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Département de linguistique générale
Faculté des lettres,  Université de Genève
3, pl des Bastions
CH.1211 Genève 4

Office : L 705 (Landolt, 7th floor)

Office hours : Friday, 10-12 a.m

Phone :
Office: 022 379 73 58
022 379 70 30 (Eva Capitao)

Fax: 022 379 79 31


Teaching 2004-2005

English Linguistics

H - Thu 10-12, Phil 006A

The objective of this class is the acquisition of the basics of semantics, that is the first tools and the methodology of semantic analysis. The class is divided into six sections. The first three introduce concepts such as 'meaning', 'sense', 'reference' and their articulation in a semantic theory. The last three sections deal with word meaning, with an introduction to logics and and to the basic tools we need to handle the meaning of sentences.


E - Mo 16-18, Phil 017

Syntax II presupposes Syntax I. It intrduces problems related to syntactic movement. After and introductory section on Case, we will discuss diffrent instances of movement, such as 'NP-movement', illustrated by raising (1) and passive (2) and wh-movement (3). The last section introduces the notion of binding (4)
(1)    a.   It seems that the students like the linguistics class
         b.   The students seem to like the linguistics class
(2)   The paper was written by two excellent students
(3)   a.   Where did the students find the answers?
       b.   The teacher wonders where the students found the answers.
       c.   What does the teacher think that the students found?
       d.   *What does the teacher wonder whether the students found?
(4)   a.   The students help each other
       b.   *The students hope that the teacher will help each other
       c.   The students hope that the teacher will help them

H - Thu 14-16, A 206

Pragmatics is the study of language in context. In this seminar, we will briefly discuss teh difference between meaning and interpretation. We will then examine different pragmatic theories, and how they contribute to a linguistics account of metaphor (1), presuppositions (2), indirect speech acts (3) and irony (4).
(1)   This room is a pigsty ("meaning": this room is untidy)
(2)   When did you stop smoking? ("meaning": you used to smoke)
(3)   It's cold in here ("meaning": could you please close the window)
(4)   Peter is quite well-read: he's even heard of Shakespeare ("meaning": Peter is ignorant)

E - Tue 8-10, Phil 111

This seminar develops the recent proposals that both IP and CP need a richer structure to account for complex data of the type given in (1) and (2):
(1)   a.   John might not invite his friends
       b.   John might not have invited his friends.
(2)   a.   His friends, John likes to invite
       b.   On no account will John invite his friends
       c.   John swears that on account will he invite his friends
The analysis of these types of sentences reveals that both IP and CP need to be split into several functional projections.

General Linguistics

H - Fri 12-14, L208

This class elaborates on first year introduction to syntax. It proposes a comparative approach to the syntax of passive, of double-object constructions, discusses at length the problems of wh-movement, and introduces Romance clitics and Germanic V2. (taught in French).

H - Tue 8-10, L208

This post-grad class discusses the problems raised by a "standard" approach to the syntax of negation in a comparative perspective. After a first section on the problem of the functional projection(s) involved in negation, we will examine the question of the status of n-words in different languages, the problems they raise and the various solutions that have been proposed in recent literature. We will work with data from Romance languages, Germanic languages, Finnish and Hungarian, Slavic languages (Polish, Russian) and Greek.

Research Interests

o syntax of Hungarian, especially the left peripheral domain, which includes hierarchically determined positions for Focus, Topic, wh-phrases and negation.

o syntax-semantics interface issues, mainly the interpretation of quantifiers and relation between the interpretation and the syntactic positions, in Hungarian and in other languages.

o negation

o interactions between quantification and negation.

o currently supervisor of a Fonds National Suisse de la Recherche Sscientifique project on the interaction between quantification and negation, with collaborators Lena Baunaz and Andrea Cattaneo, focussing on English, French, Bellinzonese and Hungarian.


Recent Publications

Puskás G, to appear a.. (ed) Negation in Finno-Ugric Languages. Lingua Thematic Issue.

Puskás G. to appear b.. "Negation in Finno-Ugric: an introduction". In G. Puskas (ed) Negation in Finno-Ugric Languages. Lingua.

Puskás G. to appear c. "Double negation and information structure: somewhere between old and new". In V. Molnár & S. Winkler (eds) The Architecture of Focus.

Puskás, G. 2003. "Floating Quantifiers: what they can tell us about the syntax and semantics of quantifiers". In Ch. Laenzlinger & S. Durrleman (eds) Generative Grammar in Geneva 3: 105-128.

Puskás, G. 2002. "On negative licensing contexts and the role of n-words". In Approaches to Hungarian, I. Kenesei, K. E-Kiss and P. Siptár (eds), vol. 8: 81-106. Budapest: Akadémiai Kiadó.

Puskás, G. 2000a. Word Order in Hungarian: the Syntax of A'-positions. Amsterdam and Philadelphia: John Benjamins.

Puskás, G. 2000b. "Quantification in the left periphery: a syntactic argument for ‘split’ domains". In The proceedings from the Main Session of the Chicago Linguistics Society’s Thirty-sixth Meeting, Arika Okrent & John Boyle (eds), 36-1: 355-368. Chicago: Chicago Linguistic Society.

Puskás, G. 1999. "Negation and n-words in Hungarian". In Proceedings of the Twenty-eighth Western Conference on Linguistics, Nancy  M. Antrim, Grant Goodall, Martha Shulte-Nafeh and Vida Samiian (eds), 11 (Wecol 99): 443-456. Fresno: California State University.

Puskás, G. 1998a. "On the Neg-criterion in Hungarian" Acta Linguistica Hungarica, 45, 1-2: 167-213.

Puskás, G. 1998b. "A Split-CP approach: evidence from Hungarian" in I. Kenesei (ed) Papers from the Amsterdan Conference. Approaches to Hungarian, vol.6. JATE: Szeged.

Puskás, G. 1997a. "Focus and the CP domain" in L. Haegeman (ed) The new Comparative Syntax. London: Longman.

Puskás, G. 1997b. "Verb Focusing" . Geneva Generative Papers 5,2:1-12.

Ihsane T. & G. Puskás, 2001. "Specific is not Definite. Generative Grammar in Geneva 2.