At the Syntax-pragmatics Interface: Verbal Underspecification and Concept Formation in Dynamic Syntax

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Oxford University Press, 2002 - Language Arts & Disciplines - 224 pages
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This book explores the interaction of grammar and context in human communication. Lutz Marten focuses on verbs and verb phrases: he examines the relationship between language rules and linguistic behaviour, seeking to distinguish between language-specific syntactic knowledge and the generalreasoning people need to understand and to make themselves understood. He considers how the component elements of linguistic theory explain what appear to be simple utterances but whose structure is hard to analyse - how, for example, 'Fran is baking Mary a cake in the oven' is different from 'Franis baking Mary a cake in the kitchen'. The author's account of the interactions of syntax, semantics, and pragmatics is based on extensive observation among contrasting cultures and a variety of languages. He makes important contributions to understanding in all three areas. His book will appeal to linguistic theoreticians of allpersuasions.
 

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Contents

Introduction
1
A Formal Model of Utterance Interpretation
10
Arguments and Adjuncts
43
Verbal Underspecification
71
The Interpretation of Underspecified Verbs
128
Applied Verbs in Swahili
178
Conclusion
209
References
215
Index
221
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About the author (2002)


Lutz Marten has worked and studied in Hamburg, London, and Dar es Salaam. He is currently a Millennium Research Fellow at the School of Oriental and African Studies, University of London, where he works on the dynamics of interpretation and the relation between syntax, semantics, and pragmatics, as well as on the analysis of African languages, especially Swahili.

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