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Semantics and Morphosyntactic Variation : Qualities and the Grammar of Property Concepts (Paperback)

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This book explores a key issue in linguistic theory, the systematic variation in form between semantic equivalents across languages. Two contrasting views of the role of lexical meaning in the analysis of such variation can be found in the literature: (i) uniformity, whereby lexical meaning is universal, and variation arises from idiosyncratic differences in the inventory and phonological shape of language-particular functional material, and (ii) transparency, whereby systematic variation in form arises from systematic variation in the meaning of basic lexical items. In this volume, Itamar Francez and Andrew Koontz-Garboden contrast these views as applied to the empirical domain of property concept sentences - sentences expressing adjectival predication and their translational equivalents across languages. They demonstrate that property concept sentences vary systematically between possessive and predicative form, and propose a transparentist analysis of this variation that links it to the lexical denotations of basic property concept lexemes. At the heart of the analysis are qualities: mass-like model theoretic objects that closely resemble scales. The authors contrast their transparentist analysis with uniformitarian alternatives, demonstrating its theoretical and empirical advantages. They then show that the proposed theory of qualities can account for interesting and novel observations in two central domains of grammatical theory: the theory of syntactic categories, and the theory of mass nouns. The overall results highlight the importance of the lexicon as a locus of generalizations about the limits of crosslinguistic variation.
Number of Pages: 256
Genre: Language + Art + Disciplines
Series Title: Oxford Studies in Theoretical Linguistics
Format: Paperback
Publisher: Oxford Univ Pr
Author: Itamar Francez & Andrew Koontz-garboden
Language: English
Street Date: May 23, 2017
TCIN: 52482556
UPC: 9780198744597
Item Number (DPCI): 248-46-0530
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