Mihaela Tănase-Dogaru, Camelia Uşurelu
On binominal qualitative constructions in Old Romanian
Abstract: The paper identifies and analyzes major types of binominal qualitative constructions in Old Romanian. The corpus presented in the paper registers three types of double-definite binominals and two types of single-definite binominals. This paper has a two-fold aim: one is to provide clarifications on these constructions at a descriptive level; the other one is to provide support in favor of the “Double-DP / Single-DP hypothesis” (see Tănase-Dogaru 2012a, b, 2013a).
Keywords: binominal qualitatives, Old Romanian, double-definite binominals, single-definite qualitatives
Alignment optimality and English possessives: Knowing where to stop
Abstract: The present paper argues that an Optimality Theoretic framework may better handle the order of appearance of elements inside what is traditionally termed a possessive NP in English than approaches embedded in X-bar Theory. The syntax and semantics of examples of the type book of Frank, Frank’s book, book of Frank, the man living next door’s bike and the bike of the man living next door are examined. It is concluded that the terms “possessive” or “genitive”, “possessor”, “possessed” are in fact labels used for certain contextually dependent relations, that is to say, they mark elements participating in, and the relationship itself of, what nominals may enter with each other. This “freedom of relation” also includes the actual, true possessive relation as well, and markers (different morphemes) appear at boundaries between a “possessor” and a “possessed” to indicate where one ends the other begins.
Keywords: alignment syntax, conceptional units, freedom of choice for the possessive relation, nominal domain, possessive domain
Non-referential topical phrases in Romanian and the theory of topicality
Abstract: I discuss various theories of sentence topics against the background of attested examples of topicalization in Romanian. I argue that non-referential topical phrases constitute a problem for the concept of aboutness topic proposed by Reinhart (1981) and can better be accounted for in a theory where topicalized constituents are indicators of the discourse topic (von Fintel 1994). I examine various types of topicalized constituents, classified according to the relation they entertain with the previous sentences and the discourse topic. Furthermore, I discuss another function of sentence topics, which can be characterized independently of discourse relations: that of anchoring the new information in the common ground. I suggest a way in which this function can be subsumed under the general function of indicating discourse-topic dynamics.
Keywords: discourse and sentence topics, topicalization, aboutness, Romanian
Go for in the Crucian Wiretaps Corpus: Insight on MV for constructions and the verb/preposition distinction in Afro-Carribean creole
Abstract: In this paper, I examine uses of the construction go for in Afro-Caribbean English-lexifier creole (AEC) to gain insight on the verb/preposition distinction in contact languages, as exemplified in the construction Motion Verb + for (hereafter MV for). The MV for construction is employed when speakers wish to profile the purpose substructure of the construction’s composite semantic value. If speakers were to use the verb get instead of for, the acquisition substructure would be profiled. In most cases, however, speakers choose the morpheme for, which adds prominence to the purpose value. The morpheme for also adds aspectual content to the overall constructional meaning, and that aspectual reading is performed on the fly. It is argued here that MV for is processed simultaneously in relation to the other constituents that co-occur with it, not only syntactically, but also in terms of the semantic roles that those units convey.
Keywords: Afro-Caribbean Creole, semantics, cognitive grammar, motion verb
The acquisition of gender in a Romanian-Hungarian bilingual setting
Abstract: This paper analyses the acquisition of Romanian gender agreement in a Romanian-Hungarian bilingual setting, based on two longitudinal corpora and a corpus of narratives, with a view to identifying the causes that lead to the vulnerability of the gender feature in this particular language combination. The fact that Hungarian is a genderless language causes some delay in the acquisition of Romanian gender with bilinguals. While phonological and semantic transparency do not seem to have had much influence, it has been found that agreement at a distance represents an obstacle, probably due to processing difficulties inherent to bilingual language acquisition. The two main facilitating factors have been found to be adjacency to the noun and the presence of the definite and indefinite articles.
Keywords: gender, Romanian-Hungarian bilinguals, phonological and semantic transparency, processing difficulties
Lucas Champollion. Parts of a Whole: Distributivity as a Bridge between Aspect and Measurement. (Reviewed by Imola-Ágnes Farkas)