Continuity in linguistic semantics (Lingvisticae Investigationes Supplementa)


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Of the adverbs, Dwight Bolinger estimates that as many as a quarter are used mainly, if not exclusively, in nautical language. These are reproduced here: 4 about, across, along, around, aside, away, back, by, down, in, off, on, out, over, through, under, up. However, Hill does not include the specifically nautical collection. The obvious question is why is this so, and what can it tell us about prepositions and adverbs? A glance in the ODEE3 will begin to lift a corner of the veil. This will also enable us to put a finger on some general features of what turns out to be a grammaticalisation process4.

The preposition occurs typically before nominal items such as: 8 be-hind, be-fore, be-side, be-tween i. A lot of these old nouns are hardly recognisable as such today by nonspecialists. The syntactical pattern is in no way surprising as it follows the general form of prepositional phrases, e. However, the morphology of N draws attention to its high degree of grammaticalisation in that: a - N does not allow a determiner, hence N and not NP, b - N does not allow inflexion, c - N has connected to the preposition p is a quasi-prefix , and, optionally: d - phonological reduction occurs, e - N is no longer morphologically or semantically identifiable as having once been a separate word e.

According to definition 2 , the adverb does not necessarily connect to an overt or lexicalised landmark. This can be explained now because the landmark is already contained in the adverbial preposition.

The main difference between the two types of landmarks prepositional and adverbial is that the second has become highly abstract and is no longer specifically lexicalised as it is with the preposition. This conclusion does not attempt on universality: all compounds are not adverbs and all simplex forms are not just prepositions6. However, the ubiquitous categorical nature of prepositions and adverbs is now clearer as their genetic relationship and structure have been revealed.

It may be added that in order for the adverb to gain prepositional function again another preposition is usually added, such as of or to, after the gram to link it with a relevant landmark. However, the main difference lies in the origin of the grammaticalising preposition Gp. Feature f has become aphaeresis and only an etymological dictionary can supply the original Gp. In order of frequency, ON is the main instrumental preposition: 10 about on-butan, on bi-utan , above on-ufan, also bi-ufan, bufan , again ongeon, on gegin , ahead on head , aside on side , away on way , back on baec ; the list of nautical terms was formed mainly with ON.

O N is followed by BY in terms of frequency cf. This preposition is relatively unique in its formative power with only one preposition. However, it may be found in the verb answer and- swere: swear or declare back , and, of course, in the conjunction and. Space does not allow a complete list with the origin of all the prepositions. But the demonstration of the principle is clear. Although this historical and grammatical account of the formation of prepositions and adverbs spatial grams may seem like a digression, it was a necessary one in order to understand what etymology and morpho-syntax can bring to understanding and classifying these grams.

Based on these observations, we can propose two classification systems that do not rely solely on syntactic order or semantic considerations. Simplex and compound prepositions: a classification It can now be seen that many, if not all, English spatial grams may be divided between simplex and compound. The simplex category contains usually the most ancient prepositions, e. Of these, only the first five were frequently grammaticalising prepositions. On the other hand, the compound category contains the vast majority of prepositions and adverbs cf.

It may be predicted that a simplex gram can function as both preposition and adverb— only syntax can tell them apart. Conversely, compound grams with a substantive as second element in the combination are highly likely to be adverbial in nature often functioning as prepositions only when followed by another preposition and a LM e. Of course, this statement is only a generality as grammaticalisation is an ongoing process that tends to blur the line between adverbial and prepositional functions e. There are at least two examples which show this is not necessarily so, and that the form of the prefixed element A- could possibly motivate new additions.

The first example is the preposition amidst which derived from the simplex gram mid which had the meaning of modern with and among. According to Marie-Line Groussier , the preposition was replaced by with in Middle English due to the fact that its uses had lost all reference to space and its meaning had become solely metaphorical. The spatial uses of mid in the sense of among were taken over by amidst.

This preposition was formed in the 16c. The second case is more modern but has not left any attested examples yet. Look at the middlemost furrow. There is a pit dug at one point of it. The plow you are looking for is in that pit. Talmy invents another preposition p. These inventions would tend to show that the Gp is a cognitive reality. The prefixal A- especially, marks off words to indicate their grammatical function.

