Structuring Sense: Volume II: The Normal Course of Events
Structuring Sense explores the difference between words however defined and structures however constructed. It sets out to demonstrate over three ... Show synopsis Structuring Sense explores the difference between words however defined and structures however constructed. It sets out to demonstrate over three volumes, of which this is the first, that the explanation of linguistic competence should be shifted from lexical entry to syntactic structure, from memory of words to manipulation of rules. Its reformulation of how grammar and lexicon interact has profound implications for linguistic, philosophical, and psychological theories about human mind and language. Hagit Borer departs from both constructional approaches to syntax and the long generative tradition that uses the word as the nucleus around which the syntax grows. She argues that the hierarchical, abstract structures of language are universal, not language specific, and that language variation emerges from the morphological and phonological properties of inflectional material. The Normal Course of Events applies this radical approach to event structure. Integrating research results in syntax, semantics, and morphology, the author shows that argument structure is based on the syntactic realization of semantic event units. The topics she addresses include the structure of internal arguments and of telic and atelic interpretations, accusative and partitive case, perfective and imperfective marking, the unaccusative-unergative distinction, existential interpretation and post-verbal subjects, and resultative constructions. The languages discussed include English, Catalan, Finnish, Hebrew, Czech, Polish, Russian, and Spanish.