The Syntax and Semantics of Manner Modification: Adjectives and Adverbs

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Title: The Syntax and Semantics of Manner Modification: Adjectives and Adverbs
Authors: Alyeksyeyenko, Oleksandr
Thesis advisor: Prof. Dr. Peter Bosch
Thesis referee: Prof. Dr. Louise McNally
Prof. Dr. Roberto Zamparelli
Abstract: This dissertation is concerned with the syntax and semantics of manner adjectives and manner adverbs. Its aim is to develop a theory of manner modification that (i) accounts for the possibility for manner adjectives to occur with manner, event, and individual nouns (cf., e.g., careful driver/driving/way of driving), while keeping their semantics constant across these uses, and (ii) establishes the semantic relation that holds between manner adjectives and manner adverbs. In particular, it is argued that manner adjectives denote properties of manners of events, rather than of events themselves. This means that their occurrences with manner nouns present the most transparent syntax-semantics mapping, whereas their occurrences with event and individual nouns involve mismatches between overt syntax and logical form. Accordingly, it is shown (i) how the manners specified by manner adjectives are formally linked to the events introduced by event nouns, and (ii) where the events whose manners are specified by manner adjectives come from in the context of individual nouns. With respect to the latter point, it is suggested that the source of the relevant events is the semantics of overt or covert prepositional gerunds that are subcategorized by manner adjectives when they modify or are predicated of individual nouns (as, e.g., in a driver careful at driving). Finally, manner adverbs are argued to have complex semantics which incorporates a predicate of manners contributed by the base adjective, along with the manner function and a manner quantifier. Importantly, this semantics is motivated on (morpho)syntactic grounds, insofar as -ly adverbs are shown to have a complex internal structure of null-headed compound PPs containing the nominal morpheme -ly and the base adjective as its attributive modifier, and thus are not members of a separate lexical category or positional variants of a single major category of adverbs and adjectives, as is usually assumed. As a result, both the syntactic function and the semantic contribution of the morpheme -ly is accounted for.
Subject Keywords: syntax; semantics; manner modification
Issue Date: 18-Apr-2016
Type of publication: Dissertation oder Habilitation [doctoralThesis]
Appears in Collections:FB08 - E-Dissertationen

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