Welcome to the 31st Annual Meeting of the Southeast Asian Linguistics Society (SEALS 31)! Thank you for joining us.
(Please not that we are still awaiting a few items for the schedule, and they will be added as they come in)

In-person attendees: Face masks are required for indoor events on the UH Mānoa campus and in the conference venues. Please make sure to bring and wear yours. (NOTE: Presenters can remove their masks when presenting, but attendees must keep their masks on.) Please also be advised that the presentation rooms have air conditioning, so if you tend to get cold in air-conditioned rooms, you may want to bring a sweater or jacket with you.
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Registration: Registration will be open from 11 AM to 4:50 PM every day in the foyer of the Campus Center Ballroom (3rd floor)
Coffee Service: A coffee service will be available from 11 AM to 4:50 PM every day in Ballroom 1 of Campus Center
Virtual Posters: Posters are asynchronous this year. Please refer to the two poster blocks at the top of the schedule to view the posters and brief presentation videos from the poster presenters.

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This conference was co-organized by the UHM Department of Linguistics and the National Foreign Language Resource Center (NFLRC) and received generous funding from the National Science Foundation, the NFLRC, and the UHM Center for Southeast Asian Studies (CSEAS).
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Thursday, May 19 • 3:30pm - 4:45pm
Plenary Speaker : Semantic Distinctions in the Thai Pronominal System

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Thai has an unusually large inventory of expressions that can be used for personal reference, including null pronouns, reflexive or logophoric pronouns, a wide array of honorific personal pronouns, along with proper names and titles. The richness of this system has puzzled syntacticians and semanticists in the generative tradition, leading some scholars to conclude that Thai lacks pronouns altogether, and others to claim that Thai names and pronouns are not subject to universal conditions on coreference. I try to show how the formal view of a pronoun as a variable, along with an enriched sense of what kinds of contextual information can restrict that variable, help make sense of distributional differences of Thai pronouns in various semantic contexts. I propose that Thai pronominals fall into three different subclasses 1) referentially dependent anaphors, 2) `true’ personal pronouns, and 3) ‘expanded’ indexicals—including names and titles—and spell out some of the pragmatic distinctions made in each domain. I finally try to show that the apparently exceptional distribution of Thai pronominals in fact has a simple explanation under Reinhart (1983) binding theory, in which variable binding is obligatory when possible.

Peter Jenks is an associate professor at UC Berkeley. He received his PhD from Harvard University in 2011, his dissertation focused on nominal syntax and semantics of Thai. He has since worked extensively on the syntax and semantics of Thai, Mandarin, and Moken, and has also been engaged in analytic projects focusing on a number of languages spoken in Sudan, Cameroon, and Burkina Faso. He has been engaged in a grammatical description project on Moro (Kordofanian: Sudan) for over 10 years in collaboration with native speakers and language activists for that language.

 Most of Professor Jenks’s research looks at aspects of cross-linguistic variation through the lens of formal syntactic and semantic theory, asking how the full range of attested cross-linguistic variation can inform the shape of such theories. His work has focused extensively on nominal syntax and semantics, including work on definiteness, pronouns, relative clauses, modification, and quantification.



Thursday May 19, 2022 3:30pm - 4:45pm HST
CC Ballroom 2/3