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LINGUIST List 21.2354

Wed May 26 2010

Diss: Semantics/Syntax: Oliveira: 'Temporality in infinitive ...'

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        1.    Raquel Oliveira, Temporality in infinitive completive clauses subcategorized by perception and causative verbs: Analysis of a medieval Portuguese corpus

Message 1: Temporality in infinitive completive clauses subcategorized by perception and causative verbs: Analysis of a medieval Portuguese corpus
Date: 25-May-2010
From: Raquel Oliveira <raqueloliveirafcsh.unl.pt>
Subject: Temporality in infinitive completive clauses subcategorized by perception and causative verbs: Analysis of a medieval Portuguese corpus
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Institution: Universidade Nova de Lisboa
Program: Masters in Historical Linguistics
Dissertation Status: Completed
Degree Date: 2008

Author: Raquel Oliveira

Dissertation Title: Temporality in infinitive completive clauses subcategorized by perception and causative verbs: Analysis of a medieval Portuguese corpus

Linguistic Field(s): Semantics
                            Syntax

Subject Language(s): Portuguese (por)

Dissertation Director:

Dissertation Abstract:

The main purpose of this dissertation was to study the temporal relations
between infinitival completive clauses and the perception and causative
verbs that select them. Our corpus was built from Medieval Portuguese texts
from the XIIth to the XIVth century. Our analysis focused on both
perception verbs, such as ver (see) and ouvir (hear), and causative verbs,
such as fazer (make), mandar (order) and leixar (let). We started by
defining the relevant concepts of Time, Aspect and Modality. Then, we
presented a synthesis of the descriptions on the infinitive in both
Contemporary and Medieval Portuguese literature, which considers this
verbal form as neutral as far as temporal information is concerned. Next,
we have put in evidence Cunha & Silvano's (2006) proposal arguing that this
verb form has temporality marks attached. In chapter II we have described
the methodology used to build the corpus, as well as the methods and the
tools used in order to treat the data. We also showed the difficulties of
this type of investigation. In chapter III we presented the analysis of the
temporal location of non-finite clauses selected by perception and
causative verbs. We accomplished this task studying the sentences in which
this two types of verbs subcategorize infinitival clauses. For each of
these groups we presented a conclusion about similarities and differences
between the temporal value of each verb studied. In this study we
investigated whether the semantic characteristics of the main verb have
influence in the interpretation of the embedded infinitival clauses. With
this approach we expected to find out if the temporal information related
to the infinitival form is determined by the main clause. We also
investigated if the aspectual type of the verb contained in the
subordinated clause has an active role in the temporal interpretation of
the infinitive. Beside these factors, we examined the influence of others,
such as verbal tenses, durative and punctual activities, the presence of
adverbial adjuncts and eventive or stative character of the verb contained
in the complement clause. Finally, we conclude that the temporal
interpretation of the infinite complement governed by perception and
causative verbs is determined by a complex interaction of several factors
that cannot be disconnected, in particular the semantic nature of the
verbs, the modal value of the main clause and the nature of the main
clause's external argument.



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