Zum aktuellen Stand der Linguistik und ihrer Teildisziplinen. Akten des 43. Linguistischen Kolloquiums in Magdeburg 2008 / The Present State of Linguistics and its Sub-Disciplines. Proceedings of the 43rd Linguistics Colloquium, Magdeburg 2008
Edited By Katrin Schöpe, Renate Belentschikow, Angelika Bergien and Armin Burkhardt
This volume contains the revised versions of 63 papers, written in German, English and French. It considers a broad spectrum of topics and findings from various areas of linguistics and thereby offers a critical review of the field. The authors address questions ranging from grammar, semantics, text and discourse pragmatics to issues from the field of applied linguistics. The volume is concluded by studies on contrastive linguistics and foreign language pedagogy.
A Purring and Screeching Human Being: Different Measures of Linguistic Acceptability
Irina Pasenkova, Barcelona
According to standard assumptions the current linguistic concepts agent and patient have been investigated by a few linguists: Reinhart (2002), Dowty (1991), Jackendorf (1990), Kiparsky (1985) and Lakoff (1966). An agent is an event participant who carries out some dynamic activity. A patient is a participant who does not carry out any activity and is undergoing some activity in the event described in the utterance. Lakoff (1966) considers the subject as an agent in case it is accompanied by the predicates expressing motion, volition and responsibility. All listed attributes specify the subject as an active one to accomplish deliberate conscious activity. In respect of the verbs of speaking the concept agent seems to be inapplicable. For instance, in the sentence She said the subject is interpreted differently as compared with the sentence She squealed. The first case describes the subject as a dynamic entity committing the speech act purposefully. The second utterance assigns the subject a different interpretation. The agent possesses the only attribute: motion. The other two characteristics (volition and responsibility) do not belong to the subject. The question is: if the definition “activity” is appropriate for the subject in the sentence She squealed. Probably it is better to use the definition “non-passivity” for the situations which the subject takes part in, but his role is “not quite active”. For example, the subjects in the sentences
1) a. Mary gave a start
b. Basil blurted out
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