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LINGUIST List 20.2820

Wed Aug 19 2009

Diss: Semantics/Syntax: Troseth: 'Adicity and Reference: Middle...'

Editor for this issue: Di Wdzenczny <dilinguistlist.org>

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        1.    Erika Troseth, Adicity and Reference: Middle voice and its components

Message 1: Adicity and Reference: Middle voice and its components
Date: 19-Aug-2009
From: Erika Troseth <erika.trosethgmail.com>
Subject: Adicity and Reference: Middle voice and its components
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Institution: City University of New York
Program: Linguistics Program
Dissertation Status: Completed
Degree Date: 2009

Author: Erika Troseth

Dissertation Title: Adicity and Reference: Middle voice and its components

Linguistic Field(s): Semantics

Dissertation Director:
Robert Fiengo
Chritina Tortora
William McClure

Dissertation Abstract:

In this thesis I provide an analysis of middle voice sentences (as in The
book reads well, El libro se lee bien, Das Buch liest sich leicht) in which
the characterizing feature of middles is a mismatch with respect to
predicate adicity and the number of argument expression occurrences in the
syntactic structure.

Throughout the thesis I rely on the distinction between linguistic types
and linguistic tokens. Thus, although it might rightly be said, when
considering orthography or phonology, that in the sentence Lolita si legge
facilemente, there are two items: si and Lolita, we can also rightly say,
when considering syntax or semantics, that together si and Lolita
constitute a single abstract object.

A significant feature of the analysis is indeed the proposal that the
syntactic subject of middles and the weak reflexive together formally
constitute a single syntactic object. The analysis predicts the various
properties of the weak reflexive that appears in many languages' middle
voice sentences, including their Case, referential, and agreement
properties. Taking the aforementioned mismatch to be the core
characterization of middles predicts that they are morphologically and
semantically less restricted than previously thought. Data presented in the
thesis support this conclusion.

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