Thu 14 March – Kyle Jerro

Speaker: Kyle Jerro (University of Essex)
Title: Discourse sensitivity in argument realization
Date: Thu 14 March
Location: Lipsius 1.28
Time: 16.15 – 17.30

Since at least Davidson (1967), semanticists have debated the relationship between a verbal predicate and its associated participants and, specifically, how participants of an event are related to the argument structure. In the Montagovian tradition of Dowty (1979,1989,1991), most approaches investigate the relevant lexical entailments associated with verbs (via event templates) and argument positions. In this talk, I present data from applicative morphology which show that certain argument realization facts require analysis beyond truth conditions and are sensitive to discourse. Specifically, I analyze applicative morphology in the Bantu language Bemba (Zambia), where applicatives mark intensification and focus as well as the more traditionally-discussed function of licensing a novel object. I conclude by linking these empirical observations to the broader theory of argument structure.

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