Event-internal modifiers : semantic underspecification and conceptual interpretation

  • The article offers evidence that there are two variants of adverbial modification that differ with respect to the way in which a modifier is linked to the verbs eventuality argument. So-called event-external modifiers relate to the full eventuality, whereas event-internal modifiers relate to some integral part of it. The choice between external and internal modification is shown to be dependent on the modifiers syntactic base position. Event-external modifiers are base-generated at the VP periphery, whereas event-internal modifiers are base-generated at the V periphery. These observations are accounted for by a refined version of the standard Davidsonian approach to adverbial modification according to which modification is mediated by a free variable. In the case of external modification, the grammar takes responsibility for identifying the free variable with the verbs eventuality argument, whereas in the case of internal modification, a value for the free variable is determined by the conceptual system on the basis of contextually salient world knowledge. For the intriguing problem that certain locative modifiers occasionally seem to have nonlocative (instrumental, positional, or manner) readings, the advocated approach can provide a rather simple solution.

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Author:Claudia Maienborn
Parent Title (German):Modifying Adjuncts / E. Lang, C. Maienborn & C. Fabricius-Hansen (eds.) ; Interface Explorations ; 4
Publisher:Mouton de Gruyter
Place of publication:Berlin
Document Type:Part of a Book
Year of Completion:2008
Year of first Publication:2003
Publishing Institution:Universit├Ątsbibliothek Johann Christian Senckenberg
Release Date:2008/11/03
Page Number:35
First Page:475
Last Page:509
Source:E. Lang / C. Maienborn / C. Fabricius-Hansen: Modifying Adjuncts - Berlin, 2005, S. 1-29
Dewey Decimal Classification:4 Sprache / 40 Sprache / 400 Sprache
Linguistik-Klassifikation:Linguistik-Klassifikation: Syntax
Licence (German):License LogoDeutsches Urheberrecht