Linguistics and English Language

Meaning and grammar seminar

Speaker: Professor Hagit Borer (Queen Mary University of London)

Title: The Domain of Content - Lessons from Derived Nominals

Abstract: Taking the properties of derived nominals (DN) as a starting point, I highlight two interesting puzzles which emerge when we contrast DNs with full argument and event structure (Argument Structure Nominals, or Complex Event Nominals in the terminology of Grimshaw, 1990), and DNs that do not have argument-event structure.  First, the former, but not the latter, must be fully compositional (i.e. have an meaning that is directly derivative from the verb stem), while the latter do not.  Second, the latter, but not the former, may be formed from non-attested stems (e.g. fiction).  Neither of these facts follow from lexicalist accounts of word formation.  They do follow, however, within an approach that relegates word formation to the syntax, and which postulates a particular syntactic domain within which non-compositional meaning (or Content) is available – that delineated by the lowest segment of the Extended Projection.


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Mar 07 2019 -

Meaning and grammar seminar

2019-03-07: The Domain of Content - Lessons from Derived Nominals

Room 1.02, 21 Buccleuch Place, Edinburgh, EH8 9LN