New video out now!

Why it is time to accept that the English language today is a diversity policentric entity, and no variety is inherently superior to (or more real than) any other.

The new video is out now! Watch it in the language you prefer by clicking on the following links:

🇬🇧 The myth of ‘real English’:
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=7UcB-IDEQT4

🇪🇸 El mito del ‘verdadero inglĂ©s’:
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Q3DZjHDlfig

🇮🇹 Il mito del ‘vero inglese’:
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=xIs_IGqT-0c

 

The links to all YouTube videos are listed in reverse chronological order here.

Reviewing a new book on grammar

Eng. vs. Jap..pngI will soon receive Masaru Kanetani’s new book ‘Causation and reasoning constructions’ (John Benjamins Publishing) and review it for the LINGUIST List. The book deals with the expression of causal relations and reasoning processes, which in some languages is realized by the same connective word (e.g., English ‘because,’ Japanese ‘kara’). I am looking forward to reading it. Stay tuned!

Time to ditch the ‘language purity’ myth and enjoy diversity

I have just published an opinion article on the Spanish website Globedia. It deals with the longstanding myth that some language varieties are inherently better than others, illustrating in particular the case of English and, to a lesser extent, Spanish. It is, for the most part, a translation of this post into Spanish. You can either read it online or download the PDF. Please comment and let me know what you think!

A joint presentation at SLE52

harry potter (2)On August 21-24, 2019, Cristiano Broccias and I will be jointly presenting a paper at the 52nd Annual Meeting of the Societas Linguistica Europaea (SLE52), which will take place at the University of Leipzig, Germany. Our contribution will be entitled ‘Extravagant Harry Potter adverbs in American English: Synchronic and diachronic considerations’ and will be part of the Extravagant Morphology workshop, organized by Dagmar Haumann and Matthias Eitelmann.

What are ‘Harry Potter adverbs’? They are subject-oriented –ingly adjuncts, typically found in fiction (as in the Harry Potter series). They are formed out of verbs that can be predicated of the matrix subject either subjectively or objectively. In the former case, the verbal base (e.g., plead) pertains to the speaker’s subjective assessment of the process profiled by the matrix verb (e.g., look) as a clue to the emotional state the clausal trajector is or, rather, seems to be (e.g., ‘Neville looked pleadingly at Harry, Ron and Hermione,’ i.e., ‘Neville {seemed to be /*was} pleading Harry, Ron and Hermione’). In the latter case, the verbal base (e.g., [(not)] move) describes a process unfolding simultaneously with that profiled by the matrix verb and predicated of the clausal trajector (e.g., ‘[H]e stared unmovingly at the sea,’ i.e., ‘He {*seemed not to be/was not} moving (as he stared at the sea).’

The abstract and the slides of our talk will be uploaded on this website shortly after the conference.

A joint presentation at BICLCE8

speaking in GermanyCristiano Broccias and I will present a contribution at the 8th Biennial International Conference on the Linguistics of Contemporary English (BICLCE8), which will be held at the University of Bamberg, Germany on September 26-28, 2019. Our contribution will be entitled, ‘The material VVing construction: A corpus-based investigation.’ Stay tuned!

A new research project

UniGe2In December 2018, I will join the Department of Modern Languages and Cultures of the University of Genoa, Italy as a research fellow. I will be working on a research project entitled ‘English construction grammar(s): Between description and cognition.’

The project consists of a critical appraisal of the family of theoretical approaches collectively known as ‘Construction Grammar,’ a very popular but not uncontroversial framework. Indeed, it is often less than clear if the studies carried out within the Construction Grammar framework should be considered, cautiously, as structural descriptions of linguistic facts or, more ambitiously, as psycholinguistic analyses. The goal of the present project is to study the notion of construction in English and evaluate the distinct constructional models proposed in the literature, on the basis of a sample of empirical data drawn from corpora such as COCA. If necessary, the project also aims to develop an alternative model at least descriptively accurate.

Stay tuned!

News on reviews

several booksMy review of Peter Lasersohn’s book ‘Subjectivity and perspective in truth-theoretic semantics’ is now available on the LINGUIST List website. The interested reader can either read it online or get the PDF version.

Shortly, I will also receive and review the new book ‘Southern English varieties then and now,’ a collection of studies edited by Laura Wright on the varieties of English spoken in the south of England. Stay tuned!