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Open Access Publications from the University of California

The UCSD Department of Linguistics was founded in 1965 and emphasizes theoretical, empirical and experimental approaches to the study of language. San Diego Linguistic Papers is the new on-line working papers of the UC San Diego Department of Linguistics.

Cover page of Circumstances and Perspective: The Logic of Argument Structure

Circumstances and Perspective: The Logic of Argument Structure

(2008)

This paper presents an approach to frame semantics that links a frame-based approach to lexical semantics to a standard event based semantics. A sorted logic is used to define frames and a valence theory linking valence and preposition selection predictions to the frames is given. The sorted logic provides an account whereby valences undefined for a frame yield an undefined semantics, so valence is reduced entirely to semantic selection.

Cover page of Aspectual Verbs and the Aspect Phrase Hypothesis

Aspectual Verbs and the Aspect Phrase Hypothesis

(2008)

Since influential work by Perlmutter (1968, 1970), the standard analysis of English aspectual verbs (EAVs) is that they are ambiguous between control and raising verbs. In this paper, I first argue against the control/raising analysis of EAVs by showing that: (i) there is no clear evidence that any EAV is thematic and (ii) there is no clear evidence that EAVs form bi-clausal sentences. As an alternative, I propose that EAVs are functional heads projecting their own phrases, or aspect phrases (Travis 1991), in two different positions in a clause: inside the verbal projection (between v and VP) or outside it (immediately above vP). The difference in the position of an EAV is spelled out as two different forms of their complements. When an EAV is between v and VP, it is realized as a gerundive. When an EAV is above vP, it is realized as an infinitive. I argue that the analysis accounts for the evidence used to motivate the control/raising analysis as well as previously overlooked differences among EAVs. Further arguments for the proposed analysis of EAVs are provided by data from aspectual verbs in other languages.

Cover page of Head Internal Relative Clauses, Quantifier Float, the Definiteness Effect and the Mathematics of Determiners

Head Internal Relative Clauses, Quantifier Float, the Definiteness Effect and the Mathematics of Determiners

(2008)

Keenan's account of the DEFINITENESS EFFECT associated with the English there-construction based on the notion of INTERSECTIVE DETERMINER is well-known. In Part 1 of this paper, I will consider a similar kind of effect in Japanese constructions. In particular, I shall show that a very general form of Quantifier Float and the Head Internal Relative Clause, two phenomena particularly prominent in Japanese syntax, allow us to extend the idea of the Definiteness Effect to predicates with more than one argument. I will then show in Part 2 that this idea provides an empirical motivation for extending Keenan's idea of intersective determiners to 2-dimensional (transitive) spaces. Part 2 thus concerns a mathematical extension of the classical mathematical theory of determiners to 2-dimensional spaces with its empirical grounding in Japanese syntax. Part 3 generalizes the mathematical theory introduced in Part 2 to n-dimensional spaces in general, without any empirical concern.

Part 1, Part 2 and Part 3 can in principle be read independently. Part 1 primarily concerns Japanese and is empirical and descriptive. The reader who is not particularly interested in mathematics may wish to read only Part 1. Those who are interested in the "mathematics of language" but not particularly in details of Japanese syntax may wish to skim through Part 1 and start careful reading from Part 2. On the other hand, those who are only interested in mathematics and do not care about, or wish not to be bothered by, empirical facts may wish to read only Part 3. Due to the intended relative independence of the three Parts, the reader who wishes to read through the paper from Part 1 through Part 3 may encounter some redundancy through the paper.

Part 1, sections 1-5, is a slightly revised version of the first five sections of Kuroda (2007). I wish to express my gratitude to the CSLI Publications for granting me a permission to reproduce this portion in this paper.

Cover page of Pragmatic Inference in the Interpretation of Sluiced Prepositional Phrases

Pragmatic Inference in the Interpretation of Sluiced Prepositional Phrases

(2008)

An in-depth examination of sluiced prepositional phrases reveals sluices for which interpretation is unobtainable by parallelism with an antecedent. To accommodate these, I propose sluices are licensed by serving to question an inferred argument of a semantically compatible and salient antecedent. Both a corpus investigation and a grammaticality survey provide corroboration.