The syntax of the construction is also to be taken into account in the parsing of the utterances. Cognitive schemata of grammaticalising prepositions: an alternative categorisation Another classification schema can be proposed based on the grammaticalising prepositions. More specifically, it can be noticed that the prototypical meanings of the prepositions fall into two or three main categories. The first is the proximity schema , which will be seen to be part of two more general schemata: association and dissociation.

In OE, the root gave two words, BY and the defunct ymbe replaced in the 16c.


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The meanings of each can be characterised as a relationship between two equidistant entities: BY is relative to a point, whereas ymbe refers to a circle8. Both indicate proximity with the landmark LM. The trajector is the located entity, which is either moving or potentially movable, or is perceived to be less permanent than the landmark. Tr refers to the entity that is Subject of the verb, or its Object and which is contextualised by the prepositional phrase containing the LM.

The proximity schema shows one of the defining features of prepositions, i. The double arrow illustrates the dual direction of this relationship. Schema 1 is however a sub-schema of a more global cognitive schema represented below in Figs. Semantically, ON and are associative prepositions that derive historically from a concept of close contact with a landmark.

All of these meanings and etymologies point up the most prototypical function of the preposition, that of relating two entities together while specifying their independence as individual entities: at the same time independent yet interdependent. The schemata are laid out in figures 2 and 3. The large arrowheads point in the direction of the main association but there remains an implicit reference back to the entity they contextualise.

Table 3. Associative and Dissociative grammaticalising prepositions This table represents only the simplest prepositions that mainly participated in the grammaticalisation process of forming the compound prepositions. The prepositions in bold case have been discussed above.

The other prepositions mainly partook in grammaticalising other spatial adverbs or verbs e. TO in towards, together, etc. BY participates in both schemata. It will come as no surprise that the compounds formed with the items of one of the columns can also be classified as associating or dissociating accordingly. Although the classification proposed is somewhat simplifying in its approach and results, I would suggest that it globally obeys a general principle of cognitive economy in categorisation.

That is to say that the broad schema provided by this classification system can then be fine-tuned to meet the pragmatic realities of the language user. Thus, overlaps and contradictions may appear in actual usage, which are normal occurrences in language variation. Another example of a different kind is found with home, which Bolinger classified as an adverb.

For instance: 18 ME: He waes on huntynge. The functions of the elements of this formula are also reminiscent of some of the general principles of word formation in English. A closer look reveals that not only was side an adverb, but ways was originally -wise meaning: in the manner of and that it was governed by the Gp ON 9. However, without this specialist knowledge, the layman could construe that there was probably reanalysis and transfer by analogy from one construction to the other resulting in sideways and other examples.

Whatever the case, such visual parallels as these are evidence again of cognitive economy at play deep in the language with realisations that are not directly identifiable with analogous structures. Language Typology Soteria Svorou has many examples of prepositions from other languages10 that seem to display the same pattern of grammaticalisation.

The Celtic influence on English is negligible from a lexical point of view but this may be an instance of some syntactical influence. However, the question remains open for the present until further research has been done, including comparison with Scandinavian formative patterns. Further research is required to ascertain whether they have adverbial functions comparable to the English formations as Svorou excluded spatial adverbs occurring only in intransitive constructions from her study.

If we look at how one language has grammaticalised space, French provides some evidence of slightly different formations with analogous results. Their function is also identical and only differs sometimes in their interpretations. Conversely, the adverbial counterparts of the prepositions were prefixed to the verbs much like Latin and are now not perceived as being additions. The prefix a- comes from Latin ad- meaning at, i. The verb indicates the action of kneeling and the adverb focuses on the end state of the action with LM the floor sublexicalised.

This sentence is one translation but possibly not the most frequent equivalent. It has simply been chosen to highlight the adverbial prefix con- Latin: with or against absent in other translations. Con-, with, and down are members and hence are motivated as conceptual equivalents. Conclusion The main purpose of this paper was to show how a study of the morphology of the words commonly referred to as prepositions could help to establish other classification criteria and to reveal the genetic relationship between prepositions and spatial adverbs in English.

