J. Ausensi & E. Mangialavori – Conative constructions across Romance: semantic and syntactic evidence

Seminari del CLT

Conative constructions across Romance: semantic and syntactic evidence

JOSEP AUSENSI (Universitat Pompeu Fabra) & EUGENIA MANGIALAVORI RASIA (CONICET & Universidad Nacional de Rosario)

Divendres, 17 de gener de 2020
Aula 202, 15:30

The conative alternation [CA] is an argument structure alternation widely attested in various languages (e.g., English, Danish, German) with very specific properties. Yet, it is generally believed to be unavailable in Romance. Based on historical corpus data and examples provided in previous studies, we argue that CA is present in different Romance varieties, and that in the former it presents relevant properties standardly used to tell conatives apart. Basically, an alternate argument structure realization (object of transitive realized as a PP) coincides with a nontrivial semantic shift (e.g., in telicity/resultativity drop), general availability with verbs whose meaning includes both motion and contact (Levin 1993 i.a.). Data from Old Spanish is consonant with empirically solid findings in Galician (Míguez 2016). Moreover, CA in Old Spanish not only allows verb classes similar to those attested crosslinguistically (cutting, contact, consumption verbs); but also with verb thus far claimed believed to be unproductive for CA, (change-of-state, pure contact verbs). Finally, Old Spanish data is contrasted with examples suggested to instantiate CA in Modern Spanish (Acevedo 2011). Yet, we observe Modern Spanish data does not produce the expected aspectual shift, and, moreover, argument structure alternation produces trivial pairs; crucially contrasting with Old Spanish data in these respects.

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17 gen., 2020


15:30 - 17:00


Aula 202

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Fac. de Filosofia i Lletres


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