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Information about artotSuB

Published on November 19, 2007

Author: Samuel



Article use across languages: an OT typology:  Article use across languages: an OT typology Henriëtte de Swart & Joost Zwarts Utrecht University Referents in conversational space:  In languages like English, the indefinite article is used to set up (discourse) referents (Kamp, Heim, etc.). A studenti came to my office. Hei had a question about the exam. Discourse pronoun picks up discourse referent introduced by indefinite. Referents in conversational space Determined reference:  Determined reference The definite article is used with unique/maximal referents, or in anaphoric contexts: determined reference (Farkas). I love you more than the sun and the stars. (uniqueness/maximality) A child was playing in the park. The funny little creature wore a green hat, and purple socks. (anaphoricity) Plural morphology:  Plural morphology In English, plural morphology is sufficient to introduce a discourse referent. Mary bought *apple/an apple/apples/some apples. Farkas and de Swart (2003): plural morphology introduces a presupposed plural discourse referent (binding of dr by determiner, or accomodation). Correspondences in nominal domain:  Correspondences in nominal domain Dr: A determiner (form) corresponds with the presence of a discourse referent (meaning). Def: A definite article (form) corresponds with a discourse referent with determined reference (meaning). Plur: Plural morphology on the noun (form) corresponds with a predication of plurality on a presupposed discourse referent (meaning). Language variation:  Language variation Generality of article interpretation: definite and indefinite articles, and plural morphology in other languages make roughly the same contributions to discourse meaning. But: we don’t find plural morphology and article use in all languages. Many languages use bare nominals. Example: Chinese:  Example: Chinese Wò kànjiàn xióng le. [Mandarin Chinese] I see bear Asp ‘I saw a bear/some bears.’ Gou hen jiling. Dog very smart. ‘The dog is intelligent/dogs are intelligent.’ Two questions:  Two questions What is the distribution of articles across languages? OT typology of article use (correspondence rules) What is the interpretation of bare nominals? Cross-linguistic semantics Universal cognition:  Universal cognition Assumption: setting up referents in discourse space, and referring to them involves general cognitive operations, which are related to the way we organize our conversational space around the individuals that we talk about. Central question:  Central question Central question: why do certain languages (e.g. English) encode these cognitive operations in the functional structure of nominals, whereas other languages (e.g. Chinese) do not. Possible answer: parametrization. Parametrization:  Parametrization Chierchia (1998): article use is related to a (semantic) parameter of universal grammar, which opposes e.g. English to Chinese. Wò kànjiàn xióng le. [Mandarin Chinese] I see bear Asp ‘I saw a bear/some bears.’ John bought *(a) kitten. Bare singular constructions:  Bare singular constructions Prediction: English never uses bare (count) singulars. John is in hospital (Location) the way to use knife and fork (Coordination) Mary is chair of the department (Predication) He found door after door closed (Reduplication) She is playing piano for the choir (Incorporation) Growing interest in bare singulars:  Growing interest in bare singulars Location: Stvan (1998) Coordination: Heycock & Zamparelli (2003) Predication: Matushansky & Spector (2005), de Swart, Winter & Zwarts (2005) Reduplication: Jackendoff (2005) Incorporation: Van Geenhoven (1998), Dayal (1999), Farkas & de Swart (2003) Bare singulars are special:  Bare singulars are special Construction specificity (in bed/*eat apple) Restricted modification (in bed/*in double bed) Non-referentiality (no antecedent for discourse pronoun) Number neutrality (Jan en Marie zijn leraar, ‘Jan and Marie are teacher’) Stereotypical interpretation (in jail means incarcerated, not visiting, cf. in the jail). Taking stock:  Taking stock Conclusion: we need a more fine-grained system of interacting constraints, to distinguish