How do compositional semantics and conceptual structures interact? A case study on German mental attitude adverbials

Frauke Buscher


This paper discusses German adverbials such as absichtlich ‘intentionally’ and freiwillig ‘voluntarily’ to gain deeper insights into the intricate interaction of compositional semantics and conceptual structures. The case study reveals the impact of conceptual knowledge on the adverbial’s interpretation and, moreover, how lexical semantics may curb the impact of conceptual knowledge. Based on the compositional interpretation of the adverbials, this paper argues against an underspecification analysis and proposes a coercion analysis spelled out in Asher’s (2011) Type Composition Logic. 

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