This volume contains twelve chapters on the derivation of and the correlates to verb initial word order. The studies in this volume cover such widely divergent languages as Irish, Welsh, Scots Gaelic, Old Irish, Biblical Hebrew, Jakaltek, Mam, Lummi (Straits Salish), Niuean, Malagasy, Palauan, K'echi', and Zapotec, from a wide variety of theoretical perspectives, including Minimalism, information structure, and sentence processing. The first book to take a crosslinguistic comparative approach to verb initial syntax, this volume provides new data (...) to some old problems anddebates and explores some innovative approaches to the derivation of verb initial order. (shrink)
En parcourant les registres – Une étude en corpus des usages stylistiques des « Light Verb Constructions » Cette contribution est consacrée aux aspects stylistiques d’usage de ce que l’on appelle des « Light Verb Constructions » (LVC) ; des phrases verbales complexes en Anglais. Alors que la majorité d’études jusqu’à présent se mettent d’accord sur la « note familière » des LVCs, des données empiriques montrent une vision plus complexe et hétérogène. Nos résultats qui sont basés sur (...) le Corpus of Contemporary American English (COCA) montrent que l’usage des LVCs est loin d’être limité à la parole informelle ou aux contextes familiers, mais que leur diffusion et usage sont beaucoup plus polyvalents que remarqué par le passé. (shrink)
Experimental data suggest that the division between the visual ventral and dorsal pathways may indeed indicate that static and dynamical information is processed separately. Contrary to Hurford, it is suggested that the ventral pathway primarily generates representations of objects, whereas the dorsal pathway produces representations of events. The semantic object/event distinction may relate to the morpho-syntactic noun/verb distinction.
Metaphor influences the construction of biological models and theories and the analysis of its use can reveal important tools of thought. Some aspects of biological organisation are investigated through the analysis of metaphors associated with treating biosystems as a kind of text. In particular, the use of glue and verbs is considered. Some of the reasons why glue is important in the construction of hierarchies are pursued in the light of specific examples, and some of the conceptual links between glue (...) in biology and other domains is discussed. Verbs are shown to be important in the construction of networks. Some of the relations between glue, verb and text are considered and the text metaphor is placed within a much broader context of ideas associated with form, relation and system. The paper concludes with comments on the nature of biological information and the need for extending or better understanding the verbal vocabulary. (shrink)
Bloom's theory of word learning has difficulty accounting for children's verb acquisition. There is no predominant preverbal event concept, akin to the preverbal object concept, to direct children's early event-verb mappings. Children may take advantage of grammatical and linguistic information in verb acquisition earlier than Bloom allows. A distinction between lexical and grammatical learning is difficult to maintain for verb acquisition.
Icelandic is the only Scandinavian language in which the verb always moves past negation, and other sentence adverbials, in embedded clauses. We follow everyone else and take this as evidence that Icelandic as opposed to the other Scandinavian languages has V°-to-I°1 movement (see, e.g., Kosmeijer 1986, Holmberg & Platzack 1990:101, Rohrbacher 1994:30-69, and Vikner 1994:118-127, 1995:ch.5). If we assume that negation and sentence adverbials mark the left edge of VP (they could be adjoined to VP or to TP, for (...) example), then the following embedded questions clearly show that the verb has to move to I° in Icelandic and remain lower in Swedish. (shrink)
I want to do two things here today. First, I want to describe and comment on some materials in and on Western Abenaki. Second, I want to make some additions to the various lists of Western Abenaki verb forms that have been available from published sources. This will be strictly a report on work in progress. Let me make acknowledgments right off to two colleagues: Roger Higgins, who has been working on Wampanoag (Massachusett) for some years, and Roy Wright, (...) with whom I have been collaborating on some of the WA materials, as I will report in a minute. And I want to give special thanks to Cécile Wawanolett, who first introduced me to her language. I put my email address on the handout. I would appreciate any comments that you might care to send to me on what I present here today. (shrink)
