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Edited by Tim Stowell and Eric Wehrli

Syntax and the Lexicon is a dynamic investigation into the role of the lexicon in syntactic theory. Twelve chapters, authored by leaders in syntactic theory, provide a detailed yet easily understandable analysis of differing views on the lexicon in the field. Lively debates pepper the volume with interactive dialogue, and volume editors Tim Stowell and Eric Wehrli provide an insightful overview and introduction to lexical theory. It presents an overview of the role of the lexicon in syntactic theory and debates between major practitioners in the field. It discusses the nature of argument and structure and debates the relation of argument nature to constituent structure and binding theory. It examines the role of NP-movement vs. lexical rules in accounting for alternations in grammatical functions.

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Olga Borik and Berit Gehrke

Abstract

In this introduction, we provide a general overview of the semantic and syntactic properties of pseudo-incorporation, which is intended to serve as a basis for accessing the papers in this volume. Given that pseudo-incorporation shares semantic properties with other phenomena, in particular morphosyntactic and semantic incorporation and weak referentiality (expressed by bare plurals and weak definites), we will also present the main characteristics of these phenomena. Additionally, we point out issues in the study of pseudo-incorporation that still need to be resolved, such as, for instance, the definitional debate as to what kind of empirical facts fall under the umbrella of pseudo-incorporation. We conclude by providing short summaries of each contribution to this volume.

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Olav Mueller-Reichau

Abstract

Russian imperfective sentences can be used to express quite different from each other interpretations, among them being the so-called (general-)factual interpretation. The article deals with bare singular noun phrases that appear as direct objects in Russian factual imperfectives. In the first part it is shown that these bare singulars behave like pseudo-incorporating, which means that they satisfy all of the conditions that pseudo-incorporating nominals are standardly considered to satisfy: they show number neutrality, have narrow scope with respect to negation, are reduced in discourse transparency, provide bad support for subsequent pronouns and give rise to establishedness effects. In the second part an analysis is presented that explains these “pseudo incorporation effects”. It is argued that factual imperfectives come with a specific information structure at the level of VP. Focus is exclusively on event realization, implying that the whole information about the kind of event realized is backgrounded. Under the assumption that backgrounded information is presupposed, constituents of the VP therefore contribute to the formation of the presupposed event kind. Bare singular direct objects are, accordingly, doomed to be interpreted at the kind-level, which can explain the above noted effects.

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Natalia Serdobolskaya

Abstract

Pseudoincorporation has been defined on the basis of both syntactic and semantic properties of NPs, see Massam (2001), Dayal (2011), Farkas and de Swart (2003), Espinal and McNally (2011). Most authors consider non-specificity to be one of the diagnostic features of pseudoincorporation. In the present article, however, on the basis of data from Eastern Mari (Finno-Ugric, Uralic), I claim that pseudoincorporation can vary in its semantic properties and that it does not always correlate with non-specificity. In Mari, the phenomenon of differential object marking is observed: the NP in the position of the direct object can occur without the accusative case marker. In that case, the direct object must be adjacent to the verb and is prosodically united with it. Moreover, the direct object cannot take dependent relative clauses and demonstrative modifiers. These properties make the constructions under discussion morphosyntactically close to other examples of pseudoincorporation discussed in the literature. Nonetheless, their semantics is not restricted to non-specificity: pseudoincorporated NPs in Mari can be specific and even definite. Hence, I claim that the notion of pseudoincorporation should be broadened allowing for a wider range of semantic types.

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Edited by Andrée Borillo, Carl Vetters and Marcel Vuillaume

L'étude de la référence verbale constitue un domaine très vaste où se dégagent des problèmatiques diverses et complexes. Ce recueil, qui intéressera tous les linguistes qui s'occupent du verbe, réunit des travaux représentatifs de la diversité de la sémantique verbale. La place importante accordée à l'expression de la temporalité ne surprendra personne: le lecteur trouvera dans ce volume des études consacrées à la temporalité du verbe en général, à des temps verbaux particuliers (passé simple, imparfait), à la référence verbale en surbordonnée temporelle ou à l'interaction entre le temps du verbe et les compléments prépositionnels. Ce n'est pas seulement la valeur temporelle des temps verbaux qui est étudiée ici: certaines contributions s'occupent spécifiquement de leur morphologie et de leurs valeurs modales. La diversité des approches théoriques (la logique temporelle reichenbachienne, les repérages énonciatifs de Culioli, la pragmasémantique de Kleiber, la grammaire fonctionnelle de Dik, l'analyse temporelle de la fiction narrative de Vuillaume, etc.) permet de jeter des regards intéressants et parfois inattendus sur un domaine qui passionne actuellement beaucoup de linguistes. Si la problématique aspectuelle, que certains considèrent comme plus fondamentale pour la référence verbale que sa temporalité, n'est pas traitée ici, c'est parce que Cahiers Chronos y consacre son volume 2 intitulé Regards sur l'aspect.

