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Deverbal semantics and the Montagovian generative lexicon $$\Lambda \mathsf {Ty}_n$$. (English) Zbl 1305.03029
Summary: We propose a lexical account of event nouns, in particular of deverbal nominalisations, whose meaning is related to the event expressed by their base verb. The literature on nominalisations often assumes that the semantics of the base verb completely defines the structure of action nominals. We argue that the information in the base verb is not sufficient to completely determine the semantics of action nominals. We exhibit some data from different languages, especially from Romance language, which show that nominalisations focus on some aspects of the verb semantics. The selected aspects, however, seem to be idiosyncratic and do not automatically result from the internal structure of the verb nor from its interaction with the morphological suffix. We therefore propose a partially lexicalist approach view of deverbal nouns. It is made precise and computable by using the Montagovian generative lexicon, a type theoretical framework introduced by C. Bassac, B. Mery and C. Retoré [“Towards a type-theoretical account of lexical semantics“, J. Logic Lang. Inf. 19, No. 2, 229–245 (2010; doi:10.1007/s10849-009-9113-x)]. This extension of Montague semantics with a richer type system easily incorporates lexical phenomena like the semantics of action nominals in particular deverbals, including their polysemy and (in)felicitous copredications.
MSC:
 03B65 Logic of natural languages 91F20 Linguistics
Grail
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