I am a CNRS researcher,
affiliated with the Institut Jean Nicod
at the Ecole Normale Supérieure
I study natural language semantics, with a particular focus on sign
language data (including French Sign Language and American Sign Language).
Much of my work investigates the unique properties of the sign language modality (e.g., space,
iconicity) in order to inform general questions regarding semantic composition.
In the years since my 2015 NYU dissertation,
I have have done significant work on the topic of plural
dependencies. This work spans from the marking of dependencies in the nominal
domain (distributive numerals, same/different) to
the marking of plurality and dependency in the verbal domain (pluractionality).
Another thread of my work is based within the framework of dynamic semantics.
Dynamic semantics investigates the way that discourse referents are introduced (i.e. those things
that can be referred to later by pronouns), as well as the way that logical environments
affect the dynamic potential of a linguistic item.
In recent work, I pursue the hypothesis that many cases of concord (including negative concord
and distributive concord) can be seen as constraints on the way that the logical
environment can or must manipulate discourse representations.
In other work, I have investigated the ways in which iconic properties of sign
language can inform general cognitive biases underlying natural language semantics.
If pre-linguistic cognitive pressures influence semantic typology (i.e. what is
attested and what is not), the same pressures should appear in other,
extra-linguistic communicative settings, and, in particular, in the interpretation
of iconic signs and gestures. We can thus get insights into these cognitive biases
by looking at the semantic and iconic typology of sign languages, as well as by looking at the
production and interpretation of gestures by non-signers.
I have also been involved in projects on primate communication (more information
and have done work on phonology.
My current CV is available here.
Links to my articles can be found below.
ABOUT ME (Video in ASL)
PAPERS (PUBLISHED OR TO APPEAR)
- Negative concord as a marker of empty discourse referents. [paper]
Kuhn. (2019). Negative concord as a marker of empty discourse referents. Black, Davis, Rhyne, and Lamp (eds.), Proceedings of Semantics and Linguistic Theory 29 (SALT 29), 341-350.
- Pluractionality and distributive numerals. [paper][preprint draft]
Kuhn. (2019). Pluractionality and distributive numerals. Language and Linguistics Compass, 13(2), e12309.
- On the -oo suffix of Campbell's monkeys [paper]
Kuhn, Keenan, Arnold, and Lemasson. (2018). On the -oo suffix of Campbell's monkeys. Linguistic Inquiry, 49(1), 169-181.
- Dependent indefinites: the view from sign language [paper][preprint draft]
Kuhn. (2017). Dependent indefinites: the view from sign language. Journal of Semantics, 34(3):407-446.
- Pluractionality, iconicity, and scope in French Sign Language [paper]
Kuhn and Aristodemo. (2017). Pluractionality, iconicity, and scope in French Sign Language. Semantics and Pragmatics, 10(6), 1-49.
- The categorical role of structurally iconic signs [paper] [preprint draft]
Strickland, Aristodemo, Kuhn, and Geraci. (2017). The categorical role of structurally iconic signs. Behavioral and Brain Sciences, 40, E72.
- Review of Herrmann (2013), Modal and focus particles in sign languages [paper] [draft]
Kuhn. (2017). Review of Herrmann, Annika (2013) Modal and focus particles in sign languages. A cross-linguistic study (Sign Languages and Deaf Communities 2). Sign Language & Linguistics, 20(1), 129-134.
- Discourse anaphora – theoretical perspectives [draft]
Kuhn. (to appear). Discourse anaphora – theoretical perspectives. In Quer, Pfau, and Herrmann (eds.), Theoretical and Experimental Sign Language Research. Routledge.
- Formal monkey linguistics [paper][preprint draft]
- Formal monkey linguistics: the debate [paper][preprint draft]
Schlenker, Chemla, Schel, Gautier, Fuller, Kuhn, Veselinović, Arnold, Cäsar, Papworth, Murphy, Lemasson, Ouattara, Keenan, Ryder, and Zuberbühler. (2016). Formal monkey linguistics. Theoretical Linguistics, 42(1-2), 1-90.
- Classification and automatic transcription of primate calls [paper]
Versteegh, Kuhn, Synnaeve, Ravaux, Chemla, Cäsar, Fuller, Murphy, Schel, and Dunbar. (2016). Classification and automatic transcription of primate calls. Journal of the Acoustical Society of America, 140(1), EL26-EL30.
- ASL Loci: Variables or Features? [paper][preprint draft]
Kuhn. (2016). ASL Loci: Variables or Features?
Journal of Semantics, 33(3), 449-491.
- Cross-categorial singular and plural reference in sign language [PhD thesis][10p abstract]
Kuhn. (2015). Cross-categorial singular and plural reference in sign language. PhD thesis, NYU, New York, NY.
- Harmony via Positive Agreement: Evidence from trigger-based count effects [paper]
Kuhn. (2012). Harmony via Positive Agreement: Evidence from trigger-based count effects. In Huang, Poole, and Rysling (eds.), Proceedings of the 43th conference of the North East Linguistics Society (NELS 43), Vol. 1, 253-264.
PAPERS IN PROGRESS
- Kuhn. "Groups vs. covers revisited: Evidence from symmetric readings of sentences with plurals." Manuscript. [draft]
- Kuhn. "Logical meaning in space: Iconic biases on quantification in sign languages." Manuscript. [draft]
- Kuhn. "Positive uses of NPIs and logical duality." Manuscript. [draft]
- Kuhn. "The dynamics of negative concord." Manuscript. [draft]
- Kuhn. "Gather/numerous as a mass/count opposition." Manuscript. [draft]
- Kuhn. "A new synonymy problem for E-type theories." Manuscript. [draft]
- Kuhn. "Telicity and iconic scales in ASL." Manuscript. [draft]
TALKS ON THE WEB
- 2018. "Telicity and iconic scales in ASL." Argument Structure Across Modalities. [video][slides]
- 2015. "Language, two ways." TEDx talk at Stuyvesant high school. [video][slides]
- 2015. with V. Aristodemo. "Iconicity in the grammar: pluractionality in French Sign Language." Sinn und Bedeutung 20; Linguistics Society of America 89. [LSA audio][LSA slides]
- 2013. "ASL Loci: Variables or Features?"
Sinn und Bedeutung 18. [video][handout]
- Categorial grammar [notes]
- Sign language linguistics (LSK Winter Institute course, 2018) [course site]
- Sign language linguistics I: phonology and morphology [slides]
- Sign language linguistics II: syntax and semantics [slides]
- NASSLLI 2016: "New advances in sign language semantics" [course site]
- ESSLLI 2015. "The meaning of space: New advances in sign language semantics" [course site]