Verb phrases seems to be head initial in affirmative sentences in Lokaa (a Niger-Congo language of the Cross River area of Nigeria) but head final in negative clauses and gerunds. This article aspires to give a comprehensive description of this phenomenon, together with a theoretical analysis. It considers how a full range of grammatical elements are ordered in both kinds of clauses—including direct objects, second objects, particles, weak pronouns, complement clauses, serial verbs, adverbs, prepositional phrases, tense/mood particles, and auxiliary (...) verbs. The pattern that emerges is a bit different from the one found in some superficially similar languages, such as Vata, Bambara, Nupe, and Nweh. I argue that the details are correctly explained by a “remnant movement” theory in which the Lokaa verb first moves out of the verb phrase to combine with tense/agreement inflection, and then the rest of the verb phrase moves as a unit into a specifier position at the top of the clause. This position is available because the notional subject undergoes dislocation in Lokaa, as has been claimed for many of its Bantu kin. (shrink)
Phrase re-ordering is a well-known obstacle to robust machine translation for language pairs with signiﬁcantly different word orderings. For Arabic-English, two languages that usually differ in the ordering of subject and verb, the subject and its modiﬁers must be accurately moved to produce a grammatical translation. This operation requires more than base phrase chunking and often deﬁes current phrase-based statistical decoders. We present a conditional random ﬁeld sequence classi- ﬁer that detects the full scope of Arabic noun phrase subjects (...) in verb-initial clauses at the Fβ=1 61.3% level, a 5.0% absolute improvement over a statistical parser baseline. We suggest methods for integrating the classiﬁer output with a statistical decoder and present preliminary machine translation results. (shrink)
We propose a general model for joint inference in correlated natural language processing tasks when fully annotated training data is not available, and apply this model to the dual tasks of word sense disambiguation and verb subcategorization frame determination. The model uses the EM algorithm to simultaneously complete partially annotated training sets and learn a generative probabilistic model over multiple annotations. When applied to the word sense and verb subcategorization frame determination tasks, the model learns sharp joint probability (...) distributions which correspond to linguistic intuitions about the correlations of the variables. Use of the joint model leads to error reductions over competitive independent models on these tasks. (shrink)
The idea that correspondences relating grammatical relations and semantics (argument structure constructions) are needed to account for simple sentence types is reviewed, clarified, updated and compared with two lexicalist alternatives. Traditional lexical rules take one verb as ‘input’ and create (or relate) a different verb as ‘output’. More recently, invisible derivational verb templates have been proposed, which treat argument structure patterns as zero derivational affixes that combine with a root verb to yield a new verb. (...) While the derivational template perspective can address several problems that arise for traditional lexical rules, it still faces problems in accounting for idioms, which often contain specifications that are not appropriately assigned to individual verbs or derivational affixes (regarding adjuncts, modification, and inflection). At the same time, it is clear that verbs play a central role in determining their distribution. The balance between verbs and phrasal argument structure constructions is addressed via the Principles of Semantic Coherence and Correspondence together with a usage-based hierarchy of constructions that contains entries which can include particular verbs and other lexical material. (shrink)
We argue that an adequate treatment of verb phrase anaphora (VPA) must depart in two major respects from the standard approaches. First of all, VP anaphors cannot be resolved by simply identifying the anaphoric VP with an antecedent VP. The resolution process must establish a syntactic/semantic parallelism between larger units (clauses or discourse constituent units) that the VPs occur in. Secondly, discourse structure has a significant influence on the reference possibilities of VPA. This influence must be accounted (...) for.We propose a treatment which meets these requirements. It builds on a discourse grammar which characterizes discourse cohesion by means of a syntactic/semantic matching procedure which recognizes parallel structures in discourse. It turns out that this independently motivated procedure yields the resolution of VPA as a side effect. (shrink)
This paper addresses the correct analysis of Korean examples like those in (1).∗ An event is presented against a contrastive or negative implication, through either a copy of the verbal lexeme, or the use of the supporting verb ha-ta.
