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Studies in Formal Linguistics

Universal Patterns and Language Specific Parameters


Edited By Anna Bloch-Rozmej and Anna Bondaruk

This book investigates the nature and consequences of universal principles in four major grammar components, i.e. syntax, phonology, morphology and semantics. Language specific parameters are held responsible for the attested variation. The papers collected in this book analyse selected phenomena from English, Hungarian, Irish, Italian, Japanese, and Polish, and shed new light on the interaction of universals and parameters in the structure of individual language systems. The generative framework is adopted as the theoretical model in the majority of contributions.

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Chapter 9 Differentiating between the Syntactic Realisation of Complex Events and Complex Predicates of Irish (Brian Nolan)


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Brian Nolan

Institute of Technology Blanchardstown, Dublin

Chapter 9 Differentiating between the Syntactic Realisation of Complex Events and Complex Predicates of Irish*

Abstract: This paper applies a functional analysis to the realisation of complex events and complex predicates in Irish syntax. We motivate our analysis using Role and Reference Grammar (RRG). A functionalist approach is one that is sensitive to linguistic typology while providing a theoretical account based on actual language data to deliver a balanced intersection between a purely bottom-up data-driven approach and a top-down formulaic, theory-driven approach. Following a discussion on the importance of events in linguistic analysis, we characterise the framing of complex events within a situation. A situation is considered to be a structured entity with certain attributes that serves as a unifying device to link semantics to events through to syntax. Through the perspective of a situation, we view the set of relationships between multi-verb constructions, in single and multiple clauses, and a variety of complex events. In a sentence with multiple verbs, the multiple verbs are argued to represent individual discrete events characterised in some relation of significance and conceptualised as forming a cognitive unit with significant syntactic consequences for argument realisation and argument sharing. Through an analysis of Irish data, we analyse and characterise argument realisation in multiple events within a situation that link through the semantics of the nexus-juncture relationships. Within this RRG account, we differentiate between complex events and complex predicates, and...

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