LINGUIST List 8.1014

Fri Jul 4 1997

Books: Typology

Editor for this issue: Ann Dizdar <>

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Message 1: Typology

Date: Tue, 24 Jun 1997 12:53:46 -0400
From: Ranak Jasani <>
Subject: Typology

 * FACT PROPOSITION EVENT by Philip L. Peterson, Syracuse
University, NY

 `Peterson is an authority of a philosophical and linguistic
industry that began in the 1960s with Vendler's work on
nominalization. Natural languages distinguish syntactically and
semantically between various sorts of what might be called `gerundive
entities' - events, processes, states of affairs, propositions, facts,
... all referred to by sentence nominals of various
kinds. Philosophers have worried for millennia over the ontology of
such things or `things', but until twenty years ago they ignored all
the useful linguistic evidence. Vendler not only began to straighten
out the distinctions, but pursued more specific and more interesting
questions such as that of what entities the causality relation relates
(events? facts?). And that of the objects of knowledge and belief. But
Vendler's work was only a start and Peterson has continued the task
from then until now, both philosophically and linguistically. Fact
Proposition Event constitutes the state of the art regarding gerundive
entities, defended in meticulous detail.

 Contents: Introduction. Part I: On Facts and Propositions. 1. How
to Infer Belief from Knowledge. 2. Propositions and the Philosophy of
Language. Part II: On Events. 3. On Representing Event Reference. 4.
Event. 5. What Causes Effects? 6. Anaphoric Reference to Facts,
Propositions, and Events. Part III: On Complex Events. 7. The Natural
Logic of Complex Event Expressions. 8. Complex Events. Part IV: On
Actions and `Cause's. 9. The Grimm Events of Causation. 10. Four
Grammatical Hypotheses on Actions, Causes, and `Causes'. 11.
Causation, Agency, and Natural Actions. Part V: On Causation
Statements and Laws. 12. Facts, Events, and Semantic Emphasis in
Causal Statements. 13. Which Universals are Natural Laws? Notes.
Bibliography. Index.

 1997 432 pp. Hardbound ISBN 0-7923-4568-1 $150.00
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