more languages classes, and account for exceptions. Alternative: we can capture the generalizations of a parameter-based approach in an OT typology. Furthermore, bi-directional OT accounts for the special use of bare nominal constructions in English. OT typology of article use:  OT typology of article use Typology based on conflicting forces, pulling languages in different directions (economy in form vs. faithfulness to discourse meaning). Bare form most economical form Language classes (i)-(iii):  Language classes (i)-(iii) (i) no plural morphology, no article use (Chinese) (ii) singular/plural distinction, but no articles (Hindi, Slavic languages) (iii) definite article, but no indefinite one (Hebrew). Language classes (iv)-(vi):  Language classes (iv)-(vi) (iv) no definite/indefinite contrast, presence of determiner on all nominals in argument position (St’át’imcets) (v) definite and indefinite article in singular, but only definite article in the plural; definite plurals contrast with bare plurals (English) (vi) definite and indefinite articles in singular as well as in plural (French). WYSIWYG (in syntax):  WYSIWYG (in syntax) What You See Is What You Get: syntactic projections must be motivated. [DP [NumP [NP]]]. If no number distinctions, no NumP. If no article (determiner), no DP. Higher projections license lower ones: if DP, then also NumP. Markedness constraints :  Markedness constraints *FunctN: Avoid functional structure in the nominal domain. *Art: Avoid Article {*FunctN, *Art} >> {faithfulness constraints governing number, articles} Language without number, articles (Chinese). Chinese:  Chinese {*Art, *FunctN} >> {constraints for number, article use} Wò kànjiàn xióng le. [Chinese] I see bear Asp ‘I saw a bear/bears.’ Gou juezhong le. Dog extinct Asp. ‘Dogs are extinct.’ Gou hen jiling. Dog very smart. ‘The dog/dogs are intelligent.’ FPl:  FPl FPl: plural must be expressed in the functional projection of the nominal. FPl >> {*Art, *FunctN}: language projects NumP, but no articles. burtebi goravs [Georgian] balls:pl:nom roll:3sg ‘Balls/The balls are rolling.’ FDef:  FDef FDef: determined reference must be expressed. FDef >> *Art: definite/bare contrast. dan ra’a namer [Hebrew] Dan saw tiger ‘Dan saw a tiger’ namer/ha-namer hu xaya torefet tiger/ the-tiger is animal carnivorous ‘the tiger is a carnivorous animal’ FDr:  FDr Fdr: Parse a discourse referent by means of a functional layer above NP. {Fdr, FPl} >> {*Art, *FunctN} No bare singulars in argument position. Salish languages (Matthewson 1998): in argument position determiner always required. St’at’imcets:  St’at’imcets tecwp-mín-lhkan ti púkw-a lhkúnsa Buy.appl-1sg.sub det book-det today ‘I bought a/the book today.’ No determiner in predicative construction. kúkwpi7 kw s-Rose Chief det nom-Rose ‘Rose is a chief’ *ti kúkwpi7-a kw s-Rose det chief-det det nom-Rose Def/indef contrast :  Def/indef contrast {Fdr, FDef, FPl} >> {*Art,*FunctN} With strong number morphology on noun, either Num or D can introduce dr. No bare singulars in regular argument position. Bare plurals OK. I bought *(a) book/books. [English] *(The) dinosaur is/dinosaurs are extinct. Indefinite singular (English):  Indefinite singular (English) Bare plural (English):  Bare plural (English) French:  French Weak number morphology does not introduce discourse referent; only D introduces dr. J’ai lu *(un) livre/ *(des) livres. [French] I read *(a) book/ *(indef-pl) books. I read a book/books. Typology in OT I:  Typology in OT I No number, no articles (Chinese): {*Art, *FunctN} >> {FPl, FDef, Fdr} Number, but no articles (Hindi, Slavic): FPl >> {*Art, *FunctN} >> {FDef, Fdr} Number and definite article (Hebrew): {FDef, FPl} >> {*Art, *FunctN} >> Fdr. Typology in OT II:  Typology in OT II Number and general determiner (Salish): {FPl, Fdr} >> {*Art, *FunctN} >> FDef + deficient number morphology. Number and articles in sg (English): {FDef, FPL, Fdr} >> {*Art, *FunctN}. Number and articles in sg/pl (French): {FDef, FPL, Fdr} >> {*Art, *FunctN} + deficient number morphology. From typology to semantics:  From typology to semantics So far: OT typology provides alternative for parameter-based approach. More language classes, because of interacting constraints. Cross-linguistic semantics of