West Coast Conference on Formal Linguistics (WCCFL) (38th : 2020)

Update Now : Decomposing "Iamitive" Chen, Sihwei; Jiang, Haowen 2020

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73804-Chen_S_et_al_Update_now_WCCFL38_2020_poster.pdf [ 616.43kB ]
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UPDATE NOW: DECOMPOSING "IAMITIVE"SIHWEI CHEN & HAOWEN JIANGACADEMIA SINICA & ZHEJIANG UNIVERSITYWHAT ARE “IAMITIVES”?Iamitives (from Latin iam ‘already’) are markerscommonly found in languages of Southeast Asiawhose function overlaps with both already and theEnglish present perfect (Olsson 2013).Iamitives (i) mark a new situation (ii) with conse-quences for the speech situation; they are considered adistinct grammatical category (cf. also Dahl & Wälchli2006; but cf. Vander Klok & Matthewson 2015).OBJECTIVES AND CLAIMSWe investigate a prototypical example of iamitives,the enclitic =in in Bunun (Formosan, Austronesian).Claim I. We highlight the differences of =in from bothalready and a perfect. (i) =in encodes a change of p-status without involving earliness effects; (ii) it is bestanalyzed as a discourse marker that signals the truthvalues of p have been updated at the utterance time.• p is updated from ¬p either on the level of truth-conditional meanings (inchoativity) or that ofshared common grounds (counterexpectation).Claim II. “Iamitives” are not a mixed or ambivalentcategory defined by already or a perfect, but a dis-course particle concerning the epistemic states of theinterlocutors.REFERENCE TO CURRENT COMMON GROUNDPast-time adverbial restrictions (defeasible). Com-pare (1) and (11).(1) Masabah=inaf.sleep=cossaia3sg.nom??taknayesterday/??sangan/a.while.ago/laupakadau./now‘He is sleeping ??yesterday/??just now/now.’Potential Lifetime effects. It awaits to see if Lifetimeeffects are cancellable in certain contexts. What thedata suggest is that when there is no clear discoursecontext, UT is always the anchoring point.(2) #Taus-’uvaaz=inaf.bear-child=cosinaak1sg.possnas-cinahudaslate-grandmothertuprtta~tauhum~threemasobl’uvaaz.child‘My late grandma gave birth to three children.’Imminent future (defeasible). Imminent future read-ings are salient with a future reference time.(3) Na=hudan-an=in.fut=rain-lf=cos‘It’s about to rain.’ (6= ‘It will have/has rained.’)Comment: You’ll need to come inside right away.(Rejected if raining is possible but not imminent.)However, non-imminent readings are available if thespeaker assumes that the addressee believes p is false:(4) Na=masabah=infut=af.sleep=cossaia3sg.nommaiswhen.npstminaunin.afternoon‘He will (then) sleep this afternoon.’Offered context: I’ve been trying hard to put mykid to sleep. Mom comforts me, “It’s okay...”REFERENCESON-GOING RESEARCH- To examine the semantic effect of =in with polarity-associated items like ‘only’, ‘almost’, ‘so that’, ‘rarely’, etc.- To account for why =in is infelicitous in downward-entailing contexts (or alters the intended reading).- To establish typologically valid diagnostics for identifying the same type of discourse markers.TWO SENSES OF EXPECTATIONCounter-expectation w.r.t. p in the common groundis notable with homogeneous states but we expect itto hold with any type of predicates.(5) Context: You think he recently becomes fat; I say:Nauepisttulnkmaisi’kauma-ikitaf.be.from.littlesaia3sg.nomhai,topmasmuh=in.af.fat=cos‘Since he was young, he has been fat (contrary towhat you thought).’Expectation towards the change in the truth of p in-stead of the plain proposition being expected.(6) Context: Someone came. Mom: “Who is it?” I:#Minsuma=inaf.come=costamauncleBiung=a.Biung=dist.nom‘Uncle Biung came.’Offered context: I had been waiting for Biungand he came.(7) Context: Telling a friend my recent news:Mapadangi=inaf.get.married=cossaikin.1sg.nom‘I got married.’ANALYSISSoh (2009) proposes that uttering Mandarin SFP le(i) asserts p at UT, (ii) presupposes [¬p before UT],and (iii) If the speaker accepts the presupposition,it becomes part of the current cg, meaning that thetruth of p changes across times (within the same cg);if (s)he rejects it, its negation, [p before UT], is addedto the current cg, presenting a contrast to the prior cg.NB: [¬p before UT] is always in the cg prior to UT.A crucial criterion for counter-expectation is that thetruth values of p do not change before & after UT; it isthe belief that p is false that is not shared in the cgsbefore & after UT.• Prediction: =in is felicitous as long as there isinconsistency across cgs [Yes for sentences withnegation, imperatives & deontic/epist modals]What =in shares with already is the change in polarity,without p being true at an earlier time than wouldhave been expected. The truth of p is updated at UT.A piece of information is updated for a reason. Thismay explain the sense of expectation in (6) and (7).FEATURES IN NATURAL SPEECHWe looked at 126 tokens of =in in 5 spontaneous texts.B =in occurs frequently in temporal adverbial clausesas a marker of ’after’ sequentiality (cf. Olsson, p.39).It is unclear how our proposal extends to this use.B Hosts of =in with high token frequencies are nega-tion and epistemic auxiliaries; =in seems to scopeover everything in main clauses.B =in can co-occur with any temporal/aspectualmarkers, e.g., past, future, IPFV/PROG & durative.CHANGE OF "STATE"A prior negative state. In out of the blue contexts,=in consistently gives rise to an incpetive/inchoativereading with activity and stative predicates.(8) Masabah=inaf.sleep=cossaia.3sg.nom(lit.) ‘He slept and is still sleeping.’(9) Context: I am teaching kids the color. I describeto them the color of the bananas over there:#Ma-diav=inaf-yellow=cosanombunbun=a.banana=dist.nom‘Those bananas turned yellow.’The change of state need not be truth-conditional.=in is not immediately accepted for "an initial statethat does not originate in some previous state" (Ols-son, p.18), but it just requires a different context:(10) #Ma-zumu=inaf-round=cosanomdalah=an.land=med.nomIntended ‘The earth is round.’Offered context: It was [already] the case whenGod created the world.Earliness implicature not required. =in is preferredwith dungzav ‘finally’, which requires a state to beevaluated as “later than expected” (ibid., p.11).(11) Context: Your sister couldn’t sleep for thepast two days, and she finally fell asleep.Dungzav=infinally=cossaia3sg.nommasabahaf.sleepsangan.a.while.ago‘She finally fell asleep a while ago.’Beyond duality with negation. While =in scopingover ¬p may be taken as equivalent to ¬(still p), it alsoscopes over an epistemic modal.(12) ni=inneg=coshudan-an.rain-lf‘It is not raining anymore.’(13) Offered context: Who will host that meeting?Nau=inepist=costulnkna=isai=cia.fut=3sg.poss=dist.obl‘It must be him (lit. his stuff).’Comment: There are two candidates and youare already sure it will be him.


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