The virtual workshop on the semantics and pragmatics of clause-embedding predicates will be hosted by the Linguistics department at OSU on March 31 to April 2, 2021, with funding support from the National Science Foundation. The workshop is organized by Craige Roberts and Judith Tonhauser.

The workshop is intended to facilitate a discussion among researchers in syntax, semantics, pragmatics, psycholinguistics and computational linguistics on the semantics and pragmatics of clause-embedding predicates. The overarching goal of the workshop is to address the question of which components of the structure and meaning of such predicates predict how they are used in discourse and what inferences listeners draw from speakers’ utterances of sentences containing them.

The workshop will feature invited presentations by:

Presenter Title
Márta Abrusán (CNRS, Institut Jean Nicod) Presuppositions and perspective
Corien Bary (Radboud University) The landscape of speech reporting
Judith Degen (Stanford University) More extreme predicates, more projection
Kajsa Djärv (University of Konstanz) Knowing and believing things: what DP-complementation can tell us about the argument structure and semantic composition of attitude verbs
Ellie Pavlick (Brown University) Challenges in evaluating computational models of semantics
Kyle Rawlins (Johns Hopkins University) Veridicality and responsivity redux

Topics we are hoping to discuss as part of the workshop include:

  • Which classes of predicates emerge from the results of empirical diagnostics regarding their structure, semantics and pragmatics (e.g., their modal flavor, presupposition of the content of the complement, veridicality, selectional restrictions including grammatical mood of complements, and control properties)?
  • Which syntactic, semantic and pragmatic properties can be predicted from class membership? E.g., how does the veridicality of a predicate with a finite complement bear on whether that same predicate taking an infinitival complement exhibits obligatory control or yields de se interpretations? Which aspects of the meaning of a predicate predict whether the content of its complement is assertable (Hooper 1975), at-issue or projective?
  • What do computational models predict about the structure and meaning of clause-embedding predicates?
  • How do different senses of a predicate differ in their corresponding syntactic, semantic or pragmatic properties?
  • What are the limits of cross-linguistic variation in the structure and meaning of clause-embedding predicates?
  • Which cross-linguistic phenomena bear on our understanding of clause-embedding predicates (e.g., evidentiality, modality, mood selection)?