We dub the kyaa in (2a) polar kyaa, which we distinguish from the homophonous thematic kyaa â€˜whatâ€™. in (3). In (3), kyaa is the theme argument of the verb diyaa â€˜gaveâ€™. The same has been argued for the scope marking construction, at least under the indirect dependency approach (Dayal 1994 among others). The preverbal position has been argued to be the unmarked position for wh-words in Hindi-Urdu (Kidwai 2000, among others).
The seminar will focus on linguistic strategies used by manufacturers to promote products. We will look at claims such as: “2 out of 3 doctors prescribed Medicine X”. Would this statement be false or merely misleading if exactly three doctors were included in the sample? The fundamental semantic distinction between entailment (what is stated) and implicature (what is implied) will be used to probe issues of truth in the language of advertising. The course will explore the topic in the wider (...) context of conversational dynamics. Students will gain an understanding of the field of theoretical linguistics and of its practical application to the world of advertising. (shrink)
The primary theoretical focus of this paper is on Free Choice uses of any, in particular on two phenomena that have remained largely unstudied. One involves the ability of any phrases to occur in affirmative episodic statements when aided by suitable noun modifiers. The other involves the difference between modals of necessity and possibility with respect to licensing of any. The central thesis advanced here is that FC any is a universal determiner whose domain of quantification is not a set (...) of particular individuals but the set of possible individuals of the relevant kind. In a theory of genericity utilizing situations, an any phrase can be seen as having a universal quantifier binding the situation variable of the common noun. This inherent genericity is argued to be at the heart of the intuition that any statements support counterfactual inferences and do not involve existential commitments. A conflict in presuppositions is shown to account for the incompatibility of unmodified any phrases in affirmative episodic statements and the crucial role played by modification in ameliorating this clash is explicated. In the case of modals of necessity, the interaction between the universal force of any and the particular modal base is shown to be crucial. In view of these facts it is argued that FC any is not directly licensed by modal or generic operators as generally assumed but that its felicitous use is sensitive to the pragmatics of epistemic modality. Turning to its polarity sensitive uses, language internal as well as crosslinguistic evidence is presented to distinguish it from FC any in having the existential quantificational force typical of indefinites. The paper concludes by suggesting that the common tie between them is that they both occur in statements that apply to a class of entities, rather than to particular members of the class. (shrink)
This paper explores the link between number marking and(in)definiteness in nominals and their interpretation. Differencesbetween bare singulars and plurals in languages without determinersare explained by treating bare nominals as kind terms. Differencesarise, it is argued, because singular and plural kinds relatedifferently to their instantiations. In languages with determiners,singular kinds typically occur with the definite determiner, butplural/mass kinds can be bare in some languages and definite inothers. An account of singular kinds in terms of taxonomic readingsis proposed, with number marking playing (...) a crucial role inexplaining the obligatory presence of the determiner. The variationbetween languages with respect to plural/mass kinds is explained bypositing a universal scale of definiteness, with individual languageschoosing different cut-off points for lexicalization of the definitedeterminer. The possibility of further cross-linguistic variation isalso considered. (shrink)
This paper argues that Hindi incorporation is, in fact, pseudoincorporation, involving noun phrases rather than nouns. Furthermore, it shows that there is no requirement that the incorporated nominal form a morphological or even a syntactic unit with the verb. Such loosely aligned nominals can nevertheless be identified as incorporation on the basis of semantic intuitions having to do with number interpretation, anaphora, and certain properties typically associated with lexical processes. Contrary to standard assumptions, it is argued that the targets of (...) pseduo-incorporation are specified for number. Singular incorporated nominals in Hindi are shown to be semantically singular, with number neutrality arising as a consequence of interaction with aspectual specification. Taking aspectual information into account is also shown to have interesting implications for current approaches to the semantics of incorporation, one in which the incorporated nominal introduces a discourse referent, and one in which it functions as a predicate modifier. A closer look at the effect of aspect on anaphora, for example, does not unequivocally support the predicate modification view of pseudoincorporation. The paper also explores the cross-linguistic applicability of the claims made on the basis of Hindi. Most notably, a distinction between Hungarian verbs with respect to incorporation of bare singulars provides striking confirmation of the claims that number morphology is semantically visible in pseudo-incorporation. It also discusses the restrictions on the productivity of pseudo-incorporation in light of the findings for Hindi and Hungarian. (shrink)
