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Olga Steriopolo

Abstract

This work presents a study of mixed gender agreement in the case of hybrid nouns in Russian. Examination of a number of approaches which seek to account for the category “gender” shows that these approaches are problematic when trying to explain mixed gender agreement in hybrid nouns. It is proposed here that the multiple-layer DP-hypothesis by Zamparelli (1995 and subsequent work) is best suited to analyze the Russian data. However, this rests on the crucial assumption that Russian demonstratives can occupy multiple positions within the DP, something that must still be verified by future work.

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Perpetual Usenbo

Abstract

The study examines yes/no questions in the Ẹ́dó language with the aim of identifying the morphemes that function as yes/no question markers. Relying on primary data generated from a survey, the study proposes that there are five overt yes/no question markers in the language. Four of these question markers (té, yí, rà, and kué) have been discussed in the literature, but this study provides a different account of the role of in polar questions, and suggests that another morpheme, i.e., can be classified as a yes/no question marker. Furthermore, the study reveals that the question markers are homonyms of other lexical and functional words. This has implications for the distribution of the question markers, as the co-occurrence with their homonyms yields unacceptable sentences. The paper describes this constraint on the use of the markers within the framework of Distributed Morphology.

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Nima Sadat-Tehrani

Abstract

This paper is an introductory investigation, comparing the intonation of Persian declaratives in read and spontaneous speech styles. The results indicate that 32% of the 254 spontaneous declaratives studied show one or more of the following intonational differences: a high or downstepped high tone at Intonational Phrase end, marking the incompleteness of the message; the existence of more pauses leading to a greater number of Intonational Phrases, pre-pause vowel lengthening, and pitch reset; a flatter contour and less pitch variation caused by a speaker’s boredom or givenness of the information content; an initial high boundary tone resulted from a low degree of assertiveness.

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Joanna Błaszczak and Dorota Klimek-Jankowska

Abstract

This paper is a contribution to a long-standing debate between constructionist, lexicalist, and emergentist schools of thought related to the question of what determines the category of lexically ambiguous words whose meanings belong to different syntactic categories (e.g., duck, walk). In the lexicalist view part-of-speech information is stored in the mental lexicon. According to the syntax-first (or constructionist) view, the ambiguous word is assigned to the syntactic category NOUN or VERB solely on the basis of the morphosyntactic frame in which it occurs irrespective of its meaning. In contrast, the emergentist view assumes an interaction of many constraints (semantic and syntactic) whereby semantic constraints are weaker than syntactic constraints in the resolution of word class ambiguities because while semantic context only favors one of the meanings of ambiguous words but does not exclude the competitors, syntactic context supports one meaning of an ambiguous word by ruling out its alternative interpretation. We intend to provide an overview of recent psycholinguistic studies focusing on the processing of word-class ambiguities in order to show that the syntax-first approach is too restrictive while the emergentist view is too permissive. What seems to be at issue is that when grammatical category-ambiguous words are processed, it is not that all constraints are available at the same time and they compete but rather different sources of information can be predicted to affect the process of lexical disambiguation at different stages during processing.

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Joanna Błaszczak

Open access

Henriëtte de Swart

Abstract

The PERFECT constitutes a puzzling category for typologists, historical linguists and formal semanticists alike. Is it a tense? Is it an aspect? Which grammatical forms qualify as PERFECTS? What is the core of the PERFECT meaning? This short paper suggests that progress can be made if we start using the wealth of digitized language data that has become available to uncover the semantics of the PERFECT through its contextual usages across languages.

Open access

Ewa Willim

Abstract

The special properties that psych(ological) verbs manifest cross-linguistically have given rise to on-going debates in syntactic and semantic theorizing. Regarding their lexical aspect classification, while verbal psych predicates with the Experiencer argument mapped onto the subject (SE psych predicates) have generally been analyzed as stative, there is little agreement on what kinds of eventualities object Experiencer (OE) psych predicates describe. On the stative reading, OE psych predicates have been classified as atelic causative states. On the (non-agentive) eventive reading, they have been widely analyzed as telic change of state predicates and classified as achievements or as accomplishments. Based on Polish, Rozwadowska (2003, 2012) argues that nonagentive eventive OE psych predicates in the perfective aspect denote an onset of a state and that they are atelic rather than telic. This paper offers further support for the view that Polish perfective psych verbs do not denote a change of state, i.e., a transition from α to ¬α. The evidence is drawn from verbal comparison and the distribution of the comparative degree quantifier jeszcze bardziej ‘even more’ in perfective psych predicates. It is argued here that in contexts including jeszcze bardziej ‘even more’, the perfective predication denotes an onset of a state whose degree of intensity exceeds the comparative standard. While a degree quantifier attached to the VP in the syntax contributes a differential measure function that returns a (vague) value representing the degree to which the intensity of the Experiencer’s state exceeds the comparative standard in the event, it does not affect the event structure of the perfective verb and it does not provide the VP denotation it modifies with a final endpoint. As the perfective picks the onset of an upper open state, perfective psych predicates typically give rise to an atelic interpretation.

Open access

Bożena Cetnarowska

Abstract

The article compares the occurrence of pronominal possessive adjectives and denominal group adjectives in Polish event nominals. It is demonstrated that while in other Slavonic languages (e.g., in Russian) relational adjectives clearly contrast with possessive adjectives (both pronominal and lexical ones), in Polish denominal group adjectives, such as prezydencki ‘presidential’, ministerialny ‘ministerial’, or urzędniczy ‘clerk.ADJ’, resemble possessive pronouns in functioning as elements which can satisfy the argument structure of event nominals. The focus is laid on intransitive nominals, in view of the Possessor Principle proposed for Polish by Rozwadowska (1997). While some Polish intransitive nominals accompanied by possessives or by group adjectives are recognized as referential nominals (as is predicted by the analysis of Greek and Romanian group adjectives presented by Alexiadou and Stavrou, 2011, and Moreno, 2015), other intransitive nominals with such adjectival satellites are argued to be argument-supporting nominals. The association with the agentive reading (i.e., external argument interpretation) is shown to be characteristic, but not obligatory, with thematic group adjectives.

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Antonio Fábregas and Ángel L. Jiménez-Fernández

Abstract

In this article, we explore the conditions under which prima facie adjectival adjuncts projected as depictive modifiers inside verbal phrases allow extraction. Building on the analysis of gerund clauses proposed in Fábregas and Jiménez-Fernández (in press), we argue that their empirical behaviour shows that, whenever these adjectival constituents license extraction, they are projections of PathP that form a verbal complex with the verb inside a single syntactic domain. This forces the conclusion that adjunct adjectives must be projected as PathPs, and in the last part of the paper we show that this proposal in fact explains two properties of these elements without further stipulations: they always receive a stage level interpretation, and cannot combine with pure stative verbs.

Open access

Artemis Alexiadou

Abstract

This paper discusses the absence of the causative alternation with psych predicates in English from a comparative perspective. It argues that English lacks the psych causative alternation due to a combination of factors that have been pointed out independently in the literature, but not discussed in the context of the literature on the causative alternation in the non-psych domain: i) several object experiencer predicates got reanalyzed as subject experiencer verbs, ii) English borrowed new object experiencer predicates from verb classes that do not participate in the causative alternation, and ii) the v as well as the Voice layer of English that participated in the building of these verbs were also affected by changes in their properties.