Research · Jos Tellings


Papers and talks

Talk at ILLC

I gave a talk at the Inquisitive Semantics Seminar at ILLC (University of Amsterdam) on tense restrictions in temporal questions, and on implementing tense and aspect operators into Inquisitive Semantics.

'Still' as an additive particle in conditionals

This paper analyzes the behavior of still in subjunctive conditionals. It presents a novel three-way empirical distinction that shows that in certain counterfactual contexts, still behaves like an additive particle. I provide a unified analysis for aspectual still, still in semifactuals, and a third use newly introduced here. I propose a revision of the standard event-based semantics of aspectual still (Ippolito 2007) in order to make it embeddable under modal operators.


My dissertation "Counterfactuality in discourse" (UCLA, June 2016) investigates the effect of discourse on counterfactual inferences in conditionals. I provide novel data that illustrate the focus-sensitivity of counterfactual inferences: in combination with certain focus particles, and when pronounced with certain intonation contours, counterfactual conditionals do not trigger some counterfactual inferences that would otherwise arise. In the analysis I propose, the link between the topic-focus structure of conditionals and the generation of counterfactual inferences lies in the pragmatic phenomenon of conditional perfection (the strengthening of conditionals into biconditionals).

Expressing identity in Imbabura Quichua

Expressing identity in Imbabura Quichua in Proceedings of SULA 8

Abstract: The way to express token identity (‘the same X’) in Imbabura Quichua is also used to express intensifiers (‘X himself’) and repeated action (‘X again’). I argue that the semantic core of these meanings is the identity function. The paper discusses the implications for the typology of intensifier expressions.

'Only' and focus in Imbabura Quichua

Only and focus in Imbabura Quichua in Proceedings of BLS 40

Abstract: I show that Imbabura Quichua has an asymmetric pattern of focus marking: focus in question-answer congruency is marked with a suffix -mi. The argument of the exclusive particle -lla 'only', on the other hand, is not morphologically or phonetically marked. I propose a syntactic mechanism of association-by-focus instead.

Clitics and voicing in Dutch

Clitics and voicing in Dutch in Proceedings of BLS 39

Abstract: I propose a two-layer OT analysis for the interaction of voicing processes and clitic attachment in Dutch. I argue that this analysis is empirically and conceptually superior to two earlier analyses: the rule-based Lexical Phonology analysis from Booij (1995), and the single-level OT analysis from Grijzenhout and Krämer (2000).