We can conclude by saying that the apparent polysemy of these words is motivated and a common semantic core can be found hence giving some criteria for a broad classification system. On the other hand, the morphology of these items also points to the importance of taking syntactical criteria into account when defining the grammatical functions of the grams, notably by recognising the importance of the fixed word-order of the prepositional phrase and its various manifestations in the morphology of words.

The morphological study shows that the adverb and the prepositional phrase can often be one and the same. Upper case is used for concepts or roots. In the sense of Svorou i. Grammaticalisation is defined as the historical process by which a lexical item takes on a grammatical function. John Hewson demonstrates that the prepositional phrase is the oldest fixed syntactic structure in IE. Up and out are perfect examples of simplex forms which function typically as adverbs. It is interesting to note that neither is used frequently in the grammaticalisation process.

It is also slightly more recent than the others having no IE form but many parallels in daughter languages. Through is also interesting from this respect. Groussier ; 9. ODEE To name only a few of representative diversity: Melanesian Pidgin, Middle Welsh, Persian, Margi, Modern Greek, Indonesian, Basque although Basque, and other languages not mentioned, have locative suffixes rather than pre-posed or prefixed prepositions. Svorou Appendix E for lists of prepositions from 26 languages of the world.

Cambridge, Mass. Francis, W. Boston: Houghton Mifflin. Heine, Bernd Cognitive Foundations of Grammar. Oxford: Oxford University Press. Chicago: University of Chicago Press. Morissey Eds. Hill, L. London: Oxford University Press. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press. Meyer, George A. Bolinger Spasov, Dimiter English Phrasal Verbs. Sofia: Naouka i Izkoustvo.

Svorou, Soteria The Grammar of Space. Typological Studies in Language, Amsterdam: John Benjamins. Pick and L. Acredolo, eds. New York: Plenum Press, pp Japanese, French, Arabic do so in verbs Talmy, , However, elicited production data from a first language acquisition experiment comparing directional predication in Japanese, French and English reveals a common syntax of PPs, and no particular language setting, with all variation due to differences in the properties of individual lexical items.

I adopt and extend a theoretical framework in which interpretable features interact through syntax, and a layered PP structure is subject to universal principles of interpretation. These findings are in accordance with the hypothesis that the lexicon is the primary locus of crosslinguistic syntactic variation in argument structure.

Keywords: acquisition, lexical semantics, motion events, path, PP, predication, preposition, satellite 1. Introduction The syntactic category P subsuming prepositions, postpositions, and certain affixes considered as incorporated P plays a greater role in some languages than others in the framing of motion events. This crosslinguistic generalization groups together vast numbers of languages independently of cultural traditions or social factors, and points to intriguing limitations on the range of variation in the way motion events are linguistically represented.

In order to bring fresh evidence to bear on formal syntactic aspects of this typology, an original first language experiment was devised and conducted with Japanese J , French F and English E children and adults. Whilst the results are broadly supportive of the typology, they also highlight weaknesses in the simple binary distinction, and show that despite much lexical variation within and across the three languages, they appear to share a common syntax of motion events.

I draw on acquisition data, constructed examples, and generative investigations of PP structure in proposing that children are able to acquire the grammar of directional predication through the combination of two factors: i innate knowledge of a universal syntax of PPs; and ii the development of a language-particular lexicon, which is able to package grammatically-relevant concepts into lexical entries. This paper is organized as follows. Section 4 summarizes the findings and relates them to lexical parameterization theory. Syntactic variation in motion events is attributed to differences in the properties of individual lexical items, a finding in accordance with the hypothesis that the lexicon plays a pivotal role in crosslinguistic syntactic variation e.

Borer , Chomsky, , Emonds , Fukui Such grammatically relevant concepts include Motion, Manner, and Path. In an endeavour to shed light on formal principles at work in the syntax of motion events, an experiment was devised and conducted with the participation of 77 monolingual Japanese, French and English child test subjects, divided into five age groups from 3 to 7 years, and 18 adults in corresponding control groups. There were on average five participants in each age group. The monkey chases the parrot whilst overcoming various obstacles.

