Research

My interests are mostly in the areas of (formal and not-so-formal) semantics and pragmatics. Most linguists I know have a story to tell about how they started out in another field, and then somehow found linguistics, and I am no exception. As an undergraduate student in Groningen, the Netherlands, I began in philosophy and became fascinated by the philosophy of language and logic (with a detour in medieval Latin). Later on I realized I  was actually more inspired by — and suited for — investigating empirical issues related to language, so I decided to switch to the department of general linguistics, where I received a thorough training in generative syntax. As a graduate student at the University of Massachusetts, Amherst, I was happily able to combine all these interests. My amazing colleagues and students at UBC have broadened my horizon beyond well-researched (and somewhat boring) languages such as Dutch and English, and stimulated my interest in cross-linguistic research and typological issues. Most of my current work is in collaboration with them. Interestingly, I also find that insights from the analysis of “unfamiliar” languages can often throw a new light on the familiar Indo-European ones (and make them look less boring!).

I have published on a wide variety of topics, including wh-constructions (questions, comparatives), polarity and negation, focus particles (even, too/either), number and person (especially in bound pronouns), modality and evidentiality, and the interaction between modality and tense/aspect. These days most of my research activities take place within the UBC research group on Tense and Aspect in the Pacific.


Teaching

I regularly teach undergraduate and graduate courses in semantics and pragmatics (Ling 327, 345, and 525), as well as a general introduction to linguistics (Ling 100). Over the years I have also co-taught various seminars for graduate and advanced undergraduate students on topics such as modality, cross-linguistic pragmatics, number and quantification, and number and aspect (Ling 447 and 530). In the past, I have taught an introductory course in syntax, morphology, and semantics (Ling 201), and team-taught an introduction to cognitive science (Cogs 200) in UBC’s Cognitive Systems program.


Supervision

Graduate students I have (co-)supervised include:


Service

Currently, I am undergraduate advisor in the Department of Linguistics, and as such I serve on the department’s curriculum committee. For more information, see the advising page.


 

Courses Currently Teaching

Winter 2017

LING100 Introduction to Language and Linguistics Sections

Study of language as a universal and uniquely human cognitive system: What universals do all languages share and how do languages differ? An investigation of sound systems, word-building, grammatical principles, language change, dialect variation, language acquisition, neurolinguistics. Recommended but not required for an honours, major, or minor in linquistics or speech sciences.

Winter 2017

LING345 Pragmatics Sections

Selected topics in pragmatics and information structure, including variations in their cross-linguistic expression and the corresponding influence of sentence form on context.

Winter 2017

LING447O Topics in Linguistics - TOPICS IN LING Sections

A capstone course for Linguistics and Speech Sciences majors, normally taken after three years of study. Individual sections will differ substantially; see online Course List for detailed descriptions and prerequisites. May be repeated for credit when content is different.

Winter 2017

LING525 Semantic Theory and Analysis Sections

Discussion and critical analysis of current issues in semantic theory.


Work in progress

Chen, Sihwei, Jozina Vander Klok, Lisa Matthewson and Hotze Rullmann. In Support of Relative Tense: The Existential Past in Atayal and Javanese. Slides for a talk presented at TripleA 4: the Semantics of African, Asian, and Austronesian Languages. University of Gothenburg, Sweden, June 9-11, 2017.

Bertrand, Anne, Bruno Andreotti, Heather Burge, Sihwei Chen, Joash Gambarage, Erin A. Guntly, Thomas J. Heins, Marianne Huijsmans, Kalim Kassam, Lisa Matthewson, Elise K. McClay, Daniel Reisinger, Hotze Rullmann, Raiane Salles, Michael David Schwan and Jozina Vander Klok. Nobody’s Perfect. Slides for a talk presented at the workshop on the Semantics of Verbal Morphology in Underdescribed Languages, University of Gothenburg, Sweden, June 2-3, 2017.

