By Robert Truswell
This e-book examines a few knotty difficulties in typical language. those generally contain questions the place the feel or the grammaticality of an utterance teeters on or over the sting of acceptability between local audio system. The phenomena in query were tested inside syntactic concept for over 20 years with out utterly passable consequence. Dr Truswell broadens the scope of the enquiry to the interface among syntactic constitution and different, in a roundabout way comparable, cognitive, and semantic constructions equivalent to element, agentivity, and presupposition. Uniting paintings from philosophical, cognitive and linguistic views, he develops a version of the interior constitution of occasions as perceptual and cognitive devices. He deploys the version to provide an explanation for and expect the acceptability of specific formulations. He considers the individuation of occasions within the gentle of the version and offers a singular account of styles of query formation. He indicates that those styles throw new mild on significant claims of Chomsky's biolinguistic minimalist application and Jackendoff's parallel structure concept of brain and language. this can be paintings on the leading edge of linguistic concept, catholic in its theoretical scope, open to insights from cognate fields, and illustrated with examples from quite a lot of languages. it is going to curiosity philosophers, semanticists and cognitive scientists taken with themes like occasions, agentivity, and making plans, in addition to linguists learning syntax or the syntax-semantics interface.
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Extra resources for Events, Phrases, and Questions
C) *What does John work [whistling ]? The Plan 39 The major questions, then, concern what happens when we have multiple verbs, and therefore more than one event variable, in a structure, and particularly in a structure where neither verb c-commands the other. Does our compositional semantics identify those event variables, producing a complex single event description; or does it keep them separate, producing multiple more simple event descriptions? The answer I will propose is that our compositional semantics is maximally ﬂexible in this respect.
53) (a) John drove Mary crazy whistling hornpipes. (b) John died whistling the Marseillaise. However, other declaratives constructed from VPs of the same aspectual classes do not have these interpretations, and do not allow extraction either. For example, (54a) contains a BPPA describing an activity and modifying a VP describing an accomplishment, in parallel with (53a). Unlike that case, though, it is impossible, or at least requires a great deal of creativity, to interpret the two events in (54a) as standing in a causal relation.
However, the importance of that paper to the present work, as the ﬁrst sustained generative discussion of extraction from BPPAs, should not be overlooked. 12 We cannot properly test this with the fourth of Vendler’s (1957) aspectual classes, namely states, because BPPAs modifying states are basically unacceptable in declarative as well as interrogative contexts. John knows Georgian [wearing this magic hat]. (ii) *Which magic hat does John know Georgian [wearing ]? Further Puzzles 31 of attachment and certain semantic factors are partially responsible, other restrictions on felicitous extraction from prepositional participial adjuncts concern the assumed answer to the question.
Events, Phrases, and Questions by Robert Truswell