Semantics

UMass Amherst is well known for integrating formal semantic theory into generative linguistic research. Natural language semantics is studied here as a sub-branch of the larger discipline of cognitive science, a perspective that fosters leading research into the interactions and interfaces with syntax, morphology, and phonology (especially prosody). Compared to other branches of linguistics and cognitive science, semantics enjoys remarkable theoretical unity, creating an especially congenial international community of researchers. Our program emphasizes the essential cross-disciplinarity of semantic research, drawing upon work in such diverse areas as philosophy, logic, psychology, language documentation, and other areas of linguistic theory. As a branch of cognitive science, semantic theory is studied here through a variety of empirical methods, including traditional judgment tasks, laboratory experiments, acquisition studies, and fieldwork. Regarding the latter, our program has a well established tradition of faculty and students carrying out in-depth, theoretically-informed semantic fieldwork on a wide variety of understudied and endangered languages, especially languages indigenous to the Americas, Asia, and Africa, as well as signed languages.

Faculty

Ana Arregui
ana@linguist.umass.edu
🙂Research interests:
Semantics
Seth Cable
scable@linguist.umass.edu
Cable
Research interests:
Fieldwork, Semantics, Syntax, Na-Dene Languages
Vincent Homer
vincent.homer@gmail.com
Homer
Research interests:
Syntax, Syntax-Semantics Interface
Angelika Kratzer
kratzer@linguist.umass.edu
Kratzer
Research interests:
Semantics, Syntax/Semantics Interface
Barbara Partee
partee@linguist.umass.edu
Partee
Research interests:
Semantics, History of Formal Semantics

 

Graduate students

Carolyn Jane Anderson
carolynander@umass.edu
AndersonResearch interests:
Semantic fieldwork, computational linguistics, Zapotec
Year started:
2015
Mariam Asatryan
masatryan@umass.edu
AsatryanResearch interests:
Semantics
Year started:
2019
Alex Göbel
agoebel@umass.edu
GöbelResearch interests:
Psycholinguistics, semantics
Year started:
2015
Duygu Goksu
dgoksu@umass.edu
GoksuResearch interests:
Syntax, semantics, phonology
Year started:
2018
Kaden Holladay
kholladay@umass.edu
HolladayResearch interests:
Morpho-phonology, syntax-semantics interface, Yup’ik, Finnish
Year started:
2017
Shay Hucklebridge
shucklebridg@umass.edu
HucklebridgeResearch interests:
Semantics, Linguistic Fieldwork, and Language Revitalization/Documentation
Year started:
2017
Rodica Ivan
rivan@umass.edu
IvanResearch interests:
Syntax, semantics, syntax-semantics interface
Year started:
2014
Jyoti Iyer
jiyer@linguist.umass.edu
IyerResearch interests:
Syntax, semantics, Tamil
Year started:
2013
Kimberly Johnson
kcjohnson@linguist.umass.edu
JohnsonResearch interests:
Syntax, semantics, fieldwork
Year started:
2016
Petr Kusliy
pkusliy@umass.edu
KusliyResearch interests:
Semantics of Tense, Aspect, and Attitude Reports
Year started:
2014
Ericka Mayer
elmayer@umass.edu
MayerResearch interests:
Semantics, psycholinguistics, in particular the processing of presuppositions, negation, NPIs, and monotonicity
Year started:
2017
Zahra Mirrazi
zmirrazirena@umass.edu
🙂Research interests:
Syntax, semantics
Year started:
2016
Anissa Neal
anneal@umass.edu
NealResearch interests:
Psycholinguistics, syntax, syntax-semantics interface
Year started:
2018
Deniz Ozyildiz
dozyildiz@umass.edu
OzyildizResearch interests:
Syntax, semantics, attitude reports, pronouns, Turkish
Year started:
2014
Jonathan Pesetsky
jpesetsky@umass.edu
PesetsyResearch interests:
Semantics
Year started:
2018
Michael Wilson
michaelwilso@umass.edu
Wilson
Research interests:
Syntax, semantics, psycholinguistics
Year started:
2015

Recent dissertations

Katia Vostrikova.2019 Phrasal and clausal exceptive-additive constructions crosslinguisically

Hsin-Lun Huang. 2018. The Head-Quarters of Mandarin Arguments.

Jon Ander Mendia. 2017. Amount Relatives Redux.

Yangsook Park. 2017. Attitudes De se and Logophoricity.

Ethan Poole. 2017. Movement and the Semantic Type of Traces.

Elizabeth Bogal-Allbritten. 2016. Building Meaning in Navajo.

Masashi Hashimoto. 2015. Experiencing in Japanese: The Experiencer Restriction across Clausal Types

Noah Constant. 2014. Contrastive Topic: Meanings and Realizations

Suzi Lima. 2014. The Grammar of Individuation and Counting.

Jesse Aron Harris. 2012. Processing Perspectives.

Andrew Robert McKenzie. 2012. The Role of Contextual Restriction in Reference-Tracking.

Aynat Rubinstein. 2012. Roots of Modality.

Jan Anderssen. 2011. Quantification, misc.

Maria Biezma. 2011. Anchoring Pragmatics In Syntax And Semantics.

Christopher M. Davis. 2011. Constraining Interpretation: Sentence Final Particles in Japanese.

Amy Rose Deal. 2010. Topics In The Nez Perce Verb.

Ilaria Frana. 2010. Concealed Questions. In Search Of Answers.