Ko-Potsdam/Legon Workshop on Experimental Semantic Field Research

Ko-Potsdam/Legon Workshop on Experimental Semantic Field Research

The class will take place from 9 to 20 January, 2023, at the University of Ghana at Legon (Accra), but can also be attended online (via Zooom). The school is partially funded by the Ko-UP scheme of University of Potsdam, and its aim is to bring together Master students of Linguistics from UP and Master and PhD students of Linguistics from Ghana. Potsdam students take this class for credit in the Module LIN-MS 031 (Fieldwork II) (or LIN-MS 023: Semantics).

The planned schedule is as follows: There will be two compulsory morning classes for everybody, which will be followed by group work in the afternoon. We are aiming at pooling together Legon and UP students in the individual afternoon groups. You can sign up for two of the afternoon courses, and then specialise in the second week. In the first week, the group discussions will introduce the individual semantic phenomena and analytical problems to be solved. In the second week, groups will work hands-on on the development of experimental designs for particular semantic issues in Ghanaian languages.

The ideal outcome at the end of week 2 would be a sketch for a semantic experiment on a Ghanaian language.


Morning -- Plenary

8:30 - 10:00 Intro to Formal Semantics 1 Intro to Formal Semantics 2 (Zimmermann/Ebert)
0:30 - 12:00 Experimental Design Hands On: Setting up and analysing experiments (Bade)

Afternoon GROUP WORK

14:00 - 14:55 (In)Definiteness (Grubic/Owusu/Bade)

Tense/Aspect (Mucha/Duah/Renans)

Clauses & Clausal Complements (incl. embedded questions) (Sulemana/Zimmermann/Korsah)

15:05 - 16:00 Quantification & Number (Renans/Ebert/Bimpeh)

Events & Modality (incl. Serial Verb Constructions & Connectors) (Sulemana/Zimmermann)

Not-At Issue meaning (Focus, Exhaustivity, Presupposition, etc.) (Bade/Grubic/Duah)

Course requirements for UP-students: Attendance of morning classes plus at least one afternoon group, plus a rough sketch of experimental design (3 pages)

Module Exam: A full pre-registration report of the planned experiment (5 to 10 pages)

Application procedure: We have limited funding for sponsoring on-site attendance in Legon (flight+accommodation). If you want to attend on-site, please express your interest together with a short letter of motivation (1/2 page) by Friday, 30 september, 2022. Besides the letter of motivation we will take into consideration grades in syntax and semantics. Key issues to be addressed in the letter of motivation: What sparked your interest in formal semantics and/or African languages? Previous exposure to semantics of African languages and/or experimental semantics? Search for potential topics for the MSc thesis? Application should be directed to Nadine Bade at: nadine.bade@uni-potsdam.de.