This paper is concerned with the syntax and the semantics of equative construction with honorary NPs (PP subjects) in English, and argues that on the basis of detailed examination of the construction, it does not have the same distribution as similar constructions (Preposing around BE and Locative Inversion). It will be argued that a structural analysis for nonagentive verbs, and feature checking analysis, based on the feature specification of the preverbal PPs and the verbs, can provide a consistent accounting for the construction. It will be also argued that the preverbal PPs are DPs with a null D head, and that they are φ-complete.
It has been commonly held that idioms have a number of unpredictable irregularities. However, I claim that there exist systematic semantic regularities in certain verbal idioms that are commonly manifested in the semantic structure of causative verbs. First, through the investigation of the causative/inchoative alternation, I propose the general semantic principle ([x P1 [y P2 (z)]]→[y P2 (z)]) which states that the embedding semantic predicate P1 is removable from the bipartite semantic structure. Then, I discuss six classes of verbal idioms with the bipartite semantic structure, and argue that the semantic composition of these idiom classes is also governed by the same general principle by demonstrating that each class of these verbal idioms has its corresponding class of verbal idioms of the form [y P2 (z)].
This paper discusses the semantic and pragmatic characteristics of“factual may”(e.g., He may be a professor, but he sure is dumb). After examining Sweetser's (1990) and Papafragou's (2000) analyses, I first argue that factual may occurs before unexpected clauses and the two clauses are linked by“concessives, ”such as but or however and that its occurrence is further restricted with respect to the preceding context. Then, I argue (against Sweetser and Papafragou) that this may is neither an extension of deontic may nor the same as epistemic may; I present an alternative analysis based on Papafragou's basic meaning of may, in which factual may concerns not only the speaker's beliefs but also the addressee's beliefs. Finally, I argue that factual may has a“procedural” function in discourse.
This study is an investigation of the quantifier float (QF) phenomenon. Many studies on this topic are based on the fact that a floating quantifier (FQ) occurs to the right of the NP it quantifies (rightward QF), although it is well known that leftward QF is attested in a number of languages. To predict the distribution of both types of QF, Doetjes (1992, 1997) suggests the generalization that an FQ binds the trace of the NP it quantifies. The purpose of this study is to reduce this generalization to the property that FQs probe for a matching feature, thereby providing support to the hypothesis that FQs are adverbial elements.
The present paper is concerned with aspects of the semantics of the participial construction in English. The argument developed is based on the assumption that the grammatical form is not semantically arbitrary, with its varied uses having a conceptual core running through them. The paper argues that the temporal relationship of simultaneity plays a crucial role in motivating the usage of the construction. The various ways the basic notion is interpreted or extended are shown to combine to produce a coherent semantic picture of a grammatical form known for its markedly diverse use.
This paper explores small clauses which contain particles such as as and for. It is well known that verbs like regard and take take particles in their small clauses. Until Middle English, it clearly functioned as preposition since only a DP appeared after as. Then it became to bear the properties of a functional element, i.e. Pr[edication]. This paper examines the property of small clause particle as and discusses what the categolrial status as has in present-day English. It will be shown that for in the take... for construction is not Pr, but preposition.
The aim of this paper is to semantically clarify the internal structures of various types of accomplishments. In doing so, the present theory assumes that an accomplishment event is made up of the corresponding activity event and the corresponding achievement event, and that the achievement event is constructed with an argument which plays the role of a measuring parameter for the event. Based on these assumptions, the paper will show that the aspectual distinction between accomplishments and activities can be represented in terms of their logical forms. Moreover, this paper will make it clear that the semantic incremental relationships which different types of accomplishments semantically imply are elucidated in a parallel manner.