Unrealized arguments in SBCG

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DOI:

https://doi.org/10.21248/hpsg.2020.3

Abstract

In null instantiation (NI) an optionally unexpressed argument receives either anaphoric or existential interpretation (Fillmore, 1986; Mauner & Koenig, 2000; Kay, 2002; Ruppenhofer & Michaelis, 2010, 2014). Examples include Lexically licensed NI (Nixon resigned.), Contextual accessibility NI (Can I see?), Labelese (Contains alcohol), Diary NI (Got up, got out of bed, dragged a comb across my head), Generic-habitual NI (The police only arrest (people) when there's probable cause). We think of a predicator as having NI potential when one or more of its frame elements may remain unexpressed under certain conditions. While one cannot accurately predict a predicator's NI potential based either on semantic factors (e.g., Aktionsart class of the verb, as in Hovav & Levin (1998)) or pragmatic factors (e.g., relative discourse prominence of arguments, as in Goldberg (2006)), NI potential, while highly constrained, is not simply lexical idiosyncrasy, but is instead the product of both lexical and constructional licensing. In the latter case, a construction can endow a verb with NI potential that it would not otherwise have. Using representational tools of Sign Based Construction Grammar (Sag 2012, a.o), we offer a lexical treatment of null instantiation that covers both distinct patterns of construal of null instantiated arguments and the difference between listeme-based and contextually licensed, thus construction-based, null complementation

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Published

2020-10-15

How to Cite

Chaves, Rui P. & Kay, Paul & Michaelis, Laura A. 2020. Unrealized arguments in SBCG. Proceedings of the 27th International Conference on Head-Driven Phrase Structure Grammar 47–67. (doi:10.21248/hpsg.2020.3) (https://proceedings.hpsg.xyz/article/view/399) (Accessed December 8, 2022.)