Agreeing possessors and the theory of case
Abstract: I argue that the so-called “possessive adjectives” are not really adjectives, but pronouns (D-projections). Agreement features on possessors do not compete with genitive-marking, as it seems at first sight: they never attach directly to DP, but rather to KP (i.e. to a projection of Case), as shown by the obligatory presence of a possessive suffix (which I analyze as K) separating the root from the agreement morpheme. I argue that this explains why the unvalued f-features of the possessor do not agree with the inherent f-features (I show that some agreeing possessors do have inherent f-features): concord applies inside a DP-phase, and given that DP is a phase, the features attached to K above DP belong to the phase of the possessee rather than to the phase of the possessor. Further evidence for this proposal comes from agreeing genitive markers attached at the phrasal level and from agreeing markers attached to a genitive morpheme. I then discuss the implications of this analysis for the theory of structural case: given that agreeing possessors can represent structural case, but their K must be specified as possessive from the beginning of the derivation, structural case cannot be considered to be unvalued case. Moreover, the fact that case concord is often found among agreeing possessors also shows that one and the same K head can have structural case in need of licensing and an unvalued Case feature valued by concord. Finally, I propose an account for agreeing possessors which seem to be doubly marked, both by a case ending or possessive suffix + agreement (at the word level) and by a preposed agreement marker attached at the phrasal level.
Keywords: agreeing possessors, case theory, structural case, concord, genitive case
Alexandra Cornilescu and Alexandru Nicolae
On the history of Romanian genitives: the prenominal genitive
Abstract: In this paper we focus on the behaviour of prenominal genitives in Old Romanian in contrast with Modern Romanian. In the old language, the prenominal genitive is more widely used and occurs in three distinct configurations: (i) it is a determiner genitive in DP-initial position and checks the definiteness feature of D in a local configuration, (ii) it is a lower determiner genitive which checks the definiteness feature of D across an intervening constituent, and (iii) it is an attributive/property genitive, similar to the attributive genitive of English and to the genitival adjectives of (certain) Slavic languages. Of these three distinct configurations, only the first one is still available in Modern Romanian. In trying to provide an explanation for the loss of some of the prenominal genitive patterns, we relate this phenomenon to changes in the syntax of the definite article.
Keywords: prenominal genitive, determiner genitive, property genitive, syntactic variation, syntactic change
Prepositions as a semilexical category
Abstract: The status of the category P(reposition) has been the topic of several analyses in the last few decades. The goal of this presentation is to propose an analysis of prepositions in terms of semilexical features. Additionally, we shall take a closer look at the distinction between lexical and functional prepositions.
Keywords: preposition, lexical, functional, semilexical, category
Motion verbs and the expression of directed motion in English
Abstract: Two commonly-held assumptions in the literature on the Goal of Motion construction in English are, on the one hand, that there is a clear-cut distinction between verbs of inherently directed motion and manner-of-motion verbs regarding their semantics, in that the former include Path and the latter, Manner in their semantic make-up, and that affects the way in which they express motion to/towards a Goal (by combining with an obligatory/optional directional PP), and, on the other hand, that manner-of-motion verbs freely participate in the Goal of Motion construction. The present article challenges these assumptions and proposes that motion verbs in English form a continuum (a Directionality Squish) along which they range from those that always express directed motion to those that never do so.
Keywords: directed motion, verbs of inherently directed motion, manner-of-motion verbs, directional phrases.
Cornelia Daniela Lupşa
Deconstructing the “adverb plus complementizer construction” in Romanian
Abstract: In this paper I examine the “adverb plus complementizer” construction (Ramat and Ricca 1998: 212) in Romanian, seeking to establish its characteristics in more detail than usually achieved in the literature on adverbs. I show that, at least in Romanian, this construction displays regularities that can shed light on our understanding of the basic mechanism of sentence-building and how adverbs are integrated in a sentence. I also argue that a correct description of this construction requires the integration of two opposing theories on adverbs that have come to be represented by Cinque (1999) and Ernst (2002).
Keywords: the adverb plus complementizer construction, sentence adverb, root complementizer, adverb movement, left periphery
On some features of consonants in Indian English
Abstract: The paper aims to show that although the inventory of consonantal phonemes in Indian English does not differ markedly from that of RP, there are some aspects related mainly to different articulations of the sounds discussed which make it sound very peculiar. Thus, the dental fricatives may often be substituted by the correspondent stops; the stops have may have different aspirations patterns and retroflex articulations; the lateral liquid phoneme does not have any allophones in this variety. The non-rhoticity of post-vocalic /r/ is a feature which brings it closer to RP, but this seems to be changing, at least in some parts of the country. This analysis is at the interface between phonetics and phonology, in the sense that phonetic evidence is provided in support of phonological assumptions.
Keywords: fricatives, stops, liquids, aspiration, retroflexion
Andrei A. Avram
Diagnostic features of English-lexified creoles: first attestations from Virgin Islands English creole
Abstract: This paper presents the earliest attestations in Virgin Islands English Creole of the diagnostic features of English-lexified contact languages proposed by Baker and Huber (2001). It compares the distribution of these features in Virgin Islands English Creole and in the seven Atlantic English-lexified pidgins and creoles considered by Baker and Huber (2001). Also included is a discussion of a number of selected features.
Keywords: diagnostic features, creoles, Atlantic, world-wide, Caribbean
Ştefania Alina Cherata
The class-inclusion theory of metaphor: a critical
Abstract: The class-inclusion theory of metaphor was proposed by Glucksberg and Keysar (1990), and directed against the view that metaphoric statements of the form X is Y are implicit comparisons, and their interpretation involves a process of feature matching between topic (‘X’) and vehicle (‘Y’). The authors suggest instead that such sentences qualify as explicit class-inclusion assertions, in which the topic is ascribed to a superordinate ad hoc category typified by and named after the vehicle. I will argue that, although superordinate categories comprising both the topic and the vehicle of a metaphoric statement can indeed be constructed in a large number of cases, they fail to provide an adequate theoretical foundation for the interpretation of metaphor. Furthermore, the prototype status attributed to the vehicle obscures the difference between metaphor and certain metonymic patterns in which the name of a prototypical category member stands for the category as a whole.
Keywords: metaphor interpretation, mapping, superordinate category, prototype
Alina Mihaela Tigău. Syntax and Semantics of the Direct Object in Romance and Germanic Languages. (Reviewed by Alexandra Cornilescu)
Jennifer Hay, Margaret Maclagan and Elizabeth Gordon. New Zealand English. (Reviewed by Andrei A. Avram)