Research interests (broadly): semantics, pragmatics, sociolinguistics, variation, Japanese

Research interests (specifically): exclamatives, miratives, evidentials, questions, biased questions, expletive negation, veridicality, degree semantics, dynamic semantics, discourse semantics

Current projects:

Non-canonical intensification. My dissertation in prepation examines various forms of non-lexical intensification, such as exclamatives, miratives, and polarity emphasis. I analyze these phenomena from a discourse perspective, adopting the Table model of Farkas and Bruce (2010).

Exclamatives. My main research interest is in the semantics of exclamative constructions. I'm particularly interested in the semantic difference across various exclamative types (e.g., What a painting!  Boy, is he an idiot! Isn't that neat! The things my dog likes to eat!) , and ask what the category "exclamative" constitutes of , if it is a natural class at all. My current thought is that exclamatives can be unified in terms of their discourse property: they are a class of non-inquisitive sentences that are used for the sake of expressing something, as opposed to inviting discussion.

Social meaning in formal semantics. I am interested in integrating socioliguistics and formal semantics, and seeing what predictions formal models can make about semantic variation and change. How pejorativity arises in language is one recurring theme in my work in this area.

Japanese -ka-yo. In Japanese, -ka is a question particle and -yo is a "notification" particle. Used together, they produce a mirative-like interpretation, and a particularly aggressive one in tone (e.g., NOUN-ka-yo = 'it's a fucking NOUN?!') . Using tools from dynamic semantics, I provide a compositional analysis for this construction.

Japanese expletive negation. Negative polar questions in Japanese (e.g., kawaiku--na-i? 'isn't (it) cute?' optionally takes expletive (non-logical) negation (e.g., kawai-ku-na-ku-na-i? 'isn't (it) cute?'). The variant with the expletive negation is largely perceived to be characteristic of the speech of younger speakers in Japan. However, results from my comprehension task says otherwise: older speakers allow for the expletive interpretation of the negation more often than younger speakers.

Conference presentations and invited talks:

(Forthcoming July 2017)
Taniguchi, A. Exhaustification and pejorativity: the case of Japanese nanka. Workshop on Integrating Approaches to Social Meaning at the 29th European Summer School for Logic, Language, and Information.
2017 Taniguchi, A. Dimensions of inversion exclamatives (in discourse). Workshop on Non-at-issue Meaning and Information Structure. Oslo, Norway.
2017 Taniguchi, A. Exclamatives in discourse. Invited talk with the NYU Semantics Group (informal series). New York, NY.
Taniguchi, A. Nanka or whatevs: Extenders and pejorativity in Japanese and beyond. Graduate Linguistics Expo at Michigan State. East Lansing, MI.
Taniguchi, A. Demanding an answer: The CCP semantics of anti-rhetorical questions in Japanese. Semantics and Syntax Workshop of the American Midwest and Praries. Evanston, IL.
Taniguchi, A. Positive vs. negative inversion exclamatives. Sinn und Bedeutung 21. Edinburgh, Scotland.
Taniguchi, A. Dynamic semantics with -ka-yo. Graduate Linguistics Expo at Michigan State. East Lansing, MI.
Taniguchi, A. Manufactured mirativity: A compositional account of Japanese -ka -yo. Formal Approaches to Japanese Linguistics 8. Mie, Japan.
Taniguchi, A. Negative inversion exclamatives, focus, and speaker commitment. 24th Conference of the Student Organisation of Linguistics in Europe. York, UK.
Taniguchi, A. Negative inversion exclamatives. Semantics Workshop of the American Midwest and Prairies. Ann Arbor, MI.
Taniguchi, A. VV- vs. V-final truncation of Japanese Loanword Compounds. 19th Mid-Continental Phonetics and Phonology Conference. Madison, WI.
Taniguchi, A., Totsuka, Y., Munn, A., & Schmitt, C.  Isn't it not cute?: Variation in the interpretation of Japanese double negation by age. New Ways of  Analyzing  Variation 42. Pittsburgh, PA.


In prep.
Taniguchi, A. Non-at-issue intensification in English and Japanese. Doctoral dissertation: Michigan State University.
In prep.
Taniguchi, A. Dimensions of inversion exclamatives.
Submitted Taniguchi, A. The folk perception of Japanese expletive negation. Asia-Pacific Language Variation.
Taniguchi, A. Positive vs. negative inversion exclamatives. Proceedings of Sinn und Bedeutung 21.
Taniguchi, A. Sentence-final -ka-yo in Japanese: A compositional account. Proceedings of FAJL8: Formal Approaches to Japanese Linguistics.
Taniguchi, A. Negative inversion exclamatives and speaker commitment. Proceedings of ConSOLE XXIV: Conference of the Student Organisation of Linguistics in Europe.

Handouts and other manuscripts:

Simba na rafiki, hakuna matata: Nominal coordination and noun class agreement in Swahili

triangle-point-pink research





(c) Ai Taniguchi
Last edited 7/17/17