Vol. XI Nr. 2
Cross-polar (a)nomalies without degrees
Abstract:This paper discusses the distribution of positive and negative adjectives in subcomparatives with an absolute comparison interpretation, including cross-polar nomalies and anomalies (see Bierwisch 1989, Kennedy 1997/1999, 2001, Büring 2007). It offers an analysis of these phenomena in terms of a more constrained variant of Klein’s (1980, 1982) degree-less analysis of comparatives, as presented in Doetjes et al. (forthcoming). The paper attempts to derive the properties of subcomparatives from independently motivated properties of measures.
Keywords: subcomparatives, degrees, vague predicate analysis, cross-polar (a)nomalies, measures, interpretation of numerals
Blanca Croitor and Ion Giurgea
On the so-called Romanian “neuter”
Abstract: We discuss several possible analyses of Romanian “neuter” nouns (a productive class of nouns which trigger masculine agreement in the singular and feminine agreement in the plural): the three-gender analysis (Romanian has three genders and systematic syncretism), the ambigeneric analysis (Romanian neuters are masculine in the singular and feminine in the plural), the underspecification analysis (Romanian neuters are not specified for gender) and the nominal class analysis (nouns do not have genders, but rather nominal classes which are selected by Number heads on which the gender feature is generated). The arguments used to decide between these analyses are (i) gender in the pronominal system, (ii) gender agreement in coordination and (iii) general economy considerations. We retain the underspecification analysis and the nominal class analysis and propose solutions to the problems these analyses face.
Keywords: gender, neuter, agreement, coordination, pronouns
Gabriela Bîlbîie and Frédéric Laurens
Towards a non-elliptical analysis of verbless relative adjuncts
Abstract: This paper presents an analysis of a set of Romanian and French adjuncts which are usually referred to as elliptical relative clauses. Despite the resemblance they bear to non-restrictive partitive relative clauses, these adjuncts cannot be analyzed as elliptical relative clauses for both syntactic and semantic reasons. A non-elliptical analysis in a construction-based grammar is then provided, which crucially relies on the two notions of fragment and cluster.
Keywords: ellipsis, fragment, relative clause, Romanian, French
Predrag Novakov and Mihaela Lazović
Aspect and boundedness in English and Romanian
Abstract: This paper deals with the interaction of verbal aspect and the type of verb situation (Aktionsart) by analyzing the influence of semantic characteristics such as stativity, duration and telicity on aspect in English and Romanian. The paper argues that aspect is related to boundedness in the sense that perfective aspect “binds” the situation which has a goal, while imperfective aspect does not. Thus the semantic notion of boundedness provides a more detailed and deeper analysis of situations with the distinctive feature [+ goal] by pointing out whether the goal was actually reached or not.
Key words: aspect, aktionsart, boundedness, goal
On the relationship between atelicity and partitivity. The case of Romanian
Abstract: The aim of the paper is that of analyzing the induced atelic property on Romanian verb phrases with classes of verbs that may select theme arguments preceded by partitive prepositions (e.g., din/lit. from, la/lit. at, and prin/lit. through/across). The paper identifies the classes of verbs that may occur with partitive noun phrases and also discusses three possible means of achieving atelicity in Romanian. The two possible partitive constructions in Romanian (i.e., the bare partitive construction and the full partitive construction) are unambiguously two distinct structures in point of their VP aspectuality: in the bare partitive construction the VP is atelic while in the full partitive construction the VP is telic. An attempt at explaining this aspectual contrast is offered.
Keywords: partitivity, (a)telicity, partitive prepositions, “measured” direct objects, incrementally homogeneous direct objects
Some differences between English and Romanian resultative constructions
Abstract: It is a generally accepted fact that Romance languages behave differently from English and other Germanic languages as far as the building of resultative constructions is concerned. The wide availability of resultatives in English is in sharp contrast with their less frequent occurrence in Romanian; not to mention the view according to which there are no such constructions in Romanian at all. In the present paper we focus our attention on some differences between the resultatives in English and Romanian. Most importantly, English resultatives can be built on activity, as well as accomplishment matrix verbs; whereas Romanian allows only resultatives built on accomplishment verbs. This approach is consonant with Kayne’s (2005) theory about the existence/non-existence of silent elements in the two (families of) languages; we explain this difference between the two languages in terms of the presence/absence of a silent UP TO element.
Keywords: resultative construction, activity verb, accomplishment verb, silent UP TO element
Fronted nuclei: narrow focus in Spanish and English
Abstract: This paper is an attempt to show that fronted nuclei, if not as abundant as in English, do nevertheless, along with other means of highlighting, play a significant role in Spanish intonation. Although the overriding tendency in Spanish is for right-edged tonicity, it would appear that nucleus fronting is common in Spanish in cases of strong contrast and anaphora, in highly emotional contexts (amazement, incredulity, impatience, exasperation, etc.), when there are interjections in final position (por favor ‘please’, gracias ‘thank you), when there are nominal proforms after the verb whose identity is taken for granted, and in the case of words whose meaning is implicitly emphatic, rendering them likely to attract the focus (odiar ‘to hate’, todo ‘all’, mismo ‘‑self’, también ‘also’, tampoco ‘neither’, único ‘only’, es igual ‘it’s all the same’, and deictics, like the demonstrative pronouns, éste, ésa ‘this, that, etc.’).
