Yukiko Asano

Affiliation: 
Stony Brook University
Talk Title: 
Thematic Resultative Expressions in English and Japanese: A view from the Syntax of Event Aspect
Event Type: 
Dissertation Defense
Semester: 
Fall 2012
Date: 
Monday, December 3, 2012, 12:00 pm
Location: 
S207 Social and Behavioral Sciences Building

Abstract:  

This dissertation examines the cross-linguistic behavior of Thematic Resultative Expressions in English and Japanese from the viewpoint of syntax-semantics mappings of event aspects, and discusses the source of some of their well-recognized syntactic and syntactico-semantic properties.

Thematic Resultative Expressions (e.g. John smashed the cake flat) are known to be subject to the so-called Direct Object Restriction (Levin and Rappaport Hovav 1995), which is not observed among mono-clausal sentences involving other types of secondary predicates. Furthermore, Thematic Resultative Expressions characteristically describe an event with an endpoint, where the state denoted by the secondary predicate (e.g. flat) is understood to be true of the entity referred to by the nominal element only as a consequence of an event denoted by an entire predicate. Interestingly, while Thematic Resultative Expressions in English and Japanese both show the above-mentioned properties, suggesting parallel syntactico-semantic mechanisms are involved in both, they also exhibit different degrees of verbal dependency in regard to aspectual properties; Thematic Resultative

Expressions in Japanese are derived exclusively with verbs forming predicates with an intrinsic endpoint, whereas Thematic Resultative Expressions in English may be derived with verbs forming predicates that do not have this aspectual property.

I provide a formal syntactic analysis of Thematic Resultative Expressions that incorporates syntax-semantics mappings of event aspects, and explain the different degrees of verbal dependency found in Thematic Resultative Expressions in English and Japanese. I also show how the proposed account of Thematic Resultative Expressions explains the core properties of Thematic Resultative Expressions.