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Document Type:Latin Dissertation
Language of Document:English
Record Number:54851
Doc. No:TL24805
Call number:‭3205430‬
Main Entry:Minjeong Son
Title & Author:Causation and syntactic decomposition of eventsMinjeong Son
College:University of Delaware
Date:2006
Degree:Ph.D.
student score:2006
Page No:255
Abstract:A growing number of recent studies on verbal meaning have demonstrated that positing a direct mapping between the (lexical/logical) semantics and the syntax with respect to event structure can advance our understanding of numerous linguistic phenomena (e.g., Hale and Keyser 1993; Borer 1994; Travis 1994). This work presents additional empirical support for a theory of syntactic decomposition of events by demonstrating that certain facts in Korean and Indonesian can only be explained by decomposing verbs into smaller syntactic pieces that reflect subparts of a complex event structure. The theory of syntactic decomposition of predicates follows from a number of syntactic and semantic facts with regard to adverbial modification. For instance, scope ambiguity of 'again' is used as a diagnostic for the syntactic and semantic decomposition and for the existence of a result-state-denoting constituent (von Stechow 1996). By replicating the 'again' test, I argue that all morphological causatives in Korean are decomposed into roots and a causative head, regardless of whether the causative head is overtly realized in the morphology. The syntactic decomposition approach to the formation of morphological causatives ultimately leads to a unified syntactic account of morphological causatives in Korean, contrary to previous claims that such unification is not possible. The theory of syntactic decomposition also makes it possible to draw a generalization about the function of the verbal suffix -kan in Standard Indonesian. The suffix -kan gives an impression that it is multiply ambiguous since it occurs in a number of different constructions. However, by adopting the view that the syntax directly reflects event structure, I propose that all -kan constructions share the same event structure. Furthermore, I show that -kan is a morphological reflex of a result head that is contained in the event structure of a given -kan construction. This work further raises a question regarding whether encoding of event structure, in particular, causation, in the syntax is invariant across languages. Detailed examination of morphological causatives in Korean and Standard Indonesian indicates that although both languages form causative verbs by means of an overt morpheme, they nevertheless differ in terms of which semantic component of causation is reflected in the morpho-syntax.
Subject:Language, literature and linguistics; Causation; Event decomposition; Indonesia; Korea; Syntactic decomposition; Verbal meaning; Linguistics; 0290:Linguistics
Added Entry:University of Delaware