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Colloquium 4 (23rd April, 10AM): Anna Szabolcsi (NYU)

Obviation: What is its scope, and is it due to competition?


The fourth colloquium held at the Department of Linguistics, SNU in Spring 2021 is “Obviation: What is its scope, and is it due to competition?” by Anna Szabolcsi.


The speaker currently works at New York University, USA. She acquired her PhD in Linguistics from Hungarian Academy of Sciences in 1987.

Abstract:


According to the classical description of obviation, the subject of a subjunctive is disjoint in reference from the attitude-holder subject of the immediately higher clause.
 *  Je    veux     que      je     parte.

    I     want     that     I      leave-subj

    `I want for me to leave’

Inspired by Ruwet (1984/1991) and Farkas (1988, 1992), I present data from Hungarian where obviation in certain subjunctives is plainly lifted, and data where obviation occurs in indicatives. I argue that obviation is not the result of competition with another construction, and point to promising accounts in terms of a clash in semantics or pragmatics.


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