Seminar für Englische Philologie
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Paula Menéndez-Benito, PhD


Research Interests

My main area of expertise is formal semantics. I am also interested in psycholinguistics and in particular semantic processing. Most of my work deals with quantificational constructions in natural language. Some of the questions I am interested in are: What devices of quantification available in natural language? How do quantifiers interact with verbal morphology? How are quantifiers processed? My work in formal semantics bears on the first two questions. My cross-linguistic research on indefinites makes a contribution to the typology of quantificational constructions. In my dissertation, I explored the semantics of Free Choice determiners, and their interaction with verbal morphology and modal auxiliaries. In my early psycholinguistic work, I approached the last question by exploring the effect of quantifiers in the resolution of syntactic ambiguities. More recently, in collaboration with Lyn Frazier, Helen Majewski and Keith Rayner, I have investigated the processing of English any in episodic contexts. Currently, I am engaged in collaborative work with Luis Alonso-Ovalle on indefinites, and I am pursuing independent research on genericity.



Current and Recent Courses



  • Experimental Pragmatics

  • The Semantics of Tense. With Ilaria Frana.

  • Semantics Lab




  • Publications

    (see my homepage for downloadable versions.)



  • Menéndez-Benito, Paula (to appear): "On Dispositional Sentences¨". To appear in Alda Mari, Claire Beyssade and Fabio del Prete (eds.), Genericity, Oxford: Oxford University Press.


  • Alonso-Ovalle, Luis and Paula Menéndez-Benito (to appear): “Indefinites, Dependent Plurality and the Viability Requirement on Scalar Alternatives”. To appear in Journal of Semantics.

  • Alonso-Ovalle, Luis and Paula Menéndez-Benito (to appear): "Exceptional Scope: The Case of Spanish”. To appear in Stefan Hinterwimmer and Cornelia Endriss (eds.), Different Kinds of Specifity Across Languages, Dordrecht: Springer (Studies in Linguistics and Philosophy).


  • Alonso-Ovalle, Luis, Paula Menéndez-Benito (to appear): “Plural Epistemic Indefinites”. To appear in the Proceedings of the 40th meeting of the North East Linguistic Society.


  • Alonso-Ovalle, Luis, Paula Menéndez-Benito, and Florian Schwarz (to appear): “Maximize Presupposition and Two Types of Definite Competitors”. To appear in the Proceedings of the 39th meeting of the North East Linguistic Society.


  • Alonso-Ovalle, Luis and Paula Menéndez-Benito (2011): “Domain Restrictions, Modal Implicatures and Plurality: Spanish. Forthcoming in Journal of Semantics 28 (2), 211- 240. (doi: 10.1093/jos/ffq016).


  • Alonso-Ovalle, Luis and Paula Menéndez-Benito (2011): “Expressing Indifference: Spanish Un NP cualquiera”. To appear in Neil Ashton, Anca Chereches, and David Lutz (eds), Proceedings of the 21st Semantics and Linguistic Theory Conference, 313-332.


  • Alonso-Ovalle, Luis and Paula Menéndez-Benito (2010): “Modal Indefinites”. Natural Language Semantics 18(1), 1-31.


  • Menéndez-Benito, Paula (2010): “On Universal Free Choice Items”. Natural Language Semantics 18(1), 33-64.


  • Menéndez-Benito, Paula (2009): “Universal Free Choice Items in Greek and Spanish”. In Claire Halpert, Jeremy Hartman, and David Hill (eds.), Proceedings of the 2007 Workshop in Greek Syntax and Semantics at MIT (MIT Working Papers in Linguistics 57), 377-391.


  • Alonso-Ovalle, Luis and Paula Menéndez-Benito (2008): “Minimal Domain Widening”. In Natasha Abner and Jason Bishop (eds.), Proceedings of the 27th West Coast Conference on Formal Linguistics, 36-44


  • Menéndez-Benito, Paula (2008): Review of: María J. Arche 2006. Individuals in time: Tense, aspect and the individual/stage distinction (Linguistik Aktuell/Linguistics Today 94). Amsterdam & Philadelphia: John Benjamins, 2006. Journal of Linguistics 44, 514-519.


  • Menéndez-Benito, Paula (2007): The Grammar of Choice, GLSA: Amherst, MA. (Also available from BookSurge Publishing at Amazon.com.)


  • Menéndez-Benito, Paula (2006): “Exclusive Choices”. In Christopher Davis, Amy Rose Deal and Youri Zabbal (eds.), Proceedings of the 36th meeting of the North East Linguistic Society, University of Massachusetts, Amherst: GLSA, 467-480.


  • Alonso-Ovalle, Luis and Paula Menéndez-Benito (2003): “Some Epistemic Indefinites”. In Makoto Kadowaki and Shigeto Kawahara (eds.), Proceedings of the 33rd meeting of the North East Linguistic Society, University of Massachusetts, Amherst: GLSA, 1-12.


  • Anderssen, Jan, Paula Menéndez-Benito and Adam Werle (eds.) (2003) SULA 2. The Proceedings of the Second Conference on the Semantics of Under-Represented Languages in the Americas. University of Massachusetts, Amherst: GLSA.


  • Menéndez-Benito, Paula (2003): “Quantification and Syntactic Ambiguity: the case of Every”. In Luis Alonso-Ovalle (ed.), On Semantic Processing: University of Massachusetts Occasional Papers 27, University of Massachusetts, Amherst: GLSA, 138-166.


  • Alonso-Ovalle, Luis and Paula Menéndez-Benito (2002): “Two Types of Weak Quantifiers: Evidence from Spanish”. Proceedings of the 1st North American Summer School in Logic, Language and Information, Stanford University, CA, 11-19.


  • Menéndez-Benito, Paula (2002): “Aspect and Adverbial Quantification in Spanish”. In Mako Hirotani (ed.), Proceedings of the 32nd meeting of the North East Linguistic Society, University of Massachusetts, Amherst: GLSA, 365-382.


  • Menéndez-Benito, Paula (2002): “Aspect and Adverbial Quantifiers in Spanish”, Proceedings of the Perspectives on Aspect Conference, UiL-OTS working papers (on-line proceedings).









  • PaulaMB

    Paula Menéndez-Benito, PhD
    Seminar für Englische Philologie
    Käte-Hamburger-Weg 3
    37073 Göttingen

    Raum 0.260
    Tel. +49 (0) 551 39-7574
    Fax +49 (0) 551 39-14651

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