sentence semantics

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Information about sentence semantics
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Published on December 17, 2008

Author: aSGuest7027

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Sentence semantics : Sentence semantics Classifying meaning at sentence level : Classifying meaning at sentence level Tense Aspect Situation type Situation types : Situation types Static situations Adjectives Stative verbs Can you distinguish these two in Chinese? Dynamic situations Other verbs, mostly Dynamic verbs : Dynamic verbs Durative or punctual? John lived a long time ago John died a long time ago Telic or atelic? John baked a cake John looked hungrily at the cake Look at Matrix 5.47 What situation type are the above 4 sentences? Warning! : Warning! Saeed’s article is vague about what applies to verbs, and what applies to situations Vendler and Smith are talking about situations Be and love are stative verbs Build and gaze are telic and atelic respectively, but in I’m building a house My son is being naughty …progressive aspect makes the situations atelic and dynamic Tense and aspect : Tense and aspect The tense used in a sentence tells us when the event takes place - Johnny ate goulash. - Johnny eats goulash. - Johnny will eat goulash. Aspect gives extra time information - Johnny has eaten goulash. - Johnny is eating goulash. Tense and aspect : Tense and aspect Tense is marked by morphology in English (except cut, put…) (and then some people say there are zero morphs) Aspect is not always I’m looking for a burger I see it now I’m eating it I’m lovin’ it (Oh no I think I’m going to be sick!) All those are “happening right now” Tense: a deictic system : Tense: a deictic system Deixis mean pointing (in Greek) This and that are deictic pronouns (or determiners); his and her are not. So, question: what does deictic mean in Linguistics? Think about who is pointing, and in which direction Aspect is not deictic : Aspect is not deictic It refers to an event’s “temporal distribution or contour” 5.63: thank you, Hockett (remember him?) So aspect can describe Long/short duration Completeness/ incompleteness Repeated/ continuous Tense is just the overall location in time of the event or activity Aspect in English and other languages : Aspect in English and other languages Task: How is aspect shown in - English? - Russian? - Chinese? (Look at pages 130-133, and write a couple of sentences about each language. Give a couple of examples from each language) Modality tasks : Modality tasks Page 135 is pretty straightforward: read it again What is in between You are crazy and You are not crazy? probably, maybe, might be, must be… So, an epistemic modal verb You must be crazy (? I order you to be crazy!) A deontic modal verb You must not eat any more Big Macs How about I can reach down and touch my toes Can I have a Big Mac please? Slide 15: Rank them!

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