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Conference Information

Full Title: DGfS Workshop: The Syntax and Semantics of Pseudo-Incorporation

Location: Potsdam, Germany
Start Date: 12-Mar-2013 - 15-Mar-2013
Contact: Olga Borik, Berit Gehrke
Meeting Email: click here to access email
Meeting URL:
Meeting Description: In recent years, a number of works have been dedicated to the phenomenon of pseudo-incorporation in various languages, such as Niuean, Hindi, Hungarian, Spanish, Catalan (Massam 2001, Farkas & de Swart 2003, Espinal & McNally 2011, Dayal 2011). Pseudo-incorporation involves the use of a bare noun in internal argument position, which shares some semantic properties with syntactically incorporated nouns (e.g. German radfahren ‘ride a bike’), such as obligatory narrow scope, inability to introduce discourse referents, or number neutrality. On the other hand, pseudo-incorporated nouns have more syntactic freedom than syntactically incorporated ones (cf. Mithun 1984, Baker 1988, van Geenhoven 1998, Chung & Ladusaw 2003): strict adjacency to the verb is not (always) required, the noun can be marked for case, the verb can show agreement with the noun, certain types of modification may be allowed.

The aim of this workshop is to bring together research on the semantics and syntax of pseudo-incorporation. Particular topics to be addressed include but are not limited to the following: Which lexical restrictions apply to nouns and verbs that participate in pseudo-incorporation? Do these restrictions hold cross-linguistically? Can we make more precise the intuition that pseudo-incorporation involves reference to some institutionalized activity? Can only nouns in internal argument position be the target of pseudo-incorporation (as is commonly assumed) or do we also find this phenomenon in other argument positions, for example with PP arguments (e.g. go beach; cf. Gehrke & Lekakou 2012)? Is number neutrality a defining feature of pseudo-incorporation or should it rather be explained on the basis of the aspectual properties of predicates involved (Dayal 2011)? Should pseudo-incorporated nouns be analyzed as predicate modifiers or as uninstantiated arguments? The nouns that take part in pseudo-incorporation share defining properties with weak definites (cf. Carlson et al. 2006), which have been analyzed as kind terms by Aguilar-Guevara & Zwarts (2011); are pseudo-incorporated nouns and weak definites just two ways to express the same semantic relation, or are there fundamental differences between the two?

Invited Speakers:

Veneeta Dayal (Rutgers)
Henriëtte de Swart (Utrecht)
Linguistic Subfield: Semantics; Syntax
LL Issue: 24.542

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