Indefinite Objects: Scrambling, Choice Functions, and Differential Marking

Indefinite Objects: Scrambling, Choice Functions, and Differential Marking

2012 | ISBN-10: 0262018039, 026251785X | 188 Pages | PDF | 3 MB

In Indefinite Objects, Luis L車pez presents a novel approach to the syntax-semantics interface using indefinite noun phrases as a database. Traditional approaches map structural configurations to semantic interpretations directly; L車pez links configuration to a mode of semantic composition, with the latter yielding the interpretation. The polyvalent behavior of indefinites has long been explored by linguists who have been interested in their syntax, semantics, and case morphology, and L車pez's contribution can be seen as a synthesis of findings from several traditions. He argues, first, that scrambled indefinite objects are composed by means of Function Application preceded by Choice Function while objects in situ are composed by means of Restrict. This difference yields the different interpretive possibilities of indefinite objects. L車pez's more nuanced approach to the syntax-semantics interface turns out to be rich in empirical consequences.

Second, he proposes that short scrambling also yields Differential Marking, provided that context conditions are fulfilled, while in situ objects remain unmarked. Thus, L車pez contributes to the extensive literature on Differential Object Marking by showing that syntactic configuration is a crucial factor. L車pez substantiates this approach with data from Spanish, Hindi-Urdu, Persian (Farsi), Kiswahili, Romanian, and German.

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