Valence theory has been syntactically oriented; the fundamental distinction between complements and supplements has remained withoutjustification. It is shown in this paper that (i) valence theory can be founded semantical-ly and (ii) that the distinction between complements and supplements is a semantic, relational, and gradual distinction. These are conclusions from an association experiment we are reporting which gives the distance of question words from verbs by considering frequency, latency, and rank of mention.
VPs with get and a PP/particle provide an argument for lexical decomposition in syntax. Get (and German kriegen) has a ‘hindrance’ reading, which does not denote causative events and resembles manage in that the result is portrayed as hard to achieve, and in that possibility operators do not affect the meaning under negation: I didn't (=couldn't) get the key in. These effects surprisingly follow from an analysis where hindrance-get VPs are nothing more than inchoatives of have-VPs of the type have (...) the key in. In get out one's wallet, we see another reading which is genuinely causative and is not found with German kriegen. Hindrance-get VPs (like VPs with have, want and need, which decompose with HAVE, and unlike causative get and other causative-agentive verbs) disallow particle-object order (get/take out your wallet vs. *get/have/want/need in the key). The effects of semantics on word order are shown to be unmysterious only if the HAVE predicate in the meaning of hindrance-get is a syntactic head. (shrink)
Clahsen's theory raises problems that make it seem untenable. As an alternative, a constructivist neural network model is reported that develops a modular architecture and in which a single associative mechanism produces all inflections, displaying an emergent dissociation between regular and irregular verbs. Thus, Clahsen's rejection of associative models of inflection concerns only a subgroup of these models.
Aristotle’s De Interpretatione opens with some norms designed to guide philosophical discour- se. One of these norms–of greatest importance for the discourse about being–is the distinction between the affirmation and the content of a proposition. No verb, not even the verb to be, will by itself state the existence of its content. – The oppositon to the traditional interpretation of the text in this article is primarily founded on observations of ordinary Greek speech. ”A verb uttered just (...) by itself“ doesn’t mean ”the verb without a subject noun“ as normaly assumed, but it means ”the verb without the intention to affirm what it means.“ – Some glances at Platon and Kant (ontological argument) conclude the article. (shrink)
ADHD is a psychiatric disorder characterised by persistent and developmentally inappropriate levels of inattention, impulsivity and hyperactivity. It is known that children with ADHD tend to produce incoherent discourses, e.g. by narrating events out of sequence. Here the aetiology of ADHD becomes of interest. One prominent theory is that ADHD is an executive function disorder, showing deficiencies of planning. Given the close link between planning, verb tense and discourse coherence postulated in van Lambalgen and Hamm (The proper treatment of (...) events, 2004), we predicted specific deviations in the verb tenses produced by children with ADHD. Here we report on an experiment corroborating these predictions. (shrink)
This paper comments on some of the different senses of the notion of discourse in the various relevant literatures and then overviews the basic features of a coherent discourse analytic programme in Psychology. Parker's approach is criticised for (a) its tendency to reify discourses as objects; (b) its undeveloped notion of analytic practice; (c) its vulnerability to common sense assumptions. It ends by exploring the virtues of 'interpretative repertoires' over 'discourses' as an analytic/theoretical notion.
Sound-symbolism is the nonarbitrary link between the sound and meaning of a word. Japanese-speaking children performed better in a verb generalization task when they were taught novel sound-symbolic verbs, created based on existing Japanese sound-symbolic words, than novel nonsound-symbolic verbs (Imai, Kita, Nagumo, & Okada, 2008). A question remained as to whether the Japanese children had picked up regularities in the Japanese sound-symbolic lexicon or were sensitive to universal sound-symbolism. The present study aimed to provide support for the latter. (...) In a verb generalization task, English-speaking 3-year-olds were taught novel sound-symbolic verbs, created based on Japanese sound-symbolism, or novel nonsound-symbolic verbs. English-speaking children performed better with the sound-symbolic verbs, just like Japanese-speaking children. We concluded that children are sensitive to universal sound-symbolism and can utilize it in word learning and generalization, regardless of their native language. (shrink)
Processual semantics opens a new field of research by looking at basic physical, organismic, and cognitive processes involved in meaning. Its strategy of model-building is directed towards the application of the theory of dynamic systems.
