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Presents a new theoretical framework for the origins of human language and sets key issues in language evolution in their wider context within biological and cultural evolution


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Preposition Placement in English: A Usage-Based Approach

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This is the first study that empirically investigates preposition placement across all clause types. The study compares first-language (British English) and second-language (Kenyan English) data and will therefore appeal to readers interested in world Englishes. Over 100 authentic corpus examples are discussed in the text, which will appeal to those who want to see 'real data'


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Dissertation Information


Title: The Syntax of Non-verbal Causation: The causative apomorphy of 'from' in Greek and Germanic languages Add Dissertation
Author: Alexandra Ioannidou Update Dissertation
Email: click here to access email
Degree Awarded: CUNY Graduate Center , Linguistics
Completed in:
2012
Linguistic Subfield(s): Semantics Syntax
Language Family(ies): Germanic
Director(s): Marcel den Dikken
William McClure
Christina Tortora
Thomas Leu

Abstract: This is a study of the meaning and syntax of non-(lexical)verbal causation.
Macroscopically, it examines the preposition 'from' as attested in contexts
like 'X is/comes from Y'. Syntactic diagnostics are applied to formally
distinguish the causative from the spatial interpretations of 'from'-PPs in
Greek, English, Dutch, and German. The syntactic landscape of causative
'from' will turn out to be very minimal with 'from' directly selecting the
Cause-DP, in contradistinction to its spatial counterpart, where 'from'
always selects for another PP layer. More microscopically then I focus on
the causative interpretations only, which are particularly revealing
because (i) they give an in-depth view of CAUSE, stripped of all verbal
layers⎯traditionally considered the locus of CAUSE⎯suggesting that the
source of causation in non-(lexical)verbal environments has to be the
preposition per se and (ii) they single-handedly provide a rudimentary
structure for causation, where 'from' introduces the Cause in its
complement and is predicated of the Causee. Finally, with a basic
predicational structure in place, I offer a detailed cross-linguistic
account for the syntactic mechanism that forces the use of particle verbs
in causative 'from'-less environments.