Events and Event Structure at the Limits of Grammar - EESLiG 2020 Conference

Страна: Великобритания

Город: Oxford

Тезисы до: 01.07.2020

Даты: 15.09.20 — 16.09.20

Область наук: Филологические;

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Организаторы: Faculty of Linguistics, Philology, and Phonetics at the University of Oxford.


The idea that the grammar makes reference to events has a long and storied history, going back at least to Aristotle, and revived by the works of Vendler (1967), Dowty (1979), Verkuyl (1993). More recently, Borer (2005), Ramchand (2008), and Travis (2010), among others, provide specific empirical arguments (e.g., the different roles of the subject and the object, the impact of case, the use of particles/prefixes/prepositions, etc.) that at least parts of event structure are represented grammatically. In spite of these results, an ongoing tension concerns the scope of the grammar in relation to events. To provide an illustration regarding telicity, some researchers like Rappaport Hovav (2008) wonder what it is that distinguishes verbs like EAT and PUSH, so that the former yields telicity with a certain type of object (cf., e.g., Eat the cupcake in five minutes) and the latter do not (cf., e.g., *Push the cart in five minutes); on the contrary, Borer (2005) points out that this distinction does not depend on the verbs themselves qua particular entries of our mental dictionary or lexicon, but purely on grammatical structure (either visible or abstract), and observes that verbs like PUSH do yield telicity when a compatible conceptual scene is provided (Push the button in 1 second). A consensus is far from reached in this and other areas of the representation of events.

The fundamental question encompassing discussions of this sort is: How much should we attribute to grammatical mechanisms in the encoding of event structure and how much is a function of extragrammatical processes (lexical, pragmatic, or more broadly cognitive)? Answers to questions like this one have been foundational to our understanding of the organization of the grammar itself, the extent to which aspectual and event interpretations are carried by elements of grammar (for instance, tense and aspect morphemes) or by words of descriptive category (verbs and adjectives, basically), the difference between grammaticality and acceptability, and the role of arbitrary listedness vs. generative rule-governed behaviours.

This workshop invites the exploration of questions in terms of the phonology and morphology, the syntax-semantics, and also the non-grammatical knowledge required to capture generalizations in the expression of events, in a particular language or for cross-linguistic comparison. Topics for discussion will include the following:

  • Grammatical and extra-grammatical factors in aspectual and event interpretations

  • The role of grammar in licensing telicity, durativity, and stativity

  • The relation between ‘grammatical’ (viewpoint, outer) and ‘lexical’ (situation, inner) aspect

  • Interactions between aspect and arguments, tense, modality

  • The nature of cross-linguistic variation in events and event structure

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