S-Space Language Education Institute (언어교육원) Language Research (어학연구) Language Research (어학연구) Volume 36 Number 1/4 (2000)
A Typology of Locatives and Event Composition in English
- Nam, Seungho
- Issue Date
- 서울대학교 언어교육원
- 어학연구, Vol.36 No.4, pp. 689-714
- This paper, based on Nam's (1995) logic of space, proposes a compositional semantics of event structures in terms of eventuality type of predicates and the semantics of locatives. The paper proposes the following typology of English locatives: (i) Stative locatives, (ii) Symmetric locatives, (iii) Telic locatives, and (iv) Atelic locatives. Extending the version of Pustejovskys (1995) Event Structure, the paper further identifies five classes of eventualities: (i) e1[state], (ii) e1[process], (iii) e1*[process]+e2[state], (iv) e1[process]+e2*[state], and (v) e1*[process]+e2*[state]. It is claimed that the following patterns of telicity shifting arise in semantic composition of predicates and locatives: (i) e1[process] → e1[process]+e2*[state], e.g., run into the room, and (ii) e1*[process]+e2[state] → e1*[process]+e2*[state], e.g., load the hay on the truck.
Defining paths as "sequences of regions" and orientations as "directed rays," the paper accounts for the contrast between telic and atelic locatives in terms of "homogeneity" of paths: Thus walk to the office is interpreted as telic, whereas walk toward the office is atelic. The paper also defines symmetric locatives like across the street as determing "symmetric" paths, which are closed under path-converse relation.
The paper interprets English locatives in terms of purely spatial concepts, so this approach provides a unified account of quantization of locative PPs as well as argument NPs based on telicity of eventuality.
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