Welcome to the lab!

Welcome to the Meaning and Modality (M&M) Laboratory at Harvard Linguistics! We are interested in understanding the uniquely human capacity for language, especially the ability to convey abstract, infinite, specific meanings across a variety of modes for natural language, including both speech and sign. Our work spans the subfields of formal semantics, pragmatics, syntax, bilingualism, language acquisition, and psycholinguistics in an effort to understand the relationship between linguistic meaning, language mode, language development, and human cognition.


Latest News

Yuhan, Kate, Dora, and Giuseppe at ELM

September 10, 2020

Our lab will be well represented at next week's Experiments in Linguistic Meaning (ELM), which will be held online https://www.elm-conference.net/

Yuhan Zhang and Kate Davidson will be presenting a poster on 'De re interpretation in belief reports--An experimental investigation' (Poster session 1: Wed 16th at 1-2:30pm ET); Giuseppe Ricciardi will be presenting on 'Epistemic must p is literally a strong statement' (R. Riskyn, E. Gibson Talk, on Wed 16th at 2:30-3pm ET); Teodora Mihoc and Kate Davidson will be presenting a talk on 'Superlative-modified numerals and negation: A negotiable cost'  (Talk on Fri 18th at 5-5:30pm ET).

Shannon and Josh at SALT

August 20, 2020
Two student lab members presented work at Semantics And Linguistic Theory (SALT) 30 at (virtual) Cornell this week! Josh Martin presented a talk on "Wh-the-hell as a polarity-insensitive, speaker-oriented domain restrictor", and Shannon Bryant presented joint work with Diti Bhadra on "Situation types in complementation: Oromo Attitude Reports". 

Johanna and Masoud at CogSci

July 27, 2020
Johanna Alstott will be presenting a poster on joint work with Masoud Jasbi on "Lexicalization of quantificational forces in adverbial and determiner domains" at the CogSci 2020 virtual meeting this July. Check it out online!

Annemarie, Hande, and Kate at FEAST

June 18, 2020
Our lab will be represented in two presentations at next week's Formal and Experimental Advances in Sign language Theory (FEAST), which will be held online. Annemarie Kocab will be presenting joint talk with Kate Davidson and Jesse Snedeker on "The emergence of natural language quantification", and Hande Sevgi will be presenting a joint poster with Kadir Gökgöz on "To what extent does age of acquisition matter: Evidence from Turkish Sign Language (TİD)". 

Lab meetings cancelled

March 15, 2020
In light of COVID-19, the regular weekly lab meetings have been cancelled in person until further notice. We are continuing to meet occassionally on Wednesdays at 3 or 3:30pm via Zoom; contact Gunnar Lund for more information.

Kate at the Amsterdam Colloquium

December 19, 2019
Kate Davidson gave an invited talk during the regular programme of the Amsterdam Colloquium on "Alternatives: The View from Sign Language Loci". With one workshop at the AC on semantic universals/understudied languages and another on "superlinguistics" (including lots on pointing and gesture) it was a particularly intellectually exciting colloquium for our lab this year! 

Our lab at NELS

October 27, 2019
Conference presenter (white woman with brown hair) next to large screen with powerpoint slide of data sources at NELS conference

Kate Davidson was an invited speaker at NELS 50 @ MIT, talking about "Is "experimental" a gradable predicate?", and Dorothy Ahn presented a talk on "ASL IX to locus as a modifier". (Thanks to Byron Ahn for the photo!)