GK Colloquium: Melanie Hobich and Abigail Bimpeh
Melanie Hobich and Abigail Bimpeh will give two short talks on Jan. 9 at 4pm in SH 2.106.
Melanie Hobich: The origin of the German(ic) was für construction and its implications.
Abstract: due to its split variant Was hast du für Forschung gemacht (“What kind of research did you do?”), the was für or ‘kind’ construction and its Germanic (Slavic and Baltic) variants have been much called on in literature on extraction and syntactic theory. However, so far, opinions on its syntactic structure differ. In my talk I will present data that shed light on the origin of the was für construction. While there are assumptions and hypotheses on its emergence in the literature, there has been no empirical work on the historical aspect of was für so far. The presented findings thus contradict some established opinions and introduce many new questions, some of which might only be answered with cross-linguistic comparisons.
Abigail Bimpeh: Exclusives in Ewe
Abstract: I will discuss the distributional properties and semantic behavior of Ewe exclusives. Exclusives assert that nothing or nobody but the focused element holds. I will show among others that although Ewe marks exclusivity with ko, dzaa, ɖeɖe, pɛ, sɔŋ ‘only, alone, just’; ko is special. These lexical items can combine into complex exclusives (Renans 2014, 2016); however, not all combinations are acceptable in the language. I will also show the focus-sensitivity of these lexical items by discussing focus marking in Ewe in comparison to English. Cross-linguistic variation in exclusivity is also highlighted.