Formal Semantics

My PhD research topic, supervised by Prof. Fred Landman, is on the interface between three fundamental topics in the semantics of nouns and noun phrases: reference to kinds, plurality and countability (the count-mass distinction). I will answer research questions like:

  1. Which nouns can get a subkind reading?
    1. I wonder which animal is most common.
    2. #I wonder which student is most common.
    3. I wonder which wine is most common.
    4. #I wonder which dust is most common.
    5. Knives are a common weapon.
    6. #Knives are a common weaponry.
  2. Which kinds can be in the denotation of subkind-denoting nominals?
  3. What is a grammatically countable set of kinds?
  4. What is the best way to account for the countability facts of kind phrases?
    1. I tried many of the 10 kinds of cheese.
    2. #I tried many of the cheese of 10 kinds.
  • Schoenfeld, Aviv. 3/3/2019. “Favorite animals and popular wines: the subkind reading of count and mass nouns.” Prof. Susan Rothstein’s research group. Bar‑Ilan University, Israel. [handout]
  • Landman, Fred and Aviv Schoenfeld. 24/9/2017. “Sorting neat nouns in Iceberg semantics.” The Annual Bar-Ilan Semantics Workshop 7. Bar-Ilan Univeristy, Israel. [handout]

Derivational Morphology

I have two research topics in derivational morphology: (i) secreted affixes, specifically in Biblical Hebrew personal names, and (ii) variable base word positioning in English blends (with Prof. Outi Bat-El and Dr. Evan Cohen).

  • Schoenfeld, Aviv, Evan Cohen and Outi Bat-El. Upcoming. “Variable base word positioning in blends.” Lexis 14.
  • Schoenfeld, Aviv. Upcoming. “Abishai, Daniel and Hezekiah: secreted affixes in Biblical Hebrew personal names.” Brill’s Journal of Afroasiatic Languages and Linguistics.

You are welcome to browse my corpus of 1,537 Hebrew blends and puns.

Syntax-Semantics Interface

I am researching the word order and interpretation options of English partitive phrases.