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Title:Syntax and Semantics of Path -Denoting Particles and Prepositional Phrases in German
Author(s):Witte, James Patrick
Doctoral Committee Chair(s):Green, Georgia M.; Antonsen, Elmer H.
Department / Program:Germanic Languages and Literatures
Discipline:Germanic Languages and Literatures
Degree Granting Institution:University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign
Subject(s):Language, Modern
Abstract:This thesis analyzes the syntactic and semantic structure of German path-denoting expressions in combination with motion verbs. Path-denoting expressions include path-denoting prepositional phrases and path particles (separable prefixes). Descriptions of syntactic and semantic structure are formalized within the framework of Head Driven Phrase Structure Grammar (HPSG). I conclude that combinations of path-denoting particles with motion verbs are best regarded as phrases, rather than discontinuous words. Path-denoting particles are a type of adverbial. The distribution of both path particles and path-denoting prepositional phrases is determined by their semantic content and grammatical relation to the motion verb. The grammatical relation between a path expression and the motion verb is either that of complement to head, or adjunct to head. Exactly one path expression occurring with a motion verb is a complement. All other path expressions (if any) are adjuncts. Many particles only occur as complements, but a few may occur as either complements or adjuncts. Path-denoting prepositional phrases occur freely as either complements or adjuncts. Semantically, path expressions are referential, denoting a stretch of space, and are defined with respect to locations. An analysis of semantic selection of path expressions by motion verbs is presented, as well as an account for the Unique Path Constraint, which specifies that all path expressions occurring with a single verb head must describe the same stretch of space.
Issue Date:2001
Description:139 p.
Thesis (Ph.D.)--University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign, 2001.
Other Identifier(s):(MiAaPQ)AAI3023231
Date Available in IDEALS:2015-09-28
Date Deposited:2001

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