Bob Frank

Yale University
Talk Title: 
Derivational granularity and syntax-semantics mismatches
Event Type: 
Frontiers Talk Series
Spring 2017
Monday, May 8, 2017, 2:15 pm - 3:45 pm
SBS S-218

Models of syntactic derivation differ in the atomic objects they utilize and the way in which such objects are manipulated. In this talk, I review the distinction between bottom-up and top-down derivation, and suggest  an "inside-out" alternative in which the derivational atoms include structure that is larger than a word. I then show how such an approach, when formalized in terms of Synchronous Tree Adjoining Grammar, provides an account of mismatches between syntactic and semantic scope, in the domains of adverb interpretation, quantificational scope, and lexical incoherence (a.k.a. split scope).  In the last of these, I show a new parallelism on the conditions in which such incoherence is possible in cases of negative indefinites, inverse linking, "adverbial" adjectives, and comparatives, and provide an explanation of the parallelism in terms of the locality of Tree Adjoining Grammar derivations.