A specific manner of motion is associated with a specific path on each page of the book: the monkey slides down his tree, runs under a bridge, jumps over a rock, etc. The monkey and the parrot then encounter a lion in a cave, after which the parrot drops the banana. The monkey catches it and hurries home, going through the same motions for a second time, before eating his banana in peace.

Test subjects were asked to say what happens on each page. If they did not describe the path followed by the monkey, a series of prompts was followed to elicit appropriate responses. No PATH predicates were used by the experimenter in such prompts. In this way, relevant examples of PATH predication could be recorded and transcribed for analysis. As shown in Table 1, the findings support only a broad interpretation of the lexicalization typology: utterances in which adpositions encoded PATH in the absence of an inherent PATH verb 4 were much less common in Japanese and French than in English, accounting for However, the three languages fell into discrete response categories in all age groups - the mean percentage ranges being Not only were the responses ranges categorically distinct, but the confidence intervals on the means were non-overlapping Japanese: 0.

This threeway distinction clearly calls for analysis beyond a simple binary typology. Exceptions to the dominant pattern in each language resulted in a wide variety of syntactic types, as shown in the following sets of examples, which include test subject codes for reasons of transparency. The codes indicate the language group J, F, E , then the age group in years 3, 4, 5, etc.

Thus J5b is a Japanese 5-year-old, and the second-youngest in the group. The French data were also highly varied. In each language and across age groups, directional manner verbs were merged with locative adpositions in directional contexts, e. Examples such as E3e: he jumps in the river were typical, yet non-directional manner verbs and onomatopoeia invariably merged with overt PathP, e. E3b: he splashes into the river; J3b: ishi no ue kara piyon-tte shita rock GEN top from whoosh! The above examples of elicited production will be shown to provide support for both a strong theory of universal grammar, and a lexicalist approach to argument structure.

Berman and Slobin, ; Naigles and Terrazas, ; Ohara, ; Ozcaliskan, ; Slobin, , the designs and conclusions of previous investigations speak to issues of preference rather than possibility, and language use performance rather than language knowledge competence : they do not distinguish what is grammatical from what is ungrammatical. The following sections approach the same syntactic variation from a generative perspective. However, crucially, if in LocP is substituted for into PathP in the English example Akira danced into the sea, the directional interpretation is impossible due to the non-directional manner verb, leaving a strictly locational interpretation: Akira danced in the sea.

Japanese de here replaces ni for an independent reason de is required by locational adjuncts to activity verbs, rather than stative verbs. Thus interplay between P and V determines whether the interpretation is locational or directional, and if the verbal and adpositional predicates in these sentences have congruent features, locational interpretation is identical in each language.

In colloquial speech, though not in prescriptive grammar, directional interpretation is possible if a directional manner-of-motion verb e. This directional reading is a characteristic of colloquial child and adult speech in each language, as confirmed by both adult informants and the elicited production data of test subjects.

However, in appropriately colloquial contexts this lexicalization pattern may even be preferred. A directional interpretation is also possible in colloquial varieties if a LocP merges with a certain class of MANNER verbs, a point which is addressed more formally in Section 3. Van Riemsdijk provides convincing evidence of a higher functional layer in German PPs with circumpositions. In cases where there is a lower preposition and a higher postposition, only the lower lexical P may assign case, may subcategorize the DP, and may impose idiosyncratic selectional restrictions among other distinctions.

This structure is exemplified below in German. In the example from Lezgian below, the oblique stem marker -re appears to mirror the role of grammatical Ps such as English of and French de. The mirror order can be derived either by successive adjunctions or by feature-checking following insertion of the fully inflected lexical item Chomsky, , as long as the order of checking is the mirror order of the morphological derivation.

Freely available

That a bare N projection carrying geometric information is possible within layered PP is supported by independent investigations such as Ayano and Holmberg In Japanese, N rather than P conveys almost all geometric information. An English sentence such as He jumped from in front of the train illustrates a fully articulated layered PP structure with spatial N, as shown below.

He jumped to in front of the train. That there is a covert PathP in syntax in this case is motivated by the fact that as an empty category, it must be locally licensed by strict adjacency to the verb. When moved into a focus position, directional interpretation is impossible e.

