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23 - Key Topics in Semantics: Presupposition, Anaphora, (In)definite Nominal Phrases, Deixis, Tense and Aspect, Negation

from Part Five - Semantics and Pragmatics

Published online by Cambridge University Press:  23 June 2022

Adam Ledgeway
Affiliation:
University of Cambridge
Martin Maiden
Affiliation:
University of Oxford
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Summary

This chapter reviews the role played by linguistic evidence from the Romance languages in shaping contemporary semantic research. The discussion focuses on a selection of phenomena that have important ramifications for the form–meaning mapping (presupposition, anaphora, (in)definiteness, deixis, tense, negation). For each phenomenon some particularly remarkable cases are discussed, for which research into Romance languages has substantially contributed to theoretical models and analytical advances in the field of semantics. At the same time, a number of outstanding issues are singled out, for which Romance data may prove decisive in future research. From the non-exhaustive overview provided in this chapter, two conclusions emerge most clearly. First, Romance linguistics has proven to be very influential for semantic research thanks to the wide display of microvariation within the Romance family, which represents an ideal testing ground for theories of the form–meaning interface. Second, the diachronic depth that can be reached in examining Romance data is instrumental in opening up new perspectives for research into the historical development of semantic categories.

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Chapter
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Publisher: Cambridge University Press
Print publication year: 2022

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References

Selected References

Bertinetto, P. M. and Squartini, M. (2016). ‘Tense and aspect’. In Ledgeway, A. and Maiden, M. (eds), The Oxford Guide to the Romance Languages. Oxford: Oxford University Press, 939–53.Google Scholar
Carlier, A. and Lamiroy, B. (2018). ‘The emergence of the grammatical paradigm of nominal determiners in French and in Romance: comparative and diachronic perspectives’. Canadian Journal of Linguistics 63: 141–66.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
Cruschina, S. (2011). Discourse-Related Features and Functional Projections. Oxford: Oxford University Press.Google Scholar
Gianollo, C. (2018). Indefinites between Latin and Romance. Oxford: Oxford University Press.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
Labelle, M. and Espinal, M. T. (2014). ‘Diachronic changes in negative expressions: the case of French’, Lingua 145: 194225.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
Ledgeway, A., (2020). ‘Rethinking microvariation in Romance demonstrative systems’. In Bárány, A., Biberauer, T., Douglas, J., and Vikner, S. (eds), Syntactic Architecture and Its Consequences. II. Between Syntax and Morphology. Open Generative Syntax Series. Berlin: Language Science Press, 451–90.Google Scholar
Ledgeway, A., Schifano, N., and Silvestri, G. (2019a). ‘Differential object marking and the properties of D in the dialects of the extreme south of Italy’, Glossa: A Journal of General Linguistics 4(1): 511–25.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
Manzini, M. R. and Savoia, L. (2011). Grammatical Categories. Variation in Romance Languages. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
Martins, A. M. (2000). ‘Polarity items in Romance: underspecification and lexical change’. In Pintzuk, S., Tsoulas, G., and Warner, A. (eds), Diachronic Syntax. Models and Mechanisms. Oxford: Oxford University Press, 191219.Google Scholar
Poletto, C. (2016). ‘Negation’. In Ledgeway, A. and Maiden, M. (eds), The Oxford Guide to the Romance Languages. Oxford: Oxford University Press, 833–46.Google Scholar
Traugott, E. and König, E. (1991). ‘The semantics-pragmatics of grammaticalization revisited’. In Traugott, E. and Heine, B. (eds), Approaches to Grammaticalization, I: Focus on Theoretical and Methodological Issues. Amsterdam: Benjamins, 189218.CrossRefGoogle Scholar

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