The relevance of phrasal compounds for the architecture of grammar

Trips, Carola

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Document Type: Working paper
Year of publication: 2013
Place of publication: Mannheim
Publication language: English
Institution: School of Humanities > Anglistik IV - Anglistische Linguistik/Diachronie (Trips 2006-)
Subject: 400 Language, linguistics
Abstract: This paper provides a full account of phrasal compounds (PCs) in Jackendoff’s model of Parallel Architecture. PCs are very interesting from a theoretical point of view since they challenge traditional (generative) frameworks based on syntactocentricity and a strict division between the lexicon and grammar. That is why all the analyses proposed so far have failed to fully account for them. I will show that a model like Jackendoff’s which is not based on these tenets is able to handle PCs in a much more satisfying way. On the basis of an empirical study of PCs gained from the British National Corpus (BNC) it will be shown that an analysis based on Conceptual Semantics can account better for the phenomenon and that a distinction should be made between those PCs which contain a predicate in their phrasal non-head and those which do not since semantically they behave differently. Whereas the former type is based on the IS-A relation (e.g. this “Steffi is Great” attitude, the latter type is based on general functions assumed for N+N compounds (e.g. a “chicken and egg” situation. Thus, the syntactic structure of PCs belies their true nature, implying that it is not the phrasal structure of PCs which is critical for an adequate interpretation but their conceptual-semantic properties. Further, it will be shown that the “expressive flavour” attributed to PCs can be explained by the interplay between the IS-A relation for the first type of PC, and basic functions for the second type of PCs, the morphological redundancy rule for NNCs, type (mis)matching and, as a result, instances of metonymic coercion. Since this morphological phenomenon can be analysed adequately in a model where semantic structures are built in an independent generative component of semantics linked via components of interface rules to generative components of syntax and phonology, it provides us with new insights into the place of morphology and more generally into the architecture of grammar.

Dieser Eintrag ist Teil der Universitätsbibliographie.

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