Framing events in the logic of verbal modification

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DOI:

https://doi.org/10.3765/salt.v1i0.5354

Abstract

I ask what a small set of modification data requires of clausal event semantics. Classic Davidsonian semantics posits that modifiers like "in the hallway" express properties of events, and expects that iterations of such modifiers will simply contribute additional conjuncts at logical form. The data I consider challenges this view, and others cast in the Davidsonian spirit, at least so long as we hope to preserve an important and plausible semantic principle, Role Exhaustion (Williams 2015). As I show, preserving the principle and accounting for the facts can be accomplished by adopting two independently-motivated sets of claims: first, that verbs introduce existential closure over their event argument, and modifiers take verb meanings as semantic arguments (Champollion 2015); second, that simple clauses have two layers of event description, "framing" and "framed" (Schein 2016). In the end, I sketch two possible extensions of the approach, towards the interpretation of temporal modification and negative perceptual reports.

Author Biography

  • Alexis Wellwood, University of Southern California
    Associate Professor of Philosophy, Linguistics, and Psychology

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Published

2022-12-29

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Articles