Nominal Modification

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Colloquium: Peter Hallman

On Tuesday, January 14th GK Colloquium will be hosting a talk by Peter Hallman entitled Comparison and adjective ordering in Arabic. See below for the abstract. 

When: 4:15 pm-6:00 pm
Where: SH 0.107

Comparison and adjective ordering in Arabic

Adjective ordering in English and Arabic have been analyzed as mirror images of each other. Noun phrases in the two languages are structurally isomorphic, but reversed in linear order. Some differences seem to militate against this conclusion, though: English ’a taller man than my mother’ is contradictory because it compels us to attribute the property ‘tall man’ to my mother, whereas the post-posed counterpart ‘a man taller than my mother’ does not. The Arabic counterpart is identical in form and interpretation to the latter, and therefore should not be analyzed as the mirror image of ‘taller man’. However, I claim that these differences have more to do with the distribution of the comparative morpheme in the two languages than with adjective ordering as such, and so do not imperil an essentially uniform analysis of English and Arabic NP structure. I discuss extraposition and the distribution of ‘quantity adjectives’ in both languages in this connection.

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