mandarin anti-pronominal positions

2019–2020 Sem 1

Aug 22 Lyn Tieu “Suppletion in children’s novel comparatives and superlatives”
Aug 29 Ippolito 2004 “An analysis of still
Sep 5 Jouitteau 2007 “Listen to the sound of salience, Multichannel syntax of Q particles” (sixth floor meeting room)
Sep 12 Fitzpatrick 2002 “On minimalist approaches to the locality of movement” (sixth floor meeting room)
Sep 19 Jenks 2013 “Quantifier float, focus, and scope in Thai”
Sep 26 No meeting (recess week)
Oct 3 Kenyon + mitcho “Anti-pied-piping”
Oct 10 Postal 1994 “Contrasting extraction types”
Oct 17 No meeting
Oct 24 No meeting
Oct 31 Stockwell 2018 “Ellipsis in tautologous conditionals: the contrast condition on ellipsis”
Nov 7 Lee Junwen “Exploring the curious relationship between Colloquial Singapore English ‘Hor’ and ‘Ah’”
Nov 11, 4pm Coppe van Urk “Interleaving hierarchies”
Nov 13, 4pm Jordan Kodner “Language change as native learners’ response to ‘monolingual’ variation”

2018–2019 Sem 2

Jan 18 3pm Ethan Jerzak “Paradoxical desires” (AS3 05-23)
Jan 23 Trinh 2009 “A constraint on copy deletion”
Jan 30 No meeting (staff meeting)
Feb 6 Chinese New Year: no meeting
Feb 8 3pm Dan Hoek “Questions in action” (AS3 05-23)
Feb 13 Djärv & Bacovcin 2019 “Prosodic effects on factive presupposition projection”
Feb 20 Dan Brodkin “West Sulawesi clitic placement”
Feb 27 Recess week: no meeting
Mar 6 Jenks 2018 “Articulated definiteness without articles”
Mar 13 Lee Junwen “A look at what real(ly) is doing”
Mar 20 Ritter & Wiltschko 2016 “Humanness as an alternative to case licensing”
Mar 27 Huang et al 2018 “Learning attitude verb meanings in a morphosyntactically-poor language via syntactic bootstrapping”
Apr 3 Mary Dalrymple “Reciprocal relations”
Apr 10 Mary Dalrymple “Reciprocal relations continued”
Apr 17  
May 3–4 Workshop: Recent Approaches to (Non-)Agentivity in Natural Language, organized by Tham Shiao Wei
Jun 6–7 Workshop: Approaches to Wh-Intervention, organized by Kenyon Branan and mitcho
Jul 13 Singapore Summer Meeting: A meeting of Austronesian fieldworkers

2018–2019 Sem 1

Aug 15 mitcho on relativization in Tibetan
Aug 22 (no meeting)
Aug 29 Cardinaletti & Starke 1999 “The typology of structural deficiency: A case study of the three classes of pronouns”
Sep 5 Heim 1983 “On the projection problem for presuppositions”
Sep 12 Merchant 2015 “On ineffable predicates: Bilingual Greek–English code-switching under ellipsis”
Sep 19 Huang 1988 Wo pao de kuai and Chinese phrase structure”
Sep 26 Recess week: no meeting
Oct 3 Tham Shiao Wei “Agentivity and the encoding of caused events”
Oct 10 Constant 2014 “Contrastive topic: Meanings and realizations” chapters 1 and 2
Oct 17 Constant 2014 sections 3.1–3.2, 5
Oct 24 Constant 2014 chapter 6 on Mandarin ne
Oct 31 4pm TC Chen “Case-Stacking in Amis” (reading room)
Nov 7 4pm Kenyon Branan “Stress, Goals, and Word Order” (reading room)

2017–2018 Sem 2

Jan 17 4pm Hadas Kotek “Multiple sluicing, scope, and superiority” (joint work with Matt Barros)
Jan 24 Gunlogson 2002 “Declarative questions”
Jan 31 Norris to appear “Unmarked case in Estonian nominals”
Feb 7 Biberauer, Holmberg, and Roberts 2014 “A syntactic universal and its consequences”
Feb 14 Aldridge 2017 “Extraction asymmetries in ergative and accusative languages”
Feb 21 Fox & Pesetsky 2005 “Cyclic linearization of syntactic structure”
Mar 1–2 Workshop on Current Issues in Comparative Syntax!
Mar 7 (no meeting)
Mar 14 von Fintel 1993 “Exceptive constructions”
Mar 21 4pm Hideki Kishimoto “Revisiting ECM constructions in Japanese”
Mar 28 Soh 2018 “Mandarin Chinese sentence final de as a marker of private evidence”
Apr 4 4pm E McCready “Honorification and Social Role”
Apr 11 Abels 2012 “The Italian left periphery: A view from locality “
Apr 18 Naga Selvanathan “The Malay meN prefix and A-movement”

2017–2018 Sem 1

Aug 24 Cole & Hermon 2005 “Subject And Non-subject Relativization in Indonesian”
Fri Aug 25 4pm Helen Jeoung “Alternations in Indonesian C”
Aug 31 Rullmann 1994 “Negative islands aren’t islands”
Sep 7 Yosuke Sato “Particle stranding ellipsis in Japanese, string deletion, and argument ellipsis”
Wed Sep 13 4pm Vera Hohaus “Negative Indefinites and the Degree Equative: A Solution to Penka (2011)’s Puzzle” (joint work with Malte Zimmermann)
Sep 14 Naga Selvanathan “Cleft constructions in Tamil and Anti-agreement”
Sep 21 Collins 2016 “Composition and definiteness without articles: A case study in Tagalog”
Sep 28 Recess week: no meeting
Oct 5 Aravind 2017 “Successive cyclicity in DPs: Evidence from Mongolian nominalized clauses”
Oct 12 Lassiter 2016 Must, knowledge, and (in)directness”
Oct 19 Sauerland 2003 “Intermediate Adjunction with A-Movement”
Oct 26 Johnson 1991 “Object positions”
Mon Oct 30 11am Trang Phan “A Nano-Syntax account of the Negation Constraint on the Perfect in Vietnamese”
Nov 2 Sauerland & Yatsushiro 2017 “Remind-me presuppositions and Speech-Act decomposition”