Advanced mereology for linguists (ESSLLI 2021 lecture notes)
Lucas Champollion
July 2021
 

Lecture notes for the ESSLLI 2021 course (https://esslli2021.unibz.it/page/course/advanced_mereology_for_linguists/). -- This course develops a unified theory of cross-categorial similarities involving the count-mass, singular-plural, telic-atelic, and collective-distributive opposition, based on the notion of stratified reference. Day 1 recaps basic topics like mereology, the singular-plural distinction, the count-mass distinction, higher-order properties, extensive and intensive measure functions, the telic-atelic opposition, and aspectual composition. Day 2 introduces stratified reference and is devoted to issues in the domain of measurement, such as the difference between 'thirty liters of water' and '*thirty degrees Celsius of water'. Day 3 is about differences within the class of collective predicates, as exemplified by the contrast between 'all the students gathered' and '*all the students were numerous'. Day 4 reformulates distributivity operators, extends them to the temporal domain, and explains why indefinites in the syntactic scope of 'for'-adverbials tend not to covary. Day 5 is devoted to the crosslinguistic semantic differences between distance-distributive items such as English 'each' and German 'jeweils' and to the interaction of distributive determiners like 'every' with cumulative readings. The contents are drawn from Champollion 2017 (Parts of a Whole, Oxford UP, https://ling.auf.net/lingbuzz/003470). Basic familiarity with formal semantics and mereology, as presented in my previous introductory ESSLLI and LSA course “Linguistic applications of mereology" https://ling.auf.net/lingbuzz/002174, or in the review article Champollion & Krifka 2016 (Mereology, https://doi.org/10.1017/CBO9781139236157.014) will be helpful.
Format: [ pdf ]
Reference: lingbuzz/006071
(please use that when you cite this article)
Published in: ESSLLI 2021
keywords: distributivity, aspect, measurement, mereology, algebraic semantics, plurals, mass terms, semantics
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