Nominal Modification

The Research Training Group on Nominal Modification at the Goethe University Frankfurt

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Colloquium: Elly van Gelderen

On Tuesday, June 18th, at 4pm in SH 5.105, Elly van Gelderen (Arizona State University) will be giving a talk in the GK colloquium.

Title: Remarks on nominal modification

Abstract: This talk investigates a number of facets regarding prenominal modifiers, some of it based on your (Uni Frankfurt grad students) interests and some on mine, the aspect and argument structure of deverbal modifiers. I’ll start with your work and discuss the DP from its higher to lower layers: what-for split in Early Modern English, adjective-ordering, three types of adjectives. This will show an expanding DP, at least in the history of English. Regarding argument structure, I’ll discuss two topics, past participles as diagnostic for unaccusatives and changes in a verb’s argument structure as affecting the modifier. English past participles of unaccusative verbs have been taken to modify nouns but not those of unergatives. However, the difference between unaccusatives and unergatives is not always clear-cut (e.g. Keller & Sorace). I will therefore discuss two classes of non-core verbs and how they fare as pre-modifiers. I then examine a change in the argument structure of the verb `fear’ to see whether the deverbal adjective use lags behind.

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