Download Middle Voice: A Comparative Study in the Syntax-Semantics by Markus Steinbach PDF

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By Markus Steinbach

This paintings bargains an research of the syntax and semantics of transitive reflexive sentences in German, that is embedded within the significant phenomenon of the center voice in Indo-European languages. It integrates the translation of non-argument reflexives right into a transformed model of contemporary theories of binding. the anomaly of the reflexive pronoun is derived on the interface among syntax and semantics and doesn't depend on extra lexical or syntactic principles of argument suppression and argument advertising. This shift in the direction of the semantic interpretation of syntactic arguments allows the writer to provide a unified research of the center, the anticausative and the reflexive interpretations. additionally, the an important contrast among structural and indirect case kinds is mentioned and it truly is illustrated how particular houses of heart structures equivalent to adverbial amendment or topic accountability may be regarding the standard interpretation of center buildings.

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Additional resources for Middle Voice: A Comparative Study in the Syntax-Semantics Interface of German (Linguistik Aktuell Linguistics Today, LA 50)

Example text

Apart from that, there is a second restriction on middle formation: individuallevel predicates like wissen (‘know’) in (14a), können (‘be able’, ‘know’) in (14b), heißen (‘be called’) in (14c), or abstammen (‘be descended’) in (14d) cannot undergo middle formation at all. We will argue in Chapter 7 that middle constructions are characterizing or habitual sentences which involve generic quantification over the first semantic argument and the event (or situation) variable. Hence, individual-level predicates, which do not select an event or situation variable, are excluded from middle formation.

1 we will focus on verbs in middle constructions. 2 we turn to the syntactic subject of middle constructions. 4 we discuss adverbs and further (semantic) issues.  Verbs in the middle construction In (7) we see further examples of typical ‘personal’ or ‘transitive’ middle constructions that correspond to transitive sentences in the active voice. All examples contain verbs that select two semantic arguments. In the following we mention the (in-)transitivity of the corresponding active sentences in parenthesis in each case.

In the next section we present examples from other Indo-European languages to illustrate this point. And in the final section of this chapter we will argue that transitive reflexive sentences in German are part of a major phenomenon: the diathesis of the middle voice. . The interpretation of weak reflexive pronouns in Indo-European languages In this section we will confine ourselves to morphosyntactically and semantically related constructions in other modern Indo-European languages. We will see that the ambiguity of the reflexive pronoun observed in German is a widespread phenomenon that can be found in many Indo-European (as well as non-Indo-European) languages.

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