Expert meeting 4

21 March 2018, Utrecht


Drift 21, room 1.05


In this special expert meeting of the Time in Translation project, we explore how the Time in Translation methodology can be applied to the study of (in)definiteness. Invited speakers are Radek Šimík (Humboldt-Universität Berlin) and Ana Aguilar-Guevara (National Autonomous University of Mexico). The programme is as follows:

Time Event/Speaker
9.30 - 10.00 Brief introduction to the Time in Translation methodology
10.00 - 11.00 Radek Šimík (Humboldt-Universität Berlin)
11.00 - 12.00 Ana Aguilar-Guevara (National Autonomous University of Mexico)

Speaker info (bio, abstract, slides)

Radek Šimík (Humboldt-Universität Berlin)

Definiteness in Czech and Russian: Empirical investigations

Homepage Slides

I will present two studies - a corpus study on Czech and an experiment on Russian (and German). The corpus study (joint work with Markéta Burianová) confirms a correlation between clausal position of bare NPs and their definiteness in Czech (more definite NPs in clause-initial position and more indefinite NPs in final position than the null hypothesis predicts). The experiment (joint work with Christoph Demian) is designed to test the effects of sentence position and of grammatical number on the uniqueness/maximality inference in bare NPs in Russian. No such effects are found.

Ana Aguilar-Guevara (National Autonomous University of Mexico)

Distribution and interpretation of the alleged neuter definite article "lo" in Spanish

Homepage Slides

The particle "lo" in Spanish has traditionally been considered a neuter definite article, although i) Spanish no longer has neuter grammatical gender, ii) the particle usually cannot accompany nouns, iii) it is unclear whether or not "lo" behaves as a determiner or rather as a pronoun, iv) the particle does not only occur in nominal domains, and v) it is not always evident that its meaning contribution is definiteness. In this talk, I will provide an overview of the different uses of the particle. I will characterize each of them from both the morphosyntactic and the semantic point of view in order to determine to what extent "lo" displays the properties it has been attributed with.