Lisa Matthewson, Bruno Andreotti, Anne Bertrand, Heather Burge, Sihwei Chen, Joash Gambarage, Erin Guntly, Thomas J. Heins, Marianne Huijsmans, Kalim Kassam, Elise McClay, Daniel Reisinger, Raiane Salles, Michael David Schwan, Jozina Vander Klok and Hotze Rullmann. Developing a ‘Perfect’ Methodology. Slides for a talk presented at the workshop on the Semantics of Verbal Morphology in Underdescribed Languages. University of Gothenburg, Sweden, June 2-3, 2017.

Chen, Sihwei, Lisa Matthewson, Hotze Rullmann, and Jozina Vander Klok. Decomposing the ‘Experiential’ Perfect: The View from Atayal and Javanese. Slides for a talk presented at AFLA 24: The 24th meeting of the Austronesian Formal Linguistics Association. University of Washington, Seattle, April 9, 2017.

 


Publications

Rullmann, Hotze, and Lisa Matthewson. in press. Towards a Theory of Modal-Temporal Interaction. To appear in Language.

Kim, Kyumin, Elizabeth Ritter, Martina Wiltschko, and Hotze Rullmann. in press. 2+2=3: Number contrasts in Blackfoot. To appear in Glossa.

Chen, Sihwei, Vera Hohaus, Rebecca Laturnus, Meagan Louie, Lisa Matthewson, Hotze Rullmann, Ori Simchen, Claire K. Turner, and Jozina Vander Klok. 2017. Past possibility cross-linguistically: Evidence from 12 languages. In Ana Arregui, María Luisa Rivero, and Andrés Salanova (eds.) Modality Across Syntactic Categories, p. 235-287. Oxford: Oxford University Press.

Davis, Henry, Lisa Matthewson, and Hotze Rullmann. 2009. ‘Out Of Control’ Marking as Circumstantial Modality in St’át’imcets. In Lotte Hogeweg, Helen de Hoop and Andrey Malchukov (eds.) Cross-linguistic Semantics of Tense, Aspect, and Modality, p. 205-244. Amsterdam/Philadelphia: John Benjamins Publishing Company.

Rullmann, Hotze, Lisa Matthewson, and Henry Davis. 2008. Modals as Distributive Indefinites. Natural Language Semantics 16: 317–357. (DOI: 10.1007/s11050-008-9036-0)

Matthewson, Lisa, Henry Davis, and Hotze Rullmann. 2007. Evidentials as Epistemic Modals: Evidence from St’át’imcets. Linguistic Variation Yearbook 7: 201-254.

Davis, Henry, Lisa Matthewson and Hotze Rullmann. 2007. A Unified Modal Semantics for ‘Out-of-Control’ Marking in St’át’imcets. In CLS 43: Proceedings of the 43rd Annual Regional Meeting of the Chicago Linguistic Society.

Davis, Henry, Lisa Matthewson, and Hotze Rullmann. 2007. A Unified Modal Semantics for ‘Out-of-Control’ Marking in St’át’imcets. In Kristín Jóhannsdóttir and Martin Oberg (eds.) Papers for the 42nd International Conference on Salish and Neighbouring Languages, p. 119-160. University of British Columbia Working Papers in Linguistics 20.

Rullmann, Hotze, and Aili You. 2006. General Number and the Semantics and Pragmatics of Indefinite Bare Nouns in Mandarin Chinese. In Klaus von Heusinger and Ken P. Turner (eds.) Where Semantics Meets Pragmatics, p. 175-196. Amsterdam: Elsevier.

Matthewson, Lisa, Hotze Rullmann, and Henry Davis. 2006. Evidentials are Epistemic Modals in St’át’imcets. In Masaru Kiyota, James L. Thompson and Noriko Yamane-Tanaka (eds.) Papers for the 41st International Conference on Salish and Neighbouring Languages, p. 221-263. University of British Columbia Working Papers in Linguistics 18.

