(Anti-)Causativity and the Morpho-Phonology-Semantics Tension

Diego Krivochen
2014 Semantics-Syntax Interface   unpublished
In this paper I will analyze the causative-anticausative opposition from the point of view of semantic construal, and how syntax builds structures following semantic instructions that convey that information, without adding or deleting information. I will use causativity to analyze the tension that arises when a putatively universal semantic construal, (narrow-)syntactically instantiated, is to be materialized using limited, language-specific resources. This will touch on the subject of
more » ... subject of language typology, and its importance to describe the observable effects of this tension between semantics and morpho-phonology, already noticed by Tesniére (1959). Our theoretical proposal will take mutually consistent elements from Conceptual Semantics, Relational Semantics, Lexical Decomposition, and Minimalism, in the search for the simplest (yet, empirically adequate) theory of the syntax-semantics interface. Consequences for comparative linguistics will be suggested, with particular emphasis on Slavic, Germanic, and Romance languages.