The Weekly Newsletter of MIT Linguistics

Ling-Lunch 9/18- Tsuyoshi Sugawara

Speaker: Tsuyoshi Sugawara (Ube National College of Technology / MIT)
Title: Between Red Sox and Generative Grammar: The Lexical Semantics and Morphosyntax of the SASPAN Construction
Date/Time:Thursday, September 18, 12:30-1:45pm
Location: 32-D461

The purpose of this talk is to discuss the lexical-semantic and morpho-syntactic properties of Syntactically Attributive but Semantically Predicative Adjective-plus-Noun (SASPAN) construction,exemplified by “an adjectival analysis of cardinal numerals.” I will describe the peculiarity of the SASPAN constructions, in comparison with some other adjective-noun combinations in which the prenominal adjective combines with the head noun in a non-intersective way, and show examples of such a construction in English, Japanese and other languages. Then, by employing the framework of the Generative Lexicon Theory ( e.g., Pustejovsky 1995, Jackendoff 1997, 2002, Pustejovsky et. al. 2013) and building on the earlier findings in Sugawara (2010, 2011, 2013a,b), I will propose (i) a semantic structure for the head noun occurring in the construction, (ii) two semantic constraints on the construction, one applying to the prenominal adjective and the other to the head noun, and (iii) the mechanism by which such a construction is derived.