Linguistik-Klassifikation: Grammatikforschung / Grammar research
Grammatical properties of pronouns and their representation : an exposition
- This volume brings together a cross-section of recent research on the grammar and representation of pronouns, centering around the typology of pronominal paradigms, the generation of syntactic and semantic representations for constructions containing pronouns, and the neurological underpinnings for linguistic distinctions that are relevant for the production and interpretation of these constructions. In this introductory chapter we first give an exposition of our topic (section 2). Taking the interpretation of pronouns as a starting point, we discuss the basic parameters of pronominal representations, and draw a general picture of how morphological, semantic, discourse-pragmatic and syntactic aspects come together. In section 3, we sketch the different domains of research that are concerned with these phenomena, and the particular questions they are interested in, and show how the papers in the present volume fit into the picture. Section 4 gives summaries of the individual papers, and a short synopsis of their main points of convergence.
WH-words are not ‘interrogative’ pronouns : the derivation of interrogative interpretations for constituent questions
- I discuss the status of WH-words for interrogative interpretations, and show that the derivation of constituent questions evolves from a specific interplay of syntactic and semantic representations with pragmatics. I argue that WH-pronouns are not ‘interrogative’. Rather, they are underspecified elements; due to this underspecification, WH-words can form a constitutive part not only of interrogative, but also of exclamative and declarative clauses. WH-words introduce a variable of a particular conceptual domain into the semantic representation. Accordingly, they have to be specified for interpretation. Different WH-contexts give rise to different interpretations. In a cross-linguistic overview, I discuss the characteristic elements contributing to the derivation of interrogatives. I argue that specific particles or their phonologically empty counterparts in the head of CP contribute the interrogative aspect. The speech act of ‘asking’ is then carried out via an intonational contour that identifies a question. By default, this intonational contour operates on interrogative sentences; however, other sentence formats – in particular, those of declarative sentences – are possible as well. The distinction of (a) grammatical (syntactic, semantic and phonological) sentence formats for interrogative and declarative sentences, and (b) intonational contours serving the discrimination of speech acts like questions and assertions, can be related to psychological and neurological evidence.