Hebrew QNP agreement: Towards an empirically based analysis
Abstract: Quantified noun phrases (QNPs) in subject position may trigger agreement with the quantifier or with the noun. Previous work (Danon 2011 and 2013) has proposed a theoretical model for explaining such alternations, but left open the empirical question of speaker preference. This paper describes preliminary findings from an ongoing research project aimed to answer this question. It is shown that speakers have a strong preference for noun agreement when the noun in the QNP is plural, whereas a much more heterogeneous pattern emerges when the QNP contains a singular/group noun. The empirical findings are argued to support an analysis in which the features involved in agreement are formally distinct from those marked morphologically on Q and N, which allows us to maintain a syntactic model of agreement even for apparent cases of “semantic agreement”.
Keywords: QNP, agreement, quantifiers, index
On the evolution of articles into agreement markers in Romanian and Albanian
Abstract: This paper tries to elucidate the processes by which former determiners became preposed agreement markers in Romanian and Albanian. In both languages, these markers introduce genitives, agreeing possessors and ordinals. In Albanian the same forms are used as agreement prefixes on all old adjectives and participles and can precede cardinals in definite noun phrases. The fact that these items originate in definite determiners is proven not only by their forms, but also by the possibility of marking the matrix DP as definite when they occur in DP-initial position. I propose that the development definite determiner > agreement marker was made possible by the fact that these languages had specialized definite articles, a suffixal one and an independent, “strong” form which was used when suffixation was impossible. It is the strong form which evolved into specialized agreement markers. Another necessary condition for the reanalysis was the possibility for the strong form to appear in postnominal position, which I assume to have been provided by double- or poly-definite constructions. For Romanian, I propose that the reanalysis of al was made possible by the fact that it had restricted contexts of occurrence. For Albanian, where the strong forms must have also been used with adjectives, I adopt the view that a change in the unmarked adjective order from A-N to N-A was the main trigger of the reanalysis, starting from a stage in which postnominal adjectives could only appear in the double definiteness construction, where they were preceded by the article. A further possibility, for Albanian, is the (morphologically triggered) confusion between the strong article and a relativizer stemming from IE *yo-/*yā-, used to introduce postnominal modifiers.
Keywords: genitive “articles”, preposed agreement markers, historical syntax, Romanian, Albanian
Romanian complex adnominal prepositional phrases. The example of de-phrases
Abstract: Romanian displays two types of complex PPs (i.e. PPs formed on at least two simple Ps), which may attach to Ns. The first one is headed by a combination of two (and very rarely three) lexical Ps, e. g. de la ‘from’, pe sub ‘under’, pe lângă ‘near’, de pe lângă ‘from near’ (e.g. venirea lui de la Londra ‘his coming from London’). The second type is headed by a combination of one functional P (de) and one lexical P, e. g. de la ‘from’, de pe ‘on’, de sub ‘under’, de lângă ‘near’ (e.g. cartea de pe raft ‘the book on the shelf’). In this paper, we take a closer look at these two types of prepositional constructions. First, we examine the various morpho-syntactic and semantic constraints under which the different constituents of the complex PPs may fall, e.g. the syntactic and semantic type of the matrix noun, the categorial status of the P’s complement (NP vs DP), and correlatively, the absence or presence of a determiner, their syntactic function (argument vs. modifier), their semantic interpretation (specific – non specific). Second, we pay special attention to the analysis of de occurring in the second type of complex PPs. In this respect, we show that complex PPs in type two are not genuine PPs and that de is not lexical, but the overt realisation of a functional category, namely, Mod(ifier).
Keywords: complex prepositions, adnominal constituents, de-phrases, arguments, modifiers, Romanian
Constructions, pragmatics and modality
Abstract:This paper rejects the commonplace view that the semantics of certain modal deverbal adjectives (MDAs), which have traditionally been assumed to be non-compositional, require complex lexical or syntactic encoding (cf. e.g. Riehemann 1994 and 1998, Booij 2007 and 2010a). Instead, it shows that productive MDA formation is semantically compositional, and that the prima facie idiosyncratic meanings are, in fact, conversational implicatures.
Keywords: modal deverbal adjectives; compositionality; conversational implicatures; morphology-semantics interface
On the denotational and socio-expressive properties of the Greek verbal derivatives in apo-, ek(s)-, and kse-
Abstract:This paper deals with the semantic structure of the Greek verb prefixes apo-, ek(s)-, and kse- by focussing on their socio-expressive content. The patterns presented are the result of an empirical analysis of data extracted from language interviews conducted with 31 native Greek speakers in Athens, Greece in October 2010. Lieber’s (2004, 2007) theoretical framework is used in the analysis. The results suggest that apo- and kse- are similar both denotationally and socio-expressively, while ek(s)- shows up with an ambiguous structure. The interactional socio-expressive patterns make clear that no composition takes place between prefixes and bases but a discharging of the prefixal content onto a non-base argument. Positive socio-expressive clusters in the verbal roots promote the default negative content of the prefixes.
Keywords: morphological theory, verbal prefixes, distancing, socio-expressive meaning
Isidore of Seville – Reader of Solinus
Abstract: This paper focuses on examining how in his Etymologiae sive Origines Isidore of Seville makes use of the lexis that describes marvellous phenomena. This lexis was borrowed to some extent from Solinus’ Collectanea rerum memorabilium. This research therefore aims at checking the results of some previous studies which demonstrate the rationality of Isidore’s approach by investigating the lexis in his work.
Keywords: lexis of the marvels, Isidore of Seville, Solinus
Andrei A. Avram
Diagnostic Features of English-Lexifier Creoles: a new look at Bahamian
Abstract: This paper is a partial replica of a study by Hackert and Huber (2007). It first documents the earliest attestations in Bahamian of the diagnostic features of English-lexifier pidgins and creoles proposed by Baker and Huber (2001). Bahamian is then compared to the seven Atlantic English-lexifier varieties considered by Baker and Huber (2001). As shown by Hackert and Huber (2007), this feature-based approach allows for the quantification of the affinity between Bahamian and Gullah. Finally, a number of selected diagnostic features recorded in Bahamian are discussed in terms of their origin and of their distribution.
Keywords: diagnostic features, Bahamian, Caribbean, Atlantic, world-wide
Luis López. 2012. Indefinite Objects. Scrambling, Choice Functions and Differential Marking. (Reviewed by Alina Tigău)
Mihaela Tănase-Dogaru. 2013. The Syntax of Quality and Quantity in Romanian. Prepositional Binominal Structures. (Reviewed by Anca Sevcenco)