DS-2019-05: Taking a unified perspective: Resolutions and highlighting in the semantics of attitudes and particles

DS-2019-05: Theiler, Nadine (2019) Taking a unified perspective: Resolutions and highlighting in the semantics of attitudes and particles. Doctoral thesis, University of Amsterdam.

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This dissertation develops semantic accounts of a range of expressions: attitude verbs, discourse particles, and additive particles. What all of these expressions have in common is that (i) they can be viewed as operating on the semantic content of the clause they appear with, (ii) they can appear with both declarative and interrogative clauses, and (iii) their behavior differs in interesting ways depending on the clause type they appear with.

The solutions advanced here depart from existing work in that they provide unified accounts that are applicable to both the declarative and interrogative case. This immediately predicts the distributional and selectional flexibility of the expressions under investigation and captures their meaning contribution without the need of invoking auxiliary mechanisms like type-shifting. At the same time, although unified accounts treat declarative and interrogative clauses alike, they can still predict the distributional and selectional restrictions and interpretive differences that an expression may exhibit between these two clause types. This is possible because these differences can be derived from the way in which the lexical semantics of the expression interacts with independent semantic properties of interrogative and declarative clauses.

In order to formally enable semantic accounts that unify the declarative and interrogative case, this dissertation uses unified notions of semantic content. It is assumed that declarative and interrogative clauses make the same kind of semantic objects available, and expressions like attitude verbs, discourse particles and additive particles operate on these objects. More specifically, the use of two unified notions of semantic content is explored. The notion of resolution from inquisitive semantics (Ciardelli 2018) is employed in the analysis of attitude predicates, while the notion of highlighting in the sense of Roelofsen and Farkas (2015) is used to capture the semantics of discourse particles and additive particles.

Item Type: Thesis (Doctoral)
Report Nr: DS-2019-05
Series Name: ILLC Dissertation (DS) Series
Year: 2019
Depositing User: Dr Marco Vervoort
Date Deposited: 14 Jun 2022 15:17
Last Modified: 14 Jun 2022 15:17
URI: https://eprints.illc.uva.nl/id/eprint/2167

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