A paradox at the heart of language acquisition research is that, to achieve adult-like competence, children must acquire the ability to generalize verbs into non-attested structures, while avoiding utterances that are deemed ungrammatical by native speakers. For example, children must learn that, to denote the reversal of an action, un- can be added to many verbs, but not all (e.g., roll/unroll; close/*unclose). This study compared theoretical accounts of how this is done. Children aged 5–6 (N = 18), 9–10 (N = (...) 18), and adults (N = 18) rated the acceptability of un- prefixed forms of 48 verbs (and, as a control, bare forms). Across verbs, a negative correlation was observed between the acceptability of ungrammatical un- prefixed forms (e.g., *unclose) and the frequency of (a) the bare form and (b) alternative forms (e.g., open), supporting the entrenchment and pre-emption hypotheses, respectively. Independent ratings of the extent to which verbs instantiate the semantic properties characteristic of a hypothesized semantic cryptotype for un- prefixation were a significant positive predictor of acceptability, for all age groups. The relative importance of each factor differed for attested and unattested un- forms and also varied with age. The findings are interpreted in the context of a new hybrid account designed to incorporate the three factors of entrenchment, pre-emption, and verb semantics. (shrink)
In sentence processing, it is still unclear how the neural language network successfully establishes argument–verb dependencies in its spatiotemporal neuronal dynamics. Previous work has suggested that the establishment of subject-verb and object–verb dependencies requires argument retrieval from working memory, and that dependency establishment in object-first sentences additionally necessitates argument reordering. We examine the spatiotemporal neuronal dynamics of the brain regions that subserve these sub-processes by crossing an argument-reordering factor (i.e., subject-first vs. object-first sentences) with an argument retrieval (...) factor (i.e., short vs. long argument–verb dependencies) in German. Using functional magnetic resonance imaging (fMRI), we found that reordering demands focally activate the left pars opercularis (Broca’s area), while storage and retrieval demands activated left temporo-parietal (TP) regions. In addition, when analyzing the time course of fMRI-informed equivalent current dipole sources in the EEG at the subcategorizing verb, we found that activity in the TP region occurs relatively early (40–180 ms), followed by activity in Broca’s area (300–500 ms). These findings were matched by topographical correlation analyses of fMRI activations in EEG sensor space, showing that, in the scalp potential, TP region activity surfaces as an early positivity and IFG activity as a later positivity in the scalp potential. These results provide fine-grained evidence for spatiotemporally separable sub-processes of argument retrieval and reordering in sentence processing. (shrink)
Negations play an important role in actual dialogues. If one participant of a dialogue is negating an utterance of the other participant (or is uttering a sentence that entails a negation of an utterance of the other participant), there occurs a verbal conflict between the participants.1 This conflict is resolved as soon as a participant is forced (only by verbal means, of course) to give up a sentence so that there is no longer a conflict. In recent theories about.negation a (...) distinction is rather often made between two different kinds of negation.2 Gabbay & Moravcsik (1978) and Hoepelman (1979) make a distinction between (sentence) negation and denial. Gabbay and Moravcsik motivate their distinction as follows: ‘That the negation of a true proposition takes us to a false one, is one of the early lessons in elementary logic. Sentence negation is important for logic, for it gives us general ways of characterizing contradictoriness, and thus helps us formulating such basic laws as the law of non contradiction. In everyday discourse however, negative sentences are used to formulate denials of various sorts. In fact, even the notion of a denial is too narrow; denial, objection, criticism, etc. are all everyday activities the point of which is to say: “No, it is not like this; rather, it is like that”’3. (shrink)