Keywords: prosody, tonicity, nucleus placement, Spanish and English sentence stress, fronted sentence stress.
Andrei A. Avram
On the pre-nasalized consonants of Cape Verdean Creole
Abstract: The status of pre-nasalized consonants of basilectal Cape Verdean Creole (the Santiago variety) is a matter of some debate in the literature, between proponents of bisegmental analyses and of a monosegmental one. This paper critically reviews bisegmental analyses and adduces synchronic and diachronic data in favour of an interpretation of pre-nasalized consonants as single phonological units. This analysis is further supported by comparative evidence from other creoles.
Keywords: Cape Verdean Creole, pre-nasalized consonants, bisegmental, monosegmental
Elisabeth van der Linden and Aafke Hulk
The vulnerability of gender on determiners in L1, 2L1 and L2 acquisition
Abstract: The acquisition of gender has been reported to be problematic for some groups of learners acquiring Germanic or Romance languages. It has been shown that L1 learners do better in gender acquisition than others, like bilingual children, child L2 learners and adult L2 learners. The reason for these differences is however not always clear. In this paper, we study the acquisition of gender on determiners by different groups of learners. We concentrate on the acquisition of French, Italian, Spanish and Dutch. The picture from a literature survey shows that contradictory results have been found. We suggest that the ‘vulnerability’ of this particular domain of grammar has to do with interacting factors in the acquisition. Among them are the specific characteristics of the language or languages involved, like the semantic and morphophonological characteristics of the nouns in each language, but also the quantity and quality of input, and the cross-linguistic influence exercised by one language on the other in a 2L1 or L2 setting. Instruction also seems to play a role.
Keywords: Gender, determiners, L1 acquisition, 2L1 acquisition, L2 acquisition
Synonymy in sports terminology in English and Serbian
Abstract: The paper deals with the typology of terminological synonyms in English and Serbian, focusing on the corpus of terms relating to five ball games – basketball, football, handball, volleyball and water polo. According to this research, there are two types of synonyms in English (real synonyms and quasi-synonyms), and four types in Serbian (terminological doublets, anglicisms as hyposynonyms, and false friends,). However, if extended to the level of the general lexicon, this typology falls short of defining stylistically marked terms. Accordingly, it seems reasonable to add additional category of terminologically marked synonyms. Thus general conclusion of this paper is that, even though unwelcome in terminology, synonymous terms are a reality which should be controlled by the process of standardization.
Keywords: lexicology, sport, synonymy, terminology
Indirect speech acts as social strategies: Butler Stevens and “the facts of life”
Abstract: The present paper provides an analysis of ISAs in two excerpts from Kazuo Ishiguro’s novel ‘The Remains of the Day’ with a view to unveiling the way the character Stevens resorts to indirectness in order to maintain harmonious collaborative interactions with his interlocutors. Parameters governing indirectness such as power, higher status and expertise will be taken into account while discussing the relationship between indirectness and politeness. Apart from emphasizing the reasons why Stevens prevalently uses indirectness when engaging in conversations with his superiors, the analysis equally intends to reveal how Stevens engages in self-effacement in order to prove those qualities that he regards as crucial in a butler: loyalty, dignity and restraint.
Keywords: ISAs, social status, expertise, politeness, Ishiguro
Translation as cultural mediator
Abstract: The aim of this paper is to analyze the role that translation plays as cultural mediator, as it already widely accepted that translation involves not just two languages, but two cultures, two worlds that are brought into close contact with each other. Obviously, between the two cultures, the two worlds that translation compares and contrasts there are both similarities and dissimilarities. What is of interest to us is the way in which dissimilarities should be approached in the process of translation, whether they should be domesticated or foreignized as Venuti put it, whether the reader should be brought closer to the text or the text closer to the reader.
Keywords: translation, cultural mediator, foreignization, domestication
Opting for predicating a theme in translation – a dilemma
Abstract: Predicating the theme in a sentence/text regards the organization of information structure (balance between given and new information units) according to the author’s intention and textual (writing) skills; to transpose this balance in translation is the translator’s job, not always devoid of difficulties or hesitations. Obviously, the target language is constantly “revised” for checking the equivalent devices in theme predicating strategies. The present paper discusses a specific text and its information structure from the viewpoint of dynamic equivalence.
Keywords: dynamic equivalence, text progressing, topical vs. textual theme, modal theme, dynamic translation