Edited by Theresa Biberauer
[Linguistik Aktuell/Linguistics Today 132] 2008
► pp. 219–245
Mapping a parochial lexicon onto a universal semantics
In this paper, we argue that languages differ in what parts of meaning are
specified in the syntax and what parts are negotiated by the Conceptual-
Intentional systems (C-I). This leads to a kind of parametric variation, which
we illustrate with examples from Norwegian definiteness, Russian perfectivity,
Salish tense, and other natural language phenomena. Our claim is that syntactic
variation is not as great as sometimes suggested (for example, we argue that
Chinese has a D head and Salish has a T head), but nor are syntactico-semantic
representations identical across languages; LFs vary from one language to the
next, and in some cases C-I specifies what syntax/semantics does not, particularly
when it comes to reference tracking for the variables introduced by the syntax.
The result is a very clean system with no semantic module disinct from syntax
and hence no distinction between syntactic and semantic parameters.
Cited by 11 other publications
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