27.5150, Diss: The Syntax and Semantics of Manner Modification: Adjectives and Adverbs

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LINGUIST List: Vol-27-5150. Thu Dec 15 2016. ISSN: 1069 - 4875.

Subject: 27.5150, Diss: The Syntax and Semantics of Manner Modification: Adjectives and Adverbs

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Date: Thu, 15 Dec 2016 14:56:45
From: Sascha Alexeyenko [alexeyenko at em.uni-frankfurt.de]
Subject: The Syntax and Semantics of Manner Modification: Adjectives and Adverbs

 Institution: Universität Osnabrück 
Program: Department of Cognitive Science 
Dissertation Status: Completed 
Degree Date: 2015 

Author: Sascha Alexeyenko

Dissertation Title: The Syntax and Semantics of Manner Modification: Adjectives 
and Adverbs 

Dissertation URL:  http://user.uni-frankfurt.de/~alyeksye/

Linguistic Field(s): Morphology
                     Semantics
                     Syntax

Subject Language(s): English (eng)


Dissertation Director(s):
Peter Bosch

Dissertation Abstract:

This dissertation is concerned with the syntax and semantics of manner
adjectives and manner adverbs. Its aim is to develop a theory of manner
modification that (i) accounts for the possibility for manner adjectives to
occur with manner, event, and individual nouns (cf., e.g., careful
driver/driving/way of driving), while keeping their semantics constant across
these uses, and (ii) establishes the semantic relation that holds between
manner adjectives and manner adverbs. In particular, it is argued that manner
adjectives denote properties of manners of events, rather than of events
themselves. This means that their occurrences with manner nouns present the
most transparent syntax-semantics mapping, whereas their occurrences with
event and individual nouns involve mismatches between overt syntax and logical
form. Accordingly, it is shown (i) how the manners specified by manner
adjectives are formally linked to the events introduced by event nouns, and
(ii) where the events whose manners are specified by manner adjectives come
from in the context of individual nouns. With respect to the latter point, it
is suggested that the source of the relevant events is the semantics of overt
or covert prepositional gerunds that are subcategorized by manner adjectives
when they modify or are predicated of individual nouns (as, e.g., in a driver
careful at driving). Finally, manner adverbs are argued to have complex
semantics which incorporates a predicate of manners contributed by the base
adjective, along with the manner function and a manner quantifier.
Importantly, this semantics is motivated on (morpho)syntactic grounds, insofar
as -ly adverbs are shown to have a complex internal structure of null-headed
compound PPs containing the nominal morpheme -ly and the base adjective as its
attributive modifier, and thus are not members of a separate lexical category
or positional variants of a single major category of adverbs and adjectives,
as is usually assumed. As a result, both the syntactic function and the
semantic contribution of the morpheme -ly is accounted for.



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