bare nominals: Why do bare nominals in different languages have different meanings? Answer: bi-directional OT links semantics to ranking of syntactic constraints English bare plurals are indefinite:  English bare plurals are indefinite Strong bidirectional OT: English bare plurals are non-definite, because definiteness is explicitly encoded in the definite article. Definite/indefinite bare nominals:  Definite/indefinite bare nominals Bare nominals are indefinite in all languages that have an overt definite article (English, Hebrew) Bare nominals in languages that have no definite/indefinite contrast are neutral with respect to determined reference (Hindi, Chinese) Discourse referentiality of bare nominals:  Discourse referentiality of bare nominals Fdr >> *Art (English, French, Salish) implies: no bare singulars in argument position. Arg: parse an XP in argument position as a discourse referent (where X = N,Num,D). In argument position, Fdr (syntax) and Arg (semantics) work together: An XP that is parsed as a discourse referent must be marked as such. Indefinite singulars in English:  Indefinite singulars in English Bare singulars in English:  Bare singulars in English Prediction 1: bare singulars in languages like English do not occur in regular argument positions. I saw *bear/a bear/the bear/bears/the bears. Prediction 2: bare singulars in English can occur if we escape Arg (nominal in non-referential position). Non-referential bare singulars :  Non-referential bare singulars John is in hospital (Location) the way to use knife and fork (Coordination) Mary is chair of the department (Predication) He found door after door closed (Reduplication) She is playing piano for the choir (Incorporation) No antecedent for discourse pronoun:  No antecedent for discourse pronoun Pat is in prison. ?It is a 3-story concrete building. (Stvan 1998) Door after door was closed. ?It was securely locked. Ik weet dat Peter viool speelt. ?Kan hij ‘m meenemen? (I know that Peter plays the violin. Can he take it along?) Number neutrality:  Number neutrality If bare singulars lack a Num projection, no singular/plural semantics. Jan en Sofie zijn leraar [Dutch] Jan and Sofie are teacher ‘Jan and Sofie are teachers’ Mari bélyeget gyüjt. [Hungarian] Marie stamp.Acc collect ‘Marie collects stamps.’ Restricted modification:  Restricted modification If adjectives do not attach to NP, but higher, modification is restricted. *in American hospital *He bought black hat and checkered shirt *Annie is experienced head of department *miserable day after awful day *Peter is playing attuned guitar Bare consequences:  Bare consequences Arguments ~ referents ~ projections No arguments  Construction specificity No discourse referent  Non-referentiality No projections  Number neutrality No projections and no discourse referent  Restricted modification Stereotypicality:  Stereotypicality Stereotypical meanings are enrichments of underspecified lexical meanings driven by convention, encyclopedic knowledge, cultural models, qualia, frames, scripts and scenarios, defining what is normal, natural, typical, customary, institutionalized. Strongest meaning hypothesis :  Strongest meaning hypothesis Strength favours stronger, more informative, richer meanings. Strength and *Art together:  Strength and *Art together Strength and *Art together:  Strength and *Art together Where CAP represents the stronger professional, capacity reading, and REL the weaker, Carlsonian realization reading (de Swart, Winter and Zwarts 2007) Typological results:  Typological results Not all languages use plural morphology and articles, but they all convey the same discourse meanings. The OT typology links the presence/absence of morpho-syntactic structure in the nominal domain to the tension between markedness constraints (preference for bare forms) and faithfulness constraints (correspondence between discourse meanings and form). Semantic results:  Semantic results Strong bi-directional OT links the cross-linguistic semantics of bare nominals to the constraint ranking of the grammar. Weak bi-directional OT accounts for the exceptional distribution and interpretation of bare (count) singular constructions in languages like English.

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