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Alain Rihs

In this paper, we provide evidence for the French gerund’s so-called overlap thesis. This classic thesis has been questioned notably by Gettrup (1977) and Kleiber (2007): for them, overlap is not part of the gerund’s semantic core. We advocate, however, that relevant interpretations of propositions containing gerunds always imply some sort of overlapping relation. The overlapping constraint allows us to discriminate between the gerund and the present participle (when it scopes over the main clause’s subject). Thus, we examine some examples with present participles that necessitate the strict adjacency of the eventualities involved.

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Patrick Caudal and Marie-Ève Ritz

This paper examines uses of the present perfect (PP) in Australian police media reports published on the web, as these show that the Australian English PP is currently acquiring perfective viewpoint features. We specifically focus on rhetorical relations in patterns of alternation between the PP and simple past, in order to identify discourse structural parameters underlying this evolution. We find that the relation of Elaboration plays a key role as it can lead to the inference that an event described in the PP is temporally included within or includes a past perfective event, thereby giving the PP a past perfective interpretation.

From Ælfric to the New York Times

Studies in English Corpus Linguistics

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Edited by Udo Fries, Viviane Müller and Peter Schneider

The twenty papers of this volume - published to honour Gunnel Tottie - are of interest to everyone concerned with the study of the English language. The collection is a convincing argument for an approach to language studies based on the analysis of computerized corpora.
Though this is not an introduction to the field but a series of highly specialized studies, readers get a good overview of the work being done at present in English computer corpus studies. English corpus linguistics, though basically concerned with the study of varieties of English, goes far beyond the simple ordering and counting of large numbers of examples but is deeply concerned with linguistic theory - based on real language data.
The volume includes sections on corpora of written and spoken present-day English, historical corpora, contrastive corpora, and on the application of corpus studies to teaching purposes.

Building a bridge between linguistic communities of the Old and the New World

Current research in tense, aspect, mood and modality

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Edited by Chiyo Nishida and Cinzia Russi

The present volume is a collection of fourteen original papers selected from those presented at the first US installment of Chronos: International Conference on Tense, Aspect, Mood and Modality, which took place at the University of Texas at Austin in October, 2008. The volume serves as an excellent forum for international scholars working on expressions of on tense, aspect, mood and modality. It contains papers dealing with a diverse variety of languages ranging from well studied languages like English, French, Italian, Spanish, Russian and Japanese, to less known ones like Basque, Chamorro, Iquito, Australian English and Singlish. The originality and relevance of the individual contributions is highlighted by the broadness of the theoretical approaches they employ and the novel empirical data they examine. All the studies go beyond exploring issues strictly related to tense, aspect, mood and modality; rather, they cut across all main linguistics subfields, such as syntax, semantics, pragmatics, language acquisition and language evolution, thus attesting to how research on tense, aspect, mood and modality is vital to the better understanding of human language in general. This diverse nature of the volume will certainly appeal to broad audience.

Aoristes et parfaits

En français, latin, corse, estonien et polonais

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Edited by Pierre-Don Giancarli and Marc Fryd

Le présent volume regroupe onze contributions centrées sur le parfait et l’aoriste dans cinq langues : Joffre expose l’ambiguïté fondamentale du passif périphrastique et des déponents latins, tandis que Dalbera propose un invariant à son parfait. Giancarli vérifie l’existence d’une corrélation entre la variation d’auxiliaire et celle du participe passé du verbe corse. Le statut de parfait de la construction polonaise avoir + participe + objet est mis en doute successivement par Nowakowska et par Sikora. Treikelder se concentre sur l’émergence du parfait estonien en contexte atypique. En français, Lindschouw & Schøsler envisagent les relations entre circonstants temporels, passé compose et passé simple ; Vetters retrace la dérive aoristique de ce dernier tandis que Apothéloz se refuse à parler d’aoriste.

This volume is a collection of eleven contributions dealing with perfect and aorist tenses in five languages: Joffre shows the fundamental ambiguity of the periphrasis of Latin passive and deponent verbs, while Dalbera proposes an invariant meaning for its perfect. Giancarli tests the hypothesis of a correlation between the variation of auxiliaries and that of past participles in Corsican. The perfect status of the Polish have + participle + object construction is questioned in turn by Nowakowska and Sikora. Treikelder focuses on the Estonian perfect in atypical contexts. Concerning French, Lindschouw & Schøsler look at the relationships between time adjuncts, passé compose and passé simple; Vetters describes the aoristic evolution of the latter, while Apothéloz explains why it should not be considered an aorist.

Contributors are: Denis Apothéloz, Joseph Dalbera, Pierre-Don Giancarli, Marie-Dominique Joffre, Jan Lindschouw, Małgorzata Nowakowska, Lene Schøsler, Dorota Sikora, Anu Treikelder, Carl Vetters.