Matthewson, Lisa, Hotze Rullmann, and Henry Davis. 2005. Modality in St’át’imcets. In J. C. Brown, Masaru Kiyota, and Tyler Peterson (eds.) Papers for the 40th International Conference on Salish and Neighbouring Languages, pp. 166-183. University of British Columbia Working Papers in Linguistics 16. Also published as Matthewson, Lisa, Hotze Rullmann, and Henry Davis. 2006. Modality in St’át’imcets. In Shannon T. Bischoff, Lynika Butler, Peter Norquest, and Daniel Siddiqi (eds.) Studies in Salishan, p. 93-112. MIT Working Papers in Linguistics on Endangered and Less Familiar Languages 7. Department of Linguistics, MIT.

Rullmann, Hotze. 2004. First and Second Person Pronouns as Bound Variables. Linguistic Inquiry 35: 159-168.

Rullmann, Hotze. 2004. A Note on the History of Either. In Mary Andronis, Erin Debenport, Anna Pycha, and Keiko Yoshimura (eds.) CLS 38: Proceedings of the 38th Annual Regional Meeting of the Chicago Linguistic Society, Vol. 2: The Panels. Chicago Linguistic Society, Chicago.

Rullmann, Hotze. 2003. Additive Particles and Polarity. Journal of Semantics 20: 329-401.

Rullmann, Hotze. 2003. Bound-Variable Pronouns and the Semantics of Number. In Brian Agbayani, Paivi Koskinen, and Vida Samiian (eds.) Proceedings of the Western Conference On Linguistics, WECOL 2002, Vol. 14, p. 243-254. Department of Linguistics, California State University, Fresno.

Hoeksema, Jack, and Hotze Rullmann. 2001. Scalarity and Polarity: A Study of Scalar Adverbs as Polarity Items. In Jack Hoeksema, Hotze Rullmann, Víctor Sánchez-Valencia, and Ton van der Wouden (eds.) Perspectives on Negation and Polarity Items, p. 129-171. Amsterdam: John Benjamins Publishing Company.

Hoeksema, Jack, Hotze Rullmann, Víctor Sánchez-Valencia, and Ton van der Wouden (eds.) 2001. Perspectives on Negation and Polarity Items. Amsterdam: John Benjamins Publishing Company. 366 + xi pp.

Beck, Sigrid, and Hotze Rullmann. 1999. A Flexible Approach to Exhaustivity in Questions. Natural Language Semantics 7: 249-297.

Rullmann, Hotze, and Sigrid Beck. 1998. Presupposition Projection and the Interpretation of Which-Questions. In Devon Strolovitch and Aaron Lawson (eds.) Proceedings from Semantics and Linguistic Theory VIII (SALT VIII), p. 215-232. Department of Linguistics, Cornell University.

Rullmann, Hotze, and Sigrid Beck. 1998. Reconstruction and the Interpretation of Which-Phrases. In Graham Katz, Shin-Sook Kim, and Heike Winhart (eds.) Reconstruction: Proceedings of the 1997 Tübingen Workshop, p. 223-256. Arbeitspapiere des Sonderforschungsbereichs 340, Nr. 127, Universities of Tübingen and Stuttgart.

Rullmann, Hotze, and Jack Hoeksema. 1997. De distributie van ook maar en zelfs maar: een corpusstudie [The distribution of ook maar and zelfs maar: a corpus study]. Nederlandse Taalkunde 2: 281-317.

Rullmann, Hotze. 1997. Review of The Syntax of Negation by Liliane Haegeman. Journal of Comparative Germanic Linguistics 1: 157-176.

Rullmann, Hotze. 1997. Even, Polarity, and Scope. In Martha Gibson, Grace Wiebe, and Gary Libben (eds.) Papers in Experimental and Theoretical Linguistics, Vol. 4, p. 40-64. Department of Linguistics, University of Alberta.

Beck, Sigrid, and Hotze Rullmann. 1996. Degree Questions, Maximal Informativeness, and Exhaustivity. In Paul Dekker and Martin Stokhof (eds.) Proceedings of the Tenth Amsterdam Colloquium, p. 73-92. Institute for Logic, Language and Computation, University of Amsterdam.

