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LINGUIST List 23.3065

Sun Jul 15 2012

Books: Gradient acceptability at the grammar-pragmatics interface: a study of the constraints on middle formation in English: de la Maza

Editor for this issue: Danniella Hornby <daniellalinguistlist.org>

Date: 11-Jul-2012
From: Ulrich Lueders <lincom.europat-online.de>
Subject: Gradient acceptability at the grammar-pragmatics interface: a study of the constraints on middle formation in English: de la Maza
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Title: Gradient acceptability at the grammar-pragmatics interface: a
study of the constraints on middle formation in English
Series Title: LINCOM Studies in English Linguistics 17
Published: 2012
Publisher: Lincom GmbH
                http://www.lincom-shop.eu

Author: Casilda GarcĂ­a de la Maza
Paperback: ISBN: 9783862883073 Pages: 147 Price: Europe EURO 62.80
Abstract:

It is not always clear what counts as a good middle sentence in English.
Whereas examples like 'This book reads well' or 'Roald Dahl translates easily'
seem to be readily acceptable, the same cannot be said of others like 'This
book reads' or 'French acquires easily'. This book offers a comprehensive
account of the English middle construction and the restrictions on its
formation.

Based on a careful analysis of the semantic idiosyncrasy and the
grammatical properties of the construction, the author investigates the
manner in which middles are spreading and shows that not all new middles
exhibit the same degree of acceptability. A number of constraints are
identified as being responsible for this gradience. The extent to which each of
them affects middle acceptability and the way in which they interact with one
another is investigated, leading to an amendment of some of the existing
proposals regarding the issue of what a middle sentence can or cannot be.
The analysis relies on a substantial amount of data obtained by eliciting
acceptability judgements from native speakers, on a theory of gradient
acceptability, and on a consideration of aspects of language use and
sentence-processing, and not of language-internal aspects only.

Linguistic Field(s): Pragmatics
                            Semantics

Subject Language(s): English (eng)

Written In: English (eng)

See this book announcement on our website:
http://linguistlist.org/pubs/books/get-book.cfm?BookID=61197


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