Table of contents

It was in the lake that Bush jumped. For example, if the phrase [onthepitch] is merged as an adjunct with the verb run, it has a [PLACE] interpretation. If it is merged as a complement, there is a functional projection, whose PATH feature is checked by LOC, deriving a directional interpretation. Thus we should never find errors in violation of this layered PP hierarchy, e. That this is so in each language and in all age groups lends further support to the notion that these aspects of phrase structure are part of universal grammar. We can now formalize this latter observation. This possibility is restricted to verbs which may incorporate a functional PathP.

In all three languages discussed here, the equivalents of run J: hashiru, F: courir may incorporate an empty PathP, whilst the equivalents of dance J: odoru, F: danser may not. As shown above in Section 3. Despite the range of predicate semantics and syntactic structures in all three sets of data, not one of the utterances violated this principle. As noted at the end of Section 2, all instances of non-directional manner verbs including onomatopoeia invariably merged with overt PathP. Bob wa hashi no shita de hashitta.

Syntactic structures thus vary according to the inventory of available lexical items, but the claim that interpretable features on lexical items interact with a universal layered PP structure holds in all three languages. However, despite the validity of such generalizations they remain informal tendencies.

Such findings concur with one trend in universal grammar research that ties parametric variation to the acquisition of the lexicon e. Borer , Chomsky, , Emonds , Fukui, Aspects of syntax which are universal are plausibly part of the initial state of the language learner, whilst knowledge of language-particular syntax is acquired via positive evidence in the form of lexical items whose contextual properties are revealed through their syntactic environment.

The acquisition data gleaned from the elicited production experiment furnish strong support for the contention that the syntactic structure of layered PP and the relevant principles of interpretation are part of the initial state, leaving to children the task of learning their lexicon. Several influential articles by Talmy e. Both constructed examples and verbatim examples from test subjects are given in italics, to distinguish them from glosses and translations.

A fully comprehensive review of this project is provided in Stringer in preparation. The relation of semantic complexity in P to delays in acquisition is discussed in Stringer On this analysis, a PATH verb inherently specifies direction in a specific spatial configuration e. There is crosslinguistic variation between supposedly equivalent verbs, which affected the classification.

He climbed down the cliff, across the ledge, and into the cave. Japanese and French adults dispreferred the more colloquial PP forms in experimental conditions, the control group percentage means being 3. However, it is noteworthy that in follow-up interviews, the adults judged all the child utterances with PPs to be grammatical in this respect.

Thus child-adult differences reveal stylistic preference rather than grammaticality, the latter being the focus of the current investigation. The grammar of L will thus be a device that generates all of the grammatical sequences of L and none of the ungrammatical ones. If further spatial information is encoded in the PP it is preferred that direction be spelled out with a deictic verb, e. I do not assume that the higher functional projection is restricted to PATH. I argue that such N obligatorially lack functional material such as D or plurals Stringer, in prep.

As noted in Section 2. However, in colloquial French VIA-sous is productively attested, as shown in Section 2 F5a and as confirmed by adult informants. References Ayano, S. PhD Dissertation, University of Durham. Berman, R. Borer, H.


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    Cinque, G. Emonds, J. Berlin: Mouton de Gruyter. Fukui, N. In: M. Shibatani and T. Bynon eds. Holmberg, A. Schmidt, D. Odden and A. Holmberg eds. Munich: Lincom Europa. Cambridge: MIT Press. Koopman, H. Koopman, London: Routledge. Psychological Science 9: PhD dissertation, University of California, Berkeley.

    Ohara, K. Riemsdijk, H. Pinkster and I. Unpublished ms. Location and Locality. Anagnostopoulou eds. Amsterdam: Rocquade. Slobin, D. Shibatani and S. Thompson eds. Mahwah, NJ: Lawrence Erlbaum. Stringer, D. Durham Working Papers in Linguistics 9: PhD dissertation, University of Durham. Paths to realization: A typology of event conflation. II: Concept Structuring Systems.

