Espinal & Cyrino (2022). A syntactically-driven approach to indefiniteness, specificity and anti-specificity

Autors:

M.T. Espinal & Sonia Cyrino

Títol:

A syntactically-driven approach to indefiniteness, specificity and anti-specificity

Editorial: Journal of Linguistics 58(3), Cambridge University Press
Data de publicació: Agost 2022

Més informació

In this paper we present an original approach to analyze the compositionality of indefinite expressions in Romance by investigating the relevance of their syntactic distribution in relation to their meaning. This approach has the advantage of allowing us to explore the question of how syntactic structure can determine the meaning of different forms of indefiniteness. To that end, we postulate a common derivation for bare plurals, bare mass and de phrases, whereby an abstract operator DE is adjoined to definite determiners and shifts entities into property-type expressions. Quantificational specificity is proposed to be derived from a syntactic structure in which weak quantifiers select for indefinite DE-phrases, no matter whether de is overt at Spell-Out or not; these quantifiers turn properties into generalized quantifiers. The anti-specificity meaning of some indefinites is derived by adjoining in the syntactic structure an abstract operator ALG that encodes the speaker’s epistemic state of ignorance to a quantifier encoded for specificity, and it turns a generalized quantifier into a modified generalized quantifier. The paper also brings some general predictions on how indefiniteness is expressed in Romance, as it provides extensive support from five Romance languages: Brazilian Portuguese, Catalan, French, Italian and Spanish.

Mendia & Espinal (2024). Non-agreeing degree constructions

Autors:

Jon Ander Mendia & Maria Teresa Espinal

Títol:

Non-agreeing degree constructions

Editorial: Journal of Linguistics (Cambridge University Press)
Data de publicació: Online: 4 juny 2024
Pàgines: 36

Text complet

This paper deals with a construction, which we dub Non-Agreeing Degree (NAD) constructions, with the distinguishing property that the agreement pattern between subjects and degree predicates is optionally disrupted, even in languages (like Spanish) where verbs commonly agree with their subjects. We show that the agreeing versus non-agreeing alternation comes with important semantic differences for the interpretation of the degree construction. We provide a first systematic description of this type of constructions and postulate a formal syntactic and semantic analysis. We argue that NAD constructions are characterized by degree predicates that introduce a non-conventional nominal scale and by subjects that are interpreted as equally non-conventional units of measurement. We postulate an intensionalization process on the subject of NAD constructions, which we capture via a general nominalization function that allows a default as well as an ordinary agreement pattern between subject and copula.

Language, Syntax, and the Natural Sciences

Autors:

Ángel J. Gallego (Ed.), Roger Martin (Ed.)

Títol:

Language, Syntax, and the Natural Sciences

Editorial: Cambridge University Press
Data de publicació: 2018
Pàgines: 378
ISBN13: 9781107152946

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Language, apart from its cultural and social dimension, has a scientific side that is connected not only to the study of 'grammar' in a more or less traditional sense, but also to disciplines like mathematics, physics, chemistry and biology. This book explores developments in linguistic theory, looking in particular at the theory of generative grammar from the perspective of the natural sciences. It highlights the complex and dynamic nature of language, suggesting that a comprehensive and full understanding of such a species-specific property will only be achieved through interdisciplinary work.

The Verbal Domain

Autors:

Roberta D'Alessandro, Irene Franco & Ángel Gallego (eds.)

Títol:

The Verbal Domain

Editorial: Oxford University Press
Data de publicació: 2017
Pàgines: 344
ISBN13: 9780198767886

Més informació

This volume features cutting-edge research from leading authorities on the nature and structure of the verbal domain and the complexity of the Verb Phrase (VP). The book is divided into three parts, representing the areas in which contemporary debate on the verbal domain is most active. The first part focuses on the V head, and includes four chapters discussing the setup of verbal roots, their syntax, and their interaction with other functional heads such as Voice and v. Chapters in the second part discuss the need to postulate a Voice head in the structure of a clause, and whether Voice is different from v. Voice was originally intended as the head hosting the external argument in its specifier, as well as transitivity. This section explores its relationship with "syntactic" voice, i.e. the alternation between actives and passives. Part three is dedicated to event structure, inner aspect, and Aktionsart. It tackles issues such as the one-to-one relation between argument structure and event structure, and whether there can be minimal structural units at the basis of the derivation of any sort of XP, including the VP.

50 Years Later: Reflections on Chomsky’s Aspects

Autors:

Ángel J. Gallego and Dennis Ott (eds.)

Títol:

50 Years Later: Reflections on Chomsky’s Aspects

Editorial: MITWPL
Data de publicació: 2015
Pàgines: 292

A collection of works reflecting on Chomsky's Aspects of the Theory of Syntax, with a foreword by David Pesetsky and a preface by Noam Chomsky.
This volume is a celebration of Aspects’ multifaceted impact on the field of linguistics, and a reflection on some of its leading themes 50 years into the game. As the reader will no doubt notice, the contributions in this volume differ quite significantly, ranging from short remarks to detailed technical analyses.