Event individuation by objects: Evidence from frequency adjectivesReport as inadecuate

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1 LLF - Laboratoire de Linguistique Formelle 2 Universitat Pompeu Fabra Barcelona

Abstract : Adverbially-interpreted temporal frequency adjectives (FAs) such as frequent, sporadic,and daily, are usually restricted to modifying event-denoting nominals (e.g. The house underwentfrequent cleanings = Frequently, the house underwent cleanings vs. We saw frequent sailors-thefrequent sailor 6= Frequently, we saw sailors-the sailor). In this, they contrast with what Gehrkeand McNally (2012) refer to as nontemporal FAs (e.g. odd, cp. The occasional sailor strolled by =Occasionally, a sailor strolled by). However, there is a systematic set of exceptions to this generalization,e.g. She wrote frequent letters, which have never been explained. In this paper we providean analysis of these exceptional cases. Our account points to interesting parallelisms betweenthe construction of interest and Kennedy’s (2012) use of Kratzer’s (1996) Event Identification toaccount for event measurement via measure expressions on incremental themes. It also situatesthis use of FAs within the family of semantic incorporation constructions, providing a novel exampleof how the varied morphosyntactic resources of a language can make it possible to fulfillthe pragmatic functions that incorporation constructions serve for a wide variety of propositionalcontents.

Keywords : semantics philosophy of language syntax

Author: Berit Gehrke - Louise Mcnally -

Source: https://hal.archives-ouvertes.fr/


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