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Events as Grammatical Objects cover

Events as Grammatical Objects

The Converging Perspectives of Lexical Semantics and Syntax

edited Carol L. Tenny and James Pustejovsky

Research in lexical semantics, logical semantics, and syntax has demonstrated a growing recognition that the grammars of natural languages structure and refer to events in particular ways. This convergence on events as grammatical objects across these disciplines is the motivation for this volume, which brings together researchers from the areas of lexical semantics, logical semantics, and syntax specifically to address the topic of event structure. Lexical semantics and logical semantics are two enterprises that use different tools and address different questions. The focus on events in the work of lexical and logical semanticists has brought the two approaches closer together, since lexical semanticists must look outward from the verb to the sentence in order to characterize the effects of a verb's event structure; and logical semanticists have had to look inward from the sentence to the verb to represent semantic facts that depend on particular types of verbs. Meanwhile syntacticians have discovered a growing body of phenomena in which the semantics of events can be seen to interact with syntactic structures, and have had to turn to semanticists for representations of the properties associated with events. The mapping between syntax and event structure has also emerged as an important area of research. Despite the different tools, approaches, and questions with which lexical semantics, logical semantics, and syntax are concerned, there is now enough convergence on events that productive dialogue between these areas can advance our understanding of event structure in grammar. This volume specifically focuses on topics relating to events in grammar, where the work of lexical semanticists, logical semanticists, and syntacticians intersect.

Carol Tenny is Visiting Scholar at University of Massachusetts, Amherst. James Pustejovsky is a professor in the Department of Computer Science and the Center of Complex Systems at Brandeis University. He directs the Laboratory for Linguistics and Computation.


  • Contributors
  • Preface
  • I Morpho-semantic Composition of Event Structure
    • 1 A History of events in Linguistic Theory Carol Tenny and James Pustejovsky
    • 2 The Quantization Puzzle Hana Filp
    • 3 On Lexical Verb Meanings: Evidence from Salish Henry Davis and Hamida Demirdache
  • II How Phrase Structure Encodes Events
    • 4 Events Structure in Syntax Lisa Travis
    • 5 Event Structure and Engravity Elizabeth Ritter and Sara Rosen
    • 6 Event Semantics in the Lexicon-Syntax Interface Angeliek van Hout
  • III Event Structure and the Syntax and Semantics of Adverbs
    • 7 Core events and adverbial modification Carol L. Tenny
    • 8 Manners and Events Thomas Ernst
    • 9 Some Effects of Manner Adverbial on Meaning June M. Wickboldt
  • IV On Event and State Argument
    • 10 How to Tell Events Apart Alice G.B. ter Meulen
    • 11 Anti neo-Davidsonianism Graham Katz
    • 12 On Stavity and Causation Lina Pylkkänen
    • 13 Events and the Semantics of Opposition James Pustejovsky
    • 14 Some Remarks on Linguistic Uses of the Notion of “Event” Barbara Partee
  • Subject Index
  • Name Index


ISBN (Paperback): 1575862069 (9781575862064)

Subject: Linguistics; Grammar—Syntax; Semantics

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