Adjectival relatives

Linguistics and Philosophy 27 (5):557-608 (2004)
This article discusses what may be referred to as ``adjectival relatives''''in Japanese and related constructions in other languages (such asadjectival passives in English). The most intriguing characteristicof this construction is that the verb contained in it occurs in the pasttense form, but its primary role is to describe a state that obtains atthe local evaluation time, rather than the past event that producedthis state. In fact, in some cases, the putative event that presumablyproduced the target state is non-existent, and the entire constructionreceives a purely stative interpretation. In other words, it is possiblefor an adjectival relative to describe a target state without having itstriggering event. The proposal I put forth in the article states that whatI refer to as an adjectival relative does not have a clausal structure.It rather has a verbal projection (technically a Tense Phrase, or TP). Mod(the modifier head) then combined with TP to yield a MP (modifierphrase), which denotes a property of states that appear to have resultedfrom an event the verb describes. In order to reach this conclusion, I adopttwo additional ideas: (i) Kratzer''s (1996) idea that the so-called externalargument of a verb is not really its argument at all; (ii) direct causationdoes not have to be overtly represented in natural language syntax (Bittner1999). Having incorporated these two ideas, the proposal explains therelation between the state that the adjectival relative describes and theputative event as a modal one, thereby accounting for the non-existenceof putative past events in some examples.
Keywords Linguistics   Philosophy of Language   Artificial Intelligence   Computational Linguistics   Semantics   Syntax
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DOI 10.1023/B:LING.0000033856.09799.c5
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