A new theory of indexical shift

Vortragende(r) Sandhya Sundaresan
Datum 06.02.2020
Uhrzeit 15:00 Uhr
Ort 4. Etage, Raum 403 (Seminarraum)


This talk motivates and develops a new model of indexical shift based on the following observations. (i) Shift Together (ST) (the restriction that indexicals in a local domain cannot shift independently) is a robust crosslinguistic constraint, but genuine exceptions to ST may obtain under specific conditions. (ii) Indexical shift is an embedded root phenomenon: if indexical shift obtains under a non-speech attitude verb, it must also occur under a speech verb. (i) and (ii) are problematic to both major approaches to indexical shift, involving context-overwriting and contextual binding. I show that these results can be captured under a new model where the shifty operator (or monster) is a contextual binder, but: a) the monster is encoded on a species of complementizer, rather than on the attitude verb; b) all contextual binding must be local; c) speech predicates introduce a clausal complement that has a monstrous C head that clausal complements of other attitude verbs lack. Under the new model, all intensional quantification is monstrous, with the nature of intensionality varying simply according to the shape of the monster. The new theory also fulfills several empirical predictions wrt. indexical shift, including that it cannot occur outside of CPs and can occur in the absence of attitude verbs.