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  • Author or Editor: Aniko Csirmaz x
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Edwin Williams: Representation Theory. MIT Press, Cambridge MA, 2003, 285 pp.

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Hungarian has a number of apparently synonymous time adverbs that can measure the duration of time intervals. The paper explores these adverbs in some detail, and argues that contrary to appearances, none ofthem are freely interchangeable. The starting point is a discussion of the property of homogeneity that time adverbs are sensitive to. The paper argues for a specific treatment of homogeneity and a preliminary adverb definition based on that treatment. It is proposed that some, but not all, Hungarian time adverbs share the default definition. The diverging adverbs may (a) contain a covert frequency predicate or (b) not measure the duration of the time interval directly, but by determining an endpoint of the interval. Hungarian time adverbs also differ in the range of time intervals they can measure; some, but not all adverbs can measure all available time intervals including the event, iterative, habitual and reference time. This variability in time adverb modification is arbitrary and needs to be explicitly determined for each adverb. Apart from discerning the interpretation of Hungarian time adverbs, the conclusions have a more general impact. On the one hand, apparently homogeneous adverbs can have disparate definitions. On the other, it is necessary to permit explicit, arbitrary constraints on adverbial modification. It is also argued that time adverbs can impose non-local restrictions on the eventuality modified, strengthening the need for a powerful theory of adverbial modification.

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The paper proposes a strict three-way distinction among adverbs that specify the frequency or quantity of multiple events. It is argued that the distribution of the three classes of adverbs in Hungarian largely follows from independent factors, and it is dictated by basic semantic properties of the adverbs. One group of adverbs, that of adverbs of quantification, shares the distribution of comparable (non-adverbial) quantificational expressions. Thus syntactic positions occupied by these adverbs are determined by general considerations, and no adverb-specific assumptions are necessary.

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This paper is concerned with repetitive adverbials in Hungarian. It presents an overview of the different Hungarian equivalents of again, addressing their properties and their relevance. One of the goals of this paper is descriptive; it offers a systematic description of Hungarian repetitives. In addition, it provides evidence for two major claims. First, meaning differences (including the restitutive — repetitive ambiguity) are due to structural rather than lexical differences. Second, repetitives do not form a homogeneous set. The possible scope positions and in some cases, the denotation, of repetitive adverbials differs. This difference, in general, cannot be predicted from the morphological makeup of the repetitives, so an independent specification of the unexpected properties is necessary.

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Authors: Aniko Csirmaz and Benjamin Slade

This paper considers some paradoxes that arise in connection with repetitive adverbials in English. We propose a simple syntactic structure of verbal predicates along the lines of Ramchand (2008) and show how the apparent paradoxes can be resolved with that structure and some straightforward assumptions. One observation is that repetitives behave differently with verbs taking affected subjects (like read) than with verbs taking non-affected subjects (like paint). Another observation is the fact that repetitives are not uniform in their behaviour with respect to resultatives. Once again, structural assumptions, specifically, distinct structural positions of the resultatives, account for this varied behaviour.

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