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Abstract

The goal of this paper is two-fold. In the first part, I will offer a closer look into the nature of the instrumental case in Polish. In the literature, the instrumental case has been identified as a lexical, predicational, and a default case. In this paper, I will review the arguments for these distinctions, and argue that a default usage of instrumental is empirically not tenable. In the second part, an analysis of obligatory control constructions with the instrumental and agreeing case on predicates is discussed. It will be proposed that predicates that agree with their subjects are bare adjectives, whereas instrumental adjectives are situated within a DP with its head noun being optionally elided. As a last point, I will show how control mechanisms forbid bare adjectives in object control.

Abstract

The purpose of the present paper is to analyze L2 and L3 production and comprehension from a cognitive-pragmatic point of view, taking into account Relevance Theory (Sperber and Wilson, 1986; Wilson and Sperber, 2006), Mental Models Theory (Johnson-Laird, 1983) and the Graded Salience Hypothesis (Giora, 1997). Special attention is paid to error analysis and to the detection of error sources, especially in the case of errors not attributable to transfer, interference or overgeneralization. The paper is based on three studies involving, first, L2 and L3 production (Study 1), both production and comprehension (Study 2) and L3 comprehension (Study 3). In general, the phenomena observed can be explained by a combination of Relevance Theory, Mental Models Theory and the Graded Salience Hypothesis. In fact, even when transfer is used as a strategy, its use is relevant to the learner, who assumes that it will be relevant to the recipient as well. The results also shed some light on the multilingual mental lexicon and multiple language processing.

Abstract

This short piece addresses the confusion over terminology that has reigned, and partly still reigns, when it comes to the concept of Universal Grammar (UG). It is argued that whilst there might be changes in terminology and theory, conceptually UG cannot be eliminated. From a biolinguistic perspective, UG is not a hypothesis by any rational epistemological standard, but an axiom. Along these lines, the contemporary evolutionary perspective on the language faculty (FL) is briefly discussed to then argue that UG is necessarily part of FL in both a narrow and broad sense. Ultimately, regardless of terminology, UG is inevitably one of the factors determining the growth of FL.

Abstract

This article investigates diminutive affixes in four unrelated languages: Maale, Walman, Kolyma Yukaghir, and Itelmen, with additional discussion of German, Breton, and Yiddish. The data show variation in the syntax of diminutives. Diminutives differ cross-linguistically in the manner and place of attachment in a syntactic tree. In terms of the manner of attachment, some diminutive affixes are shown to behave as syntactic heads, while others show a behaviour characteristic of syntactic modifiers. In terms of the place of attachment, some affixes attach in the number position, while others attach above it. This article contributes to a discussion of form-function correspondence between syntactic categories (Wiltschko, in press). It shows that although diminutives across languages have the same meaning (or function), they significantly differ in their syntactic structures (or form). Thus, there is no 1:1 correspondence between form and function of diminutives in terms of the attachment and ordering of morphemes.

Abstract

Syntactic approaches to the positioning of adjuncts (e.g., Frey and Pittner (1998), Maienborn (2001), Frey (2003), Pittner (2004), Steube (2006)) postulate base positions for frame as well as for sentence adverbials above the entire proposition. The question arises how these two adverbial types are positioned in relation to each other. Syntactic accounts respond differently to this question. Furthermore, the role of semantic and pragmatic factors for the positioning of adverbials is disputable. The current paper presents the results of two psycholinguistic experiments that provide evidence for a base position account of frame and sentence adverbials. Furthermore, a non-syntactic factor - namely the referentiality of frame adverbials - is shown to influence position preferences.

Abstract

This paper shows the realization of arguments of Latinate double object verbs and an analysis of their inherent semantic meaning in the Late Middle English and early Modern English periods, hence in the time-span when they were borrowed into English. The main aim of this paper is to show that although Latinate verbs occur in a construction with what seems to be an allative preposition, not all of them lexicalize movement in the inherent meanings. In contrast, some Latinate verbs lexicalize only a caused possession. What is more, this paper shows that the caused possession Latinate verbs select a different variant of prepositional object construction than the one selected by Latinate verbs lexicalizing movement.