    Using the same inventory for all languages allows to know, for each postposition or preposition, which are the translations under each possible interpretation. We think this resource will be useful for studies on machine translation, but also on lexical acquisition experiments on the syntax-semantic interface that make use of multilingual data see, for instance Agirre and Lersundi, The method to derive the inventory and the list of interpretations for Basque postpositions and Spanish and English prepositions has tried to be systematic, and is based on Aldezabal, and Dorr, Keywords: Multilinguality, postpositions, thematic roles, Lexical Conceptual Structures Introduction This article describes an inventory of interpretations for postpositions in Basque and prepositions in English and Spanish.

    Basque is an agglutinative language, and its postpositions are more or less equivalent to prepositions, but they are also used to mark syntactic functions such as the subject and objects of verbs. Literature on Basque suffixation phenomena has not agreed yet on a common definition of postposition.

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    For some, they are separate from grammatical 69 P. This allows for an integration of all of them in a unified framework. Our inventory includes interpretations for both arguments and modifiers, in a generic form. As the list of interpretations is common for all languages, a by-product is that it is possible to know which are the possible translations for a given postposition or preposition into the other languages. Table 5. The table of interpretations is a generic knowledge resource that helped in the acquisition of complex multilingual structure in the framework of the MEANING project Rigau et.

    For instance, Agirre and Lersundi, describe a method based on such a multilingual table that links the syntactic function of an argument or adjunct to the semantic interpretation of the argument or adjunct. The method has proved to be effective to disambiguate the occurrences of the Basque postposition -z instrumental case in dictionary definitions, using parallel Spanish and English definitions.

    We are currently applying the method to all postpositions using the multilingual table described in this paper.

    Semantics: Language Unit

    Our inventory of interpretations is based on Aldezabal, and Dorr, Our goal is to deliver a flat list of interpretations in the form of tags. The tags are derived mainly from thematic role tags, but also cover adjuncts and other phenomena. In order to have a common inventory of interpretations, we have to fix first which are the interpretations that we are interested in. This is not an easy task, and we decided to fix the inventory as we were building the table of interpretations.

    This article is organized as follows. Section 5. Previous work As we can read in EAGLES, , semantic relations were introduced in generative grammar during the mids and early s Fillmore, ; Multilingual inventory of interpretations for postpositions and prepositions 71 Jackendoff, ; Gruber, as a way of classifying the arguments of natural language predicates into a closed set of participant types which were thought to have a special status in grammar. A list of the most popular roles and the properties usually associated with them adapted from Dowty, is given below.

    Agent: A participant which the meaning of the verb specifies as doing or causing something, possibly intentionally. Examples: subjects of kill, eat, hit, smash, kick, watch. Patient: A participant which the verb characterizes as having something happen to it, and as being affected by what happens to it. Examples: objects of kill, eat, smash but not those of watch, hear, love. Experiencer: A participant who is characterized as aware of something.

    Examples: subject of love, object of annoy. Theme: A participant which is characterized as changing its position or condition, or as being in a state or position. Examples: objects of give, hand, subjects of walk, die. Location: The thematic role associated with the NP expressing the location in a sentence with a verb of location. Examples: subjects of keep, own, retain, know, locative PPs.

    Source: Object from which motion proceeds. Examples: subjects of buy, promise, objects of deprive, free, cure. Goal: Object to which motion proceeds. Examples: subject of receive, buy, dative objects of tell, give. In linguistic theory, thematic roles have traditionally been regarded as determinant in expressing generalizations about the syntactic realization of the predicate arguments see EAGLES, In many cases, the interpretation of the prepositions is linked to thematic roles. Aldezabal, presents an in-depth study of Basque verbs, including their argument structure and also mentioning the semantic interpretation of elements, which are related to thematic roles.

    We have used the link between the argument structure and the semantic interpretation in order to extract possible interpretations for postpositions 2. This list of postpositions and their interpretation is the main source of our inventory for Basque. For a given postposition, some interpretations might be missing. Aldezabal works only on the interpretations that arise during her study of the verbs, and it could be the case that some interpretations for a given postposition do not appear in her data. We tried to cover those missing interpretations with bilingual dictionaries, and the interpretations on other languages.

