Genericity in Event Semantics: A Look at Yoruba Generic Sentences

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Dokumentart: ConferencePaper
Date: 2018-07-16
Language: English
Faculty: 9 Sonstige / Externe
DDC Classifikation: 400 - Language and Linguistics
Keywords: Linguistik , Semantik , Feldforschung , Niger-Kongo-Sprachen
Other Keywords:
Niger-Congo Languages
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I propose a theory of genericity that is grounded in neo-Davidsonian event semantics (Parsons 1990, 2000; Higginbotham, 2000; etc.). I distinguish broadly between three types of individual: kind individuals, generic individuals and concrete individuals. A distinction is made between particular events and generic events on the one hand; and between kind-level states, individual-level states, stage-level states and generic states on the other hand. I propose that only generic individuals require the presence of the Gen operator and that kind and concrete individuals are existentially closed with the logical form of kind individual involving a type- shifting operation. Also, I propose that generic events and generic states contain the generic predicate ‘gen (e)’ which turns concrete eventualities into generic ones and that the other types of eventuality also have their respective predicates that distinguish them from one another. When this framework is applied to genericity in Yoruba, it is shown first that Kimian states (Maienborn, 2007) in Yoruba have an E-position that the generic predicate (the imperfective) [máa-ń] targets (contrary to expectation), and second that in some constructions [máa-ń] is best treated as an overt realization of the operator Gen.

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