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Crosslinguistic Research in Syntax and Semantics

Negation, Tense, and Clausal Architecture

Publication Year: 2006

Presenting cutting-edge research in syntax and semantics, this important volume furthers theoretical claims in generative linguistics and represents a significant addition to present scholarship in the field. Leading scholars present crosslinguistic studies dealing with clausal architecture, negation, and tense and aspect, and the issue of whether a statistical model can by itself capture the richness of human linguistic abilities. Taken together, these contributions elegantly show how theoretical tools can propel our understanding of language beyond pretheoretical descriptions, especially when combined with the insight and skills of linguists who can analyze difficult and complex data. Crosslinguistic Research in Syntax and Semantics covers a range of topics currently at the center of lively debate in the linguistic literature, such as the structure of the left periphery of the clause, the proper treatment of negative polarity items, and the role of statistical learning in building a model of linguistic competence. The ten original contributions offer an excellent balance of novel empirical description and theoretical analysis, applied to a wide range of languages, including Dutch, German, Irish English, Italian, Malagasy, Malay, and a number of medieval Romance languages. Scholars and students of semantics, syntax, and linguistic theory will find it to be a valuable resource for ongoing scholarship and advanced study.

Published by: Georgetown University Press

Contents

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pp. v-

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Introduction

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pp. 1-12

This volume in the 2004 Georgetown University Round Table on Languages and Linguistics (GURT) series comes from the conference that took place March 26–29, 2004, with the theme Comparative and Crosslinguistic Research in Syntax, Semantics, and Computational Linguistics. While the conference was open to any research within this broad theme...

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1. Three Benchmarks for Distributional Approaches to Natural Language Syntax

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pp. 13-24

There has been a good deal of recent interest in statistical learning models for language (Manning and Schütze 1999) and in evidence that humans can learn and use at least some distributional statistics (MacDonald, Pearlmutter, and Seidenberg 1994; Saffran, Aslin, and Newport 1996). Although it has been shown that there are some quite simple statistical...

PART I: CLAUSAL ARCHITECTURE

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2. Argument Fronting in English, Romance CLLD, and the Left Periphery

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pp. 27-52

Argument Fronting in the Left Periphery This chapter explores the syntactic distribution of fronted arguments. The focus will be on the contrast between English argument fronting and clitic left dislocation....

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3. A Detailed Map of the Left Periphery of Medieval Romance

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pp. 53-86

A line of research that has received a strong impulse from recent empirical work is the so-called cartographic program, which aims to provide a map of the functional projections in the structure of the clause. In the framework of this project so far, a highly articulated functional structure has been drawn, where specialized positions appear to have the same respective...

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4. Questions and Questioning in a Local English

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pp. 87-126

...The crucial property of (1) and (2) is the application of Subject-Aux(iliary) Inversion (understood here as raising of the content of the functional head T to C) in a complement clause—in polar questions in (1) and in wh-questions in (2). The question of what makes such structures possible is a small one but is worth asking. First, it is important...

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5. VP-, D°-Movement Languages

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pp. 127-148

In the Minimalist Program (Chomsky 1995), syntactic movement is triggered by a requirement that the computational system eliminate features that are uninterpretable at the relevant interface. Once we understand which elements move, it is just an exercise to determine which features might be responsible for the movement for which we have independent...

PART II: NEGATION

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6. Parasitism, Secondary Triggering, and Depth of Embedding

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pp. 151-174

In den Dikken (2002), I present what is to my knowledge the first detailed discussion in the literature of the peculiar properties of a Dutch polarity item (PI), the word heel, a cognate of English whole, illustrated in (1a)....

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7. Light Negation and Polarity

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pp. 175-198

Baker (1970a) observed that in certain linguistic environments, positive polarity items like some and already can be interpreted in the immediate scope of sentential negation, from which they would normally be prohibited. This phenomenon has since come to be known as rescuing...

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8. Marking and Interpretation of Negation: A Bidirectional Optimality Theory Approach

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pp. 199-218

Languages generally have ways to express negation, that is, something that corresponds to the first-order logic connective ¬. In English, this would be not. Many languages also have nominal expressions negating the existence of individuals having a certain property, that is, something that...

PART III: TENSE AND ASPECT

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9. Cohesion in Temporal Context: Aspectual Adverbs as Dynamic Indexicals

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pp. 221-230

In dynamic semantics of natural language, communicating agents are represented by information states, understood to capture the information they hold at any one time to be true. Communicating information between agents is accordingly analyzed as an algorithmic update procedure...

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10. Tense, Adverbials, and Quantification

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pp. 231-247

This chapter addresses the issue of how to account for the interaction of tense morphemes and temporal PPs (henceforth, tPPs) in a compositional manner. The main focus of the chapter is the behavior of quantified tPPs such as during every meeting, on a Sunday. This is a response to Pratt and...


E-ISBN-13: 9781589013056
E-ISBN-10: 1589013050
Print-ISBN-13: 9781589010802
Print-ISBN-10: 1589010809

Page Count: 254
Publication Year: 2006

Series Title: Georgetown University Round Table on Languages and Linguistics series
Series Editor Byline:

Research Areas

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Subject Headings

  • Grammar, Comparative and general -- Clauses -- Congresses.
  • Grammar, Comparative and general -- Negatives -- Congresses.
  • Grammar, Comparative and general -- Tense -- Congresses.
  • Grammar, Comparative and general -- Syntax -- Congresses.
  • Semantics -- Congresses.
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