Article published in:The Limits of Syntactic Variation
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 arespecified in the syntax and what parts are negotiated by the Conceptual-Intentional systems (C-I). This leads to a kind of parametric variation, whichwe illustrate with examples from Norwegian definiteness, Russian perfectivity,Salish tense, and other natural language phenomena. Our claim is that syntacticvariation is not as great as sometimes suggested (for example, we argue thatChinese has a D head and Salish has a T head), but nor are syntactico-semanticrepresentations identical across languages; LFs vary from one language to thenext, and in some cases C-I specifies what syntax/semantics does not, particularlywhen 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 syntaxand hence no distinction between syntactic and semantic parameters.
Published online: 17 September 2008
Cited by 11 other publications
No author info given
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