    Some postpositions might be missing. We will take missing suffixes from Basque grammars. We currently do not include complex postpositions which are comparable to complex prepositions in English, e. From the LCS we extract the thematic roles assigned to prepositions, either directly from the description of the prepositions or indirectly from the LCS describing verbs.

    We also got a table from Habash, where each English preposition has a list of possible thematic roles. This does not imply any linguistic claim, and is just a practical issue. Extracting interpretations for all prepositions from the LCS is not straightforward, as the interpretation of some prepositions are not always described in terms of thematic roles e. For the sake of this paper, when we refer to the LCS of a preposition, we really mean either the thematic role or the primitive that identifies the interpretation of the preposition. Besides, some interpretations for prepositions might be missing, specially for adjuncts.

    To our experience, the quality and coverage for English prepositions is very good, but the Spanish prepositions are not so well represented. Method to obtain the inventory and the multilingual table First, we have to decide which kind of interpretation we will use in the description of postpositions, and use the same interpretation inventory for English and Spanish prepositions.

    There is another disagreement between what Aldezabal considers semantic interpretation and Dorr considers thematic role. For example Aldezabal considers as semantic interpretations both cause and path, and in the LCS representation done by Dorr, these appear as primitives and types.

    The problem is that it is very difficult to match interpretations without studying the examples to which they apply. This is specially the case when the interpretations have been given for different languages. As a method to fix the inventory of interpretations and build the multilingual table, we start on Basque and jump into the other languages via a set of manually tagged bilingual examples from a bilingual dictionary.

    After this, the postpositions in the Basque examples are tagged using our interpretations and the tag is copied to the corresponding example in Spanish and English. Finally, we compare the interpretations of Spanish and English prepositions thus obtained with the thematic roles given by Dorr.

    This is the method step by step for each postposition: 1 Take a postposition. This way we will translations in context of the suffix into the other two languages. From the study of the 4-tuples we derive the following: A study of the mismatches between both interpretations, including gaps in the interpretation of English and Spanish prepositions, accompanied by a qualitative and quantitative analysis of the mismatches. After applying this method to all postpositions, we get a unified inventory of interpretations that is applied to Basque postpositions and English and Spanish prepositions.

    Case study with the Basque instrumental postposition We will illustrate the methodology of our study using the instrumental postposition. First we look for interpretations of this postposition in Aldezabal, She determines the argument structure of some verbs, and arranges them into groups according to their syntactic behavior. During her study she mentions some semantic interpretations of Basque Multilingual inventory of interpretations for postpositions and prepositions 75 Table 5. The first column shows the interpretations for the Basque instrumental postposition.

    The second and third columns show the list of prepositions in English and Spanish with a common interpretation after applying the method to all Basque postpositions Table 5. Interpretations for the Basque instrumental postposition postpositions, but the goal is not to produce an exhaustive list of semantic interpretations. Sometimes the interpretations she gives to postpositions are very granular, and we have tried to do a list with more general interpretations, joining some of her interpretations.

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    McGill Working Papers in Linguistics 4. Tovena, Lucia M. The fine structure of polarity sensitivity.

    New York: Routledge. First edition by Garland Publishing. Tremblay, Michel. A semantic analysis of negative concord. Ithaca, NY: Cornell University. Watanabe, Akira. The genesis of negative concord: Syntax and morphology of negative doubling. Linguistic Inquiry 35 4. A quantifier approach to negation in natural languages. Or why negative concord is necessary. Nordic Journal of Linguistics Zeijlstra, Hedde H. Sentential negation and negative concord. University of Amsterdam PhD dissertation. On the syntactic flexibility of formal features. In Theresa Biberauer ed.

    There is only one way to agree. The Linguistic Review 29 3. On the uninterpretability of interpretable features. In Peter Kosta, Steven L. Export Citation. User Account Log in Register Help. Search Close Advanced Search Help. My Content 1 Recently viewed 1 Negative concord in Qu Show Summary Details. More options …. Probus International Journal of Romance Linguistics. Editor-in-Chief: Wetzels, W. See all formats and pricing. Online ISSN See all formats and pricing Online. Prices are subject to change without notice.

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