Natural Language Semantics in 2019

Here are the papers that appeared in print in Natural Language Semantics in 2019. All papers are free to read, distribute, post, and annotate, using the links in this message. We thank everyone who gave their invaluable time to help with those papers, selflessly sharing their knowledge anonymously.

A paper on Neg-Raising and Neg-Movement by Paul Crawley.   A comment on Fox & Spector (do exhaustivity operators consume or pass on alternatives?) by Nadine Bade & Konstantin Sachs.

Papers on:  Perspectival control and obviation in directive clauses by Adrian Stegovec.  Why believe doesn’t like interrogative complements (and other puzzles) by Nadine Theiler, Floris Roelofsen & Maria Aloni.  Epistemic modals by Guillermo Del Pinal & Brandon Walden.  Focus intonation and implicature computation by Nicole Gotzner.  Triviality and interrogative embedding by Clemens Mayr.  The licensing of positive polarity indefinites by Vincent Homer & Rajesh Bhatt.  Why hope doesn’t embed wh-complements by Wataru Uegaki & Yasutada Sudo.

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25 years of Natural Language Semantics

This year marks the 25th anniversary of Natural Language Semantics. Irene Heim and I have been the editors since then. We still meet – at a table, not on a screen – to discuss the papers that have been submitted. Natural Language Semantics was the brain child of Martin Scrivener, the Linguistics editor of what was then Kluwer Academic Publishers. Martin thought that the time had come for a journal to bring together syntactic work in the generative tradition and formal semantics work in the tradition of David Lewis and Richard Montague. From the very start, the journal attracted work on cross-linguistic semantics and the syntax-semantics interface. Early highlights include Mats Rooth’s and Roger Schwarzschild’s papers on focus interpretation and givenness, Veneeta Dayal’s paper on scope marking, Sigrid Beck’s paper on what is now called the “Beck Effect”, Lisa Matthewson’s seminal papers on wide-scope indefinites and on cross-linguistic variation in the expression of quantification, Polly Jacobson’s paper on paycheck pronouns, Lisa Green’s paper on aspectual “be” in African American English, Gennaro Chierchia’s and Sandra Chung’s papers on reference to kinds across languages, Dorit Abusch’s paper on the de re interpretation of the present tense, Mona Singh’s paper on non-culminating accomplishments, and Jo-Wang Lin’s paper on distributivity in Chinese, among many others. All papers are free for anyone to read, share, and annotate.

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New papers on disjunction and embedded questions

The latest issue of Natural Language Semantics has two Open Access articles. Ivano Ciardelli and Floris Roelofsen’s paper is about so-called Hurford disjunctions, that is, disjunctions where one disjunct entails another. More generally, it is a contribution to Alternative and Inquisitive Semantics, where disjunction is assumed to generate multiple propositional alternatives. Alexandre Cremers and Emmanuel Chemla’s article is an experimental study on questions embedded under emotive factives. Emotive-factive predicates like surprise or be happy present empirical and theoretical puzzles for embedded questions: Although they embed wh-questions, they can’t seem to embed whether-questions, for example.

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