Barbara Partee
University of Massachusetts, Amherst

1. Monday, January 8, 2024: Symmetrical Predicates

Barbara Partee (UMass, Amherst)

The concept of symmetry plays a fundamental role in areas as diverse as aesthetics, social, and biological structure, and is threaded through the vocabulary and syntax of natural languages. Here we draw on mathematical, linguistic, and psychological approaches to the study of symmetry and symmetrical predicates, and show how some puzzles and apparent paradoxes about symmetry arise from how contributions to meaning are distributed among lexicon, morphology, and syntax. This work is joint with the late wonderful Lila Gleitman.