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Applicative Arguments

A Syntactic and Semantic Investigation of German and English

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Solveig Bosse

Applicative Arguments: A Syntactic and Semantic Investigation of German and English presents formal semantic and syntactic analyses of German and English applicative arguments. These arguments are nominal elements that are not obligatory parts of a sentence. Both German and English have several types of applicative arguments, including so-called benefactive and malefactive constructions. More specifically, the research relies on tests to differentiate the different types of applicative arguments based on this contribution to meaning: Some applicatives contribute only not-at-issue meaning, whereas others contribute only at-issue meaning, and still others contribute both types of meaning. These tests are applied to both German and English to uniquely identify the applicative arguments in each language. Formal analyses of the identified type of applicative arguments are presented that provide an account for each type of applicative identified for each language, explaining the applicatives’ differences and similarities.
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Acknowledgments

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This book is a revised version of my Ph.D. dissertation (2011, University of Delaware). Consequently, it would not have been possible without the help of Dr. Benjamin Bruening. Thank you for your support throughout the years! Many thanks go to my Ph.D. committee members Dr. Satoshi Tomioka, Dr. Gabrielle Hermon and Professor Dr. Daniel Hole for their support and invaluable comments. Thank you to everyone at the Department of Linguistics at the University of Delaware!

Many thanks to all the different audiences that have provided feedback on my work at conferences and workshops over the last few years. I enjoyed the discussions and they provided me with many details discussed in this book.

A big THANK YOU to everyone who has supported me since I graduated, especially to the members of the Department of Linguistics at The University of Iowa and very special thanks to the Department of English at East Carolina University. Thank you for your continued support.

To my parents Raphaele and Arnd Bosse: Thank you for you support, encouraging words, and for always being there for me – even if there’s an ocean between us. DANKE!

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