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The real semantic value is propositional: German particle verbs and state change

  • We argue that properties with a nominal origin get transferred regularly in certain Gentian particle verb constructions to properties that are propositional insofar as they characterize the temporal structure of eventualities, understood to be described by propositional (= truth-assessable) representations of state changes. Accordingly, the oft-noted perfectivizing function of certain verbal particles like ein- in einfahren ('pull in', cf. Kühnhold 1972) is the effect of redressing a conflict at the syntax-semantics interface: On the one hand, constructions like in [die Grube]acc einfahren ('pull into the mine’) exhibit transitive syntax (Gehrke 2008), requiring that the syntactic arguments be mapped onto well-distinguished or DIFFERENT referents in the semantics (Kemmer 1993). On the other hand, in/ein codes a spatio-temporal inclusion relation between its relata, contradicting the requirement imposed by the transitive syntax. Following Brandt (2019), we submit that the interface executes a manoeuvre that delays the interpretation of part of the contradiction-inducing DIFFERENCE feature. It is not locally interpreted (semantically represented) in toto but in part passed on to the next syntactic-semantic computational cycle. Here, the passed-on meaning is interpreted in the locally customary terms, in the case at hand, as a temporal index where the post-state of the depicted eventuality does not hold.

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Author:Patrick BrandtGND
Parent Title (English):On the nominal nature of propositional arguments
Series (Serial Number):Linguistische Berichte - Sonderhefte (33)
Place of publication:Hamburg
Editor:Katrin Axel-Tober, Lutz Gunkel, Jutta M. Hartmann, Anke Holler
Document Type:Part of a Book
Year of first Publication:2023
Date of Publication (online):2023/11/13
Publishing Institution:Leibniz-Institut für Deutsche Sprache (IDS) [Zweitveröffentlichung]
Tag:Transitivity; case; difference; redress; state change; syntax-semantics interface
GND Keyword:Deutsch; Partikelverb; Proposition; Semantik; Syntax
First Page:195
Last Page:208
DDC classes:400 Sprache / 400 Sprache, Linguistik
Open Access?:ja
Leibniz-Classification:Sprache, Linguistik
Program areas:G1: Beschreibung und Erschließung Grammatischen Wissens
Licence (German):License LogoUrheberrechtlich geschützt