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 in English can get a subkind reading?
    1. I wonder which {animal, #country} is most common.
    2. I wonder which {wine, #dust} is most common.
    3. I wonder which {weapon, #weaponry} is the most common.
  2. Which kinds can be in the denotation of nominals that denote sets of kinds?
  3. What characterizes 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. 15/1/2020. The subkind reading of nouns and hierarchical structure of kinds. Semantics group. Heinrich-Heine-Universität, Düsseldorf. Invited by Prof. Hana Filip and Dr. Peter R. Sutton. [presentation]
  • 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. 2019. Variable base word positioning in blends. Lexis 14. DOI: 10.4000/lexis.3781.
  • Schoenfeld, Aviv. Accepted. 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.