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 'Thisbook reads' or 'French acquires easily'. This book offers a comprehensiveaccount of the English middle construction and the restrictions on itsformation.

Based on a careful analysis of the semantic idiosyncrasy and thegrammatical properties of the construction, the author investigates themanner in which middles are spreading and shows that not all new middlesexhibit the same degree of acceptability. A number of constraints areidentified as being responsible for this gradience. The extent to which each ofthem affects middle acceptability and the way in which they interact with oneanother is investigated, leading to an amendment of some of the existingproposals regarding the issue of what a middle sentence can or cannot be.The analysis relies on a substantial amount of data obtained by elicitingacceptability judgements from native speakers, on a theory of gradientacceptability, and on a consideration of aspects of language use andsentence-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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