In certain languages, scope-marking structures are used to express long-distancewh-dependencies along with or instead of the more familiar extraction structure. The existence of these two strategies raises an interesting question for the mapping between syntactic structure and semantic representation. Should apparent semantic equivalence be taken as a guide and syntactic parallelism posited at an abstract level of syntax? Or should the surface syntactic distinction between them be maintained and an alternative explanation sought for the similarity in meaning? In this paper (...) I show that theoretical as well as empirical considerations argue against the first approach. I present a syntactic analysis of scope-marking structures in which the dependency betweenwh-expressions is indirect (in contrast to extraction structures which encode directwh-dependencies). I draw attention to certain differences between scope marking and extraction structures which show that they are not really equivalent. The interpretive procedure given for indirectwh-dependencies derives the considerable similarity in meaning between the two structures while maintaining the necessary distinctions. (shrink)
This project investigates the possibility of variation in the semantic component, a new and dynamic area of study in formal approaches to semantics. Its particular focus is the effect on variation of language contact. The semantic status of classifier languages of South Asia, which have been described as marginal instances of this language type, is used to illustrate the nature of the investigation. Data from a small representative sample of such languages will be collected. The semantic system of these languages, (...) which have been in contact with languages without classifiers, will be compared with the semantic system of core classifier languages such as Chinese and Japanese. The study will enrich the theoretical base for analyses of classifier systems by introducing the data from South Asian classifier languages, hitherto unknown in the semantic literature. It will shed light on current debates on the range of semantic variation permitted in natural language. (shrink)
1.1 Wh-expressions as diagnostics of scope 1.1.1 Fronting and possible answers as indicators of scope 1.1.2 Constraints on Scope: ECP and Subjacency 1.1.3 Alternatives to Covert Movement 1.1.4 Overview of the chapter 1.2 Cross-linguistic variation in multiple -wh-questions 1.2.1 Non-fronting languages 1.2.2 Multiple -fronting languages 1.2.3 Languages without multiple -wh-questions 1.2.4 Optional-fronting languages 1.2.5 Explanations for typological variation 2 Superiority effects.
Overview A scope marking structure is characterized by the fact that it has two clauses, each of which contains wh expressions [CP-1...wh1...][CP-2...wh2(...whn)...]. While wh- 1 is a fixed lexical item, wh-2...wh-n are not. A possible answer to the question seems to specify values not for wh1 but for wh2...whn. In recent years such structures have come under a lot of scrutiny and various analyses have been proposed to account for their properties. In spite of differences in detail, these analyses can (...) be classified into two groups on the basis of the status they accord to the wh expressions. The direct dependency approach treats wh-1 as semantically inert and assigns matrix scope to wh- 2...wh-n. The indirect dependency approach, on the other hand, takes wh-1 to play a crucial role in determining what the question quantifies over. Wh-2...wh-n do not have matrix scope but play an indirect role in matrix quantification because CP-2 forms the restriction of wh-1. Seen in this light, the direct and indirect dependency approaches are not tied to particular syntactic claims about the relation between CP-1 and CP-2. Whether a particular analysis can be characterized as direct or indirect depends solely on the status of the wh expressions at transparent LF, von Stechow’s term for the level of syntactic representation that feeds into the interpretive module. (shrink)
The death of Bal Keshav Thackeray, in November 2012, has led several Indian journalists and intellectuals to think over the legacy of the supreme leader of the Shiv Sena to the Indian society. The present article means to identify the reasons which have let the Indian journalists describe the bequest of Thackeray to the Indian society in terms of a legacy of fear. The article deals with Thackeray's use of fear as a tool to arise consent around his social, (...) cultural and political thinking first and, secondly, to legitimize and justify the existence and the modus operandi of the Shiv Sena. The author dwells on the way Thackeray has been able to arise and feed social and cultural fear in order to give a meaning and a sense to his political enterprise. The article argues that the most scaring aspect of Thackeray's political discourse doesn't lie in the aims pursued and in the ways they have been pursued but in the idea of social and cultural identity it is based on. (shrink)
In giving a historically specific account of the self in early twentieth-century India, this article poses questions about the historiography of nationalist thought within which the concept of the self has generally been embedded. It focuses on the ethical questions that moored nationalist thought and practice, and were premised on particular understandings of the self. The reappraisal of religion and the self in relation to contemporary evolutionary sociology is examined through the writings of a diverse set of radical nationalist intellectuals, (...) notably Shyamji Krishnavarma, Bal Gangadhar Tilak and Har Dayal, and this discussion contextualizes Mohandas Gandhi. Over three related sites of public propaganda, philosophical reinterpretation and individual self-reinvention, the essay charts a concern with the ethical as a form of critique of liberalism and liberal nationalism. While evolutionism and liberalism often had a mutually reinforcing relationship, the Indian critique of liberalism was concerned with the formation of a new moral language for a politics of the self. (shrink)