Autors:M. Teresa Espinal & Louise McNally (eds.)
Títol:The semantics of nominals
Editorial: Universitat Autònoma de Barcelona, Servei de Publicacions
Col·lecció: Catalan Journal of Linguistics #03
Data de publicació: 2004
This special volume presents a series of papers which all deal with the semantics of nominal expressions.
It has long been clear that the relatively simple picture of the relationship between syntactic category and semantic type on which all noun phrases denote generalized quantifiers, while perhaps feasible to maintain, is an idealization that does little to advance our understanding of the great richness and variety in the semantics of nominals that is attested in the world’s languages. In the last thirty years, this picture has grown progressively more complex along at least two dimensions that we would like to emphasize here.
It should be evident that the study of the semantics of nominals continues to offer many interesting avenues to explore. There is still much work to be done to clarify what exactly incorporation consists in –to what extent it is syntactically and semantically homogeneous cross-linguistically, and what its status is within a model of grammar which pursues simplicity and economy (Van Valin 1999). Work on incorporation and related phenomena has forced rethinking about how semantic composition is achieved and how broad the semantic typology of nominals might be; it also has consequences for our understanding of argument structure. Another rich area involves the sortal domain of noun semantics –some of the papers in this volume present perhaps unexpected proposals for the sortal category of noun phrases, with interesting extensions in the empirical coverage of semantic theory. Yet a third area pointed to by the contributions to this volume involve the discourse-pragmatic aspects of meaning that are conventionalized in the interpretations of noun phrases –perhaps the area in greatest need of development.