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Reviewed by:
  • Modifying adjuncts ed. by Ewald Lang, Claudia Maienborn, and Cathrine Fabricius-Hansen
  • José Luis González Escribano
Modifying adjuncts. Ed. by Ewald Lang, Claudia Maienborn, and Cathrine Fabricius-Hansen. (Interface explorations 4.) Berlin: Mouton de Gruyter, 2003. Pp. vi, 657. ISBN 3110173522. $118 (Hb).

This volume contains the revised versions of seventeen papers presented at the Oslo conference ‘Approaching the Grammar of Adjuncts’ (22–25 September 1999). The title is intended as a pun on the need to change current approaches to obtain a more integrative view of the syntax, semantics, pragmatics, and morphology of adjuncts. That was the aim of the Oslo conference, although coverage of all of those areas was not uniform and remains unequal in the proceedings. The original papers, though, have been extensively revised and subjected to mutual refereeing by the participants in the interim, which allows for significant cross-referencing and enhances the overall cohesiveness of the collection.

The book opens with an index followed by the editors’ ‘Modifying the grammar of adjuncts: An introduction’ (1–29), which describes the state of the art and the conference’s theoretical assumptions and agenda, briefly summarizes the contributions, calling attention to the points of interaction among them, and points out the gaps in the discussion provided and the areas left to further research. The papers themselves are organized as follows.

Part A contains three papers discussing the argument-adjunct distinction: David Dowty’s ‘The dual analysis of adjuncts/complements in categorial grammar’ (33–66), Barbara H. Partee and Vladimir Borschev’s ‘Genitives, relational nouns, and argument-modifier ambiguity’ (67–112), and Manfred Bierwisch’s ‘Heads, complements, adjuncts: Projection and saturation’ (113–59). All acknowledge, and Dowty’s theoretically justifies, the fuzziness of the distinction and offer diagnostics. Bierwisch exploits the different direction of thematic discharge in complementation and modification to establish a criterion of delimitation.

Part B, concerned with the placement of adjuncts, starts with Werner Frey’s ‘Syntactic conditions on adjunct classes’ (163–209), which motivates five layers of adverbial modification and corresponding classes of adjuncts, although not a rigid hierarchical structure like Guglielmo Cinque’s. Frey’s paper acts as a pivot to which several other contributors refer in their own analyses. It is followed by two papers on the scopal and pragmatic properties of manner adverbs, respectively, Benjamin Shaer’s ‘Manner adverbs and the association theory: Some problems and solutions’ (211–59) and Regine Eckhardt’s ‘Manner adverbs and information structure: Evidence from the adverbial modification of verbs of creation’ (261–305), and by two more papers on high clausal adjuncts, Thomas Ernst’s ‘Semantic features and the distribution of adverbs’ (307–34), which claims that what makes adverbs like probably non-right-adjoinable is their ‘subjective’ character, and Inger Rosengren’s ‘Clause-final left-adjunction’ (335–62), which examines mirror-image effects in the distribution of PP adjuncts in English/Swedish vs. German.

Part C consists of three papers that focus on the restitutive/repetitive reading of the wieder class of adverbs and defend alternative lexical-pragmatic and decompositional-scopal approaches to the problem: respectively, Gerhard Jäger and Reinhard Blutner’s ‘Competition and interpretation: The German adverb wieder’ (393–416) vs. Karin Pittner’s ‘Process, eventuality, and wieder/again’ (365–91) and Arnim Von Stechow’s ‘How are results represented and modified? Remarks on Jäger & Blutner’s anti-decomposition’ (417–51).

Finally, Part D contains six papers on the lack of biunique correspondence between the syntactic distribution and interpretation of low (i.e. VP) adverbials. Graham Katz’s ‘Event arguments, adverb selection, and the stative adverb gap’ (455–74) offers a semantic explanation for the stative adverb gap, Claudia Maienborn’s ‘Event-internal modifiers: Semantic underspecification and conceptual interpretation’ (475–509) motivates two layers of adverbial modification within VPs, Johannes Dölling’s ‘Flexibility in adverbal modification: Reinterpretation as contextual enrichment’ (511–52) provides a contextual-semantic account of variable interpretations of underspecified adverbs, Susan Rothstein’s ‘Secondary predication and aspectual structure’ (553–90) discusses depictive and...


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