Ling L: Topics in Predication (advanced)

Ur Shlonsky (University of Geneva) Marcel den Dikken (ELTE & Hungarian Research Centre for Linguistics)

Week 1: Predication and argument-structure alternations (Marcel den Dikken)

The aim of this three-day intensive mini-seminar is to introduce and discuss fundamental issues arising in connection with the projection of argument structure into syntax, with particular reference to the instructor’s work on the topic (rooted in Den Dikken 2006, Relators and Linkers). Session 1 will address the syntactic representation of predication relations (locality, asymmetry, non-directionality, domain-insensitivity). In session 2, the syntax of argument-structure changing operations is discussed (with particular emphasis on the causative/inchoative and active/passive alternations). Session 3 examines the syntax of apparently non-local relations between predicates and their arguments (‘clefting’, ‘raising’).

Week 2: Copular sentences and locality theory (Ur Shlonsky)

A copular sentence such as “this person is my best friend” has an inverted counterpart, namely, “My best friend is this person”. Many intriguing questions arise when we consider in detail how the two sentences are syntactically related, some of which were adressed by Marcel den Dikken in the first part of this class. I will pursue a somewhat different path and specifcially address the locality (read: Relativized Minimality) problem posed by the derivation of inverted copular sentences.