Rullmann, Hotze. 1996. Two Types of Negative Polarity Items. In Kiyomi Kusumoto (ed.) Proceedings of the North East Linguistic Society, NELS 26, p. 335-350. GLSA, Department of Linguistics, University of Massachusetts, Amherst.

Rullmann, Hotze. 1995. Negative Islands and Maximality. In Vida Samiian and Jeanette Schaeffer (eds.) Proceedings of the Western Conference on Linguistics, WECOL 1994, Volume 7, p. 210-223. California State University, Fresno.

Rullmann, Hotze. 1995. The Ambiguity of Comparatives with Less. In Janet M. Fuller, Ho Han, and David Parkinson (eds.) ESCOL ’94: Proceedings of the Eleventh Eastern States Conference on Linguistics, p. 258-269. DMLL, Cornell University.

Rullmann, Hotze, and Jan-Wouter Zwart. 1995. On Saying Dat. In Roel Jonkers et al. (eds.) Language and Cognition 5, p. 179-194. Research Group for Experimental and Theoretical Linguistics, University of Groningen.

Rullmann, Hotze. 1995. Geen eenheid [No unit]. TABU: Bulletin voor Taalwetenschap 25: 194-197.

Rullmann, Hotze. 1995. Maximality in the Semantics of Wh-Constructions. Ph.D. dissertation, University of Massachusetts at Amherst.

Rullmann, Hotze. 1994. De ambiguïteit van comparatieven met minder [The ambiguity of comparatives with less]. TABU: Bulletin voor Taalwetenschap 24: 79 101.

Rullmann, Hotze. 1994. Negative Islands Aren’t Islands. Paper presented at the 68th Annual Meeting of the Linguistic Society of America January 7, 1994, Boston.

Rullmann, Hotze. 1993. Scope Ambiguities in How Many-Questions. Paper presented at the 67th annual meeting of the Linguistic Society of America. Los Angeles, January 10, 1993. (Revised and extended version, Summer 1993.)

Rullmann, Hotze, and Henriëtte de Swart. 1992. The Semantics of How Many-Questions. In Dicky Gilbers and Sietze Looyenga (eds.) Language and Cognition 2, p. 265-278. Research Group for Experimental and Theoretical Linguistics, University of Groningen.

Rullmann, Hotze. 1991. Deterministic Parsing and the Verb Raising Construction in German and Dutch. In Bernadette Plunkett (ed.) UMass Occasional Papers in Linguistics 15: Issues in Psycholinguistics, p. 267-310. Department of Linguistics, University of Massachusetts, Amherst.

Rullmann, Hotze. 1989. Indefinite Subjects in Dutch. In Emmon Bach, Angelika Kratzer, and Barbara Partee (eds.) Papers in Quantification, p. 313-334. Department of Linguistics, University of Massachusetts, Amherst.


Some older unpublished things 

Number, Person, and Bound Variables. Slides for a talk given at the workshop “Between You and Me: Local Pronouns across Modalities”, Radboud University, Nijmegen, The Netherlands, June 7-8, 2010.

More About At Least (joint work with Kimiko Nakanishi). Slides for a paper presented at MOSAIC (Meeting Of Semanticists Active In Canada), University of Ottawa, May 26, 2009.

Epistemic and Concessive Interpretations of At Least (joint work with Kimiko Nakanishi). Slides for a paper presented at the meeting of the Canadian Linguistics Association, Carleton University, Ottawa, May 24, 2009.

“Each of us must climb our separate mountain.” Poster presented at the Annual Meeting of the Canadian Linguistics Association, UBC, May 31-June 2, 2008. (full-size (PowerPoint), letter-sized (pdf))

Binding and Person/Number Features. Slides for a talk given at SALT 18, UMass, Amherst, March 21, 2008.

What Does Even Even Mean? Handout, Dec. 2007.


 


Academic Positions


Education