I received my PhD in Linguistics from the University of Pennsylvania in 2019, and I'm now a postdoctoral research fellow in the Questions at the Interfaces project at the University of Konstanz. I do theoretical and quantitative (experimental and corpus) work investigating different phenomena at the interface of syntax, semantics and pragmatics.

I'm particularly interested in issues around selection, and the question of how the interpretation and distribution of different types of complements (like questions, declaratives, and content nominals) are constrained across different types of embedded environments.

My dissertation (supervised by Florian Schwarz) is entitled Factive and Assertive Attitude Reports. It investigates how assertion and presupposition are reflected in the semantics, pragmatics, and syntax of propositional attitude reports. At the core of the dissertation are factive attitude reports, involving predicates like know, discover, realize, resent, and appreciate. The central contributions of the dissertation are: (i) demonstrating what precise dimensions of assertion and presupposition are reflected in the syntax and semantics of clausal embedding, and (ii) decomposing the classically multifaceted notion of factivity into a set of more specific theoretical notions.

To address these questions, I build on a broad range of experimental methods, including corpus work and various types of cross-linguistic acceptability and inference studies, using both written and auditory stimuli. This methodology allows me to investigate the interaction and effects of notions like factivity, prosodic focus, Common Ground status, and illocutionary force.

Related to this project is joint work with Hezekiah Akiva Bacovcin, Spencer Caplan, Caroline Heycock & Hannah Rohde, and Florian Schwarz & Jeremy Zehr.

My postdoc research (with Maribel Romero) focuses on questions, and in particular different types of embedded questions. I'm employed on two projects: "The role of German Particles in Questions" and "Alternative Questions and Beyond".

I'm also interested in the syntax and semantics of copular constructions; in particular with respect to the question of what semantic factors are relevant to syntactic variation, both within and across languages.

[CV] [GitHub] [Open Science Foundation] [Dissertation]




Workshop on the Semantics and Pragmatics of Clause-Embedding Predicates, Ohio State University (invited speaker)


Institut Jean-Nicod, Linguae Research Seminar (invited speaker; slides here)

43rd Generative Linguistics in the Old World (GLOW43) (virtual talk: slides at https://osf.io/r3p89/)

38th meeting of the West Coast Conference on Formal Linguistics (WCCFL38) (slides here)

Here are the slides from a recent talk at the University of Konstanz department colloquium (14/11/19) on: Embedded V2: Assertion, Presupposition, and the Syntax of Embedded Context Updates.

Journal Papers


Djärv, K. (in preparation). Factivity and the Syntax of Embedded Context Updates. In Wataru Uegaki and Floris Roelofsen (eds.) The interface between logic and grammar in the domain of clausal complementation (Glossa special issue).

Djärv, K. (2020). The Syntax and Semantics of Swedish Copular Sentences: A Comparative Perspective. To appear in The Journal of Comparative Germanic Linguistics. [pdf; link to journal page forthcoming]

Djärv K. & Bacovcin, H.A. (2020) Prosodic Effects on Factive Presupposition Projection. Accepted to the Journal of Pragmatics. [pdf, link to journal page forthcoming]

Caplan, S. & Djärv K. (2019) What usage can tell us about grammar: Embedded Verb Second in Scandinavian. Glossa: a journal of general linguistics 4(1): 101. 1-37. DOI: https://doi.org/10.5334/gjgl.867. [open access!]

Conference Proceedings

Djärv K. (2019) Factive and Assertive Attitude Reports: Challenges from the Interface. In Katherine Blake and Forrest Davis (eds.) Proceedings of the 29th meeting of Semantics and Linguistic Theory (SALT29). [here]

Bacovcin, H.A & Djärv K. (2017) Prosodic Effects on Factive Presupposition Projection. In Dan Burgdorf, Jacob Collard, Sireemas Maspong, and Brynhildur Stefánsdóttir (eds.) Proceedings of the 27th meeting of Semantics and Linguistic Theory (SALT27). [pdf]

Djärv, K., Zehr, J. & Schwarz, F. (2017). Cognitive vs. Emotive Factives: an Experimental Differentiation, In Robert Truswell, Chris Cummins, Caroline Heycock, Brian Rabern, & Hannah Rohde (eds.) Proceedings of Sinn und Bedeutung 21 (SuB21). [pdf]

Djärv, K. (2017). Predicting Mergers in New Dialect Formation. In Amy Goodwin Davies & Kajsa Djärv (eds.) Proceedings of the 40th Penn Linguistics Conference (PLC40). University of Pennsylvania Working Papers in Linguistics (PWPL). [pdf]

Book Chapters

Schwarz, F, Djärv, K. & Zehr, J. (2018). Do Italian factives entail their presuppositions? Yes, but... To appear in Rajesh Bhatt, Ilaria Frana, & Paula Menendez-Benito (eds.) Festschrift for Angelika Kratzer. MA: ScholwarWorks at UMass. [pdf]

Djärv, K., Heycock, C. & Rohde, H. (2017). Assertion and Factivity: Towards explaining restrictions on Embedded V2 in Scandinavian. In Laura Bailey & Michelle Sheehan (eds.) Order and Structure in Syntax (Open Generative Syntax). Berlin: Language Science Press. [pdf]


Djärv K. (2019) Factive and Assertive Attitude Reports. Ph.D. Dissertation. University of Pennsylvania. [Penn Libraries]

Experimental materials (open access!)

Materials used in the dissertation (Djärv 2019) to to investigate the lexical and pragmatic licensing conditions of different types of Main Clause Syntax are publicly available through the Open Science Foundation. If you would like to use or refer to this material, please cite:

Djärv, Kajsa. 2019. "Factive and Assertive Attitude Reports." PhD Thesis. University of Pennsylvania.

Djärv, Kajsa. 2019. “Assertion and Presuppositions in Attitude Reports and Main Clause Syntax.” OSF. September 16. DOI: https://doi.org/10.17605/OSF.IO/NSM89.


(Note that this site is still under construction, so please be aware of potential bugs. And please consult Chapter 3.2. of the dissertation before using the materials.)



Questions at the Interfaces research unit at the University of Konstanz

Florian Schwarz's Experimental Study of Meaning Lab at the University of Pennsylvania



kdjarv at sas dot upenn dot edu 

© 2023 by Kajsa Djärv. Wix.

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