Semantics and Morphosyntactic Variation: Qualities and the Grammar of Property Concepts by Itamar FrancezSemantics and Morphosyntactic Variation: Qualities and the Grammar of Property Concepts by Itamar Francez

Semantics and Morphosyntactic Variation: Qualities and the Grammar of Property Concepts

byItamar Francez, Andrew Koontz-Garboden

Paperback | April 22, 2017

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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 isuniversal, 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 varysystematically 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. Theauthors 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 ofsyntactic 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.
Itamar Francez is Assistant Professor of Linguistics at the University of Chicago. His research interests are mostly in the interaction of lexical, compositional, and contextual aspects of interpretation, and in the role of meaning in structuring morphosyntactic form. His work has appeared in journals such as Journal of Semantics, Natu...
Title:Semantics and Morphosyntactic Variation: Qualities and the Grammar of Property ConceptsFormat:PaperbackDimensions:192 pages, 9.21 × 6.14 × 0.03 inPublished:April 22, 2017Publisher:Oxford University PressLanguage:English

The following ISBNs are associated with this title:

ISBN - 10:0198744595

ISBN - 13:9780198744597

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Table of Contents

1. Introduction: Lexical semantics and morphosyntactic patterns2. Variation in the form of property concept sentences: The explananda3. The lexical semantic variation hypothesis4. The locus of variation in property concept sentences5. Meaning and Category: Semantic constraints on parts of speech6. Quality nouns and other mass nouns7. Conclusion