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CAS LX 502 13a. Events and conceptual structure (at Brandeis and Buffalo) 9.5-9.7.

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Presentation on theme: "CAS LX 502 13a. Events and conceptual structure (at Brandeis and Buffalo) 9.5-9.7."— Presentation transcript:

1 CAS LX a. Events and conceptual structure (at Brandeis and Buffalo)

2 Revisiting aspect and events Pat walked.Process/Activity An activity of indefinite length. Pat walked to the store.Event (accomplishment) Contains at least as much information as Pat walked, with the additional information that the process had a logical culmination, such that the activity is over when Pat is at the store. Pat walked for 30 minutes.Bounded process Also contains information about the activity and its duration, but without specific mention of a culmination of the activity.

3 Walking vs. building Walk, unadorned, takes on a process reading—it is lexically “process-like.” Build, or destroy, unadorned, denote accomplishment events; there is a logical culmination. Pat built a house. Existence of the house is the culmination point. Pat destroyed the table. Non-existence of something we could call a table is the culmination point.

4 Accomplishments in an hour Both lexical and derived accomplishments can be modified by “frame adverbials” like in an hour. Pat walked to the store in an hour. Pat built a house in a year. The addition of durative adverbials like for an hour can bring on a process reading. Pat walked for an hour. Pat build houses for three years. ?Pat walked to the store in an hour for 20 years.

5 Achievements at noon Accomplishments are activities that culminate in a change of state. Achievements also culminate in a change of state, but seem more “instantaneous.” The change is not gradual, and point adverbials like at noon can diagnose these. Pat found his wallet at 3pm. Pat arrived at noon.

6 States The last main event (or “eventuality”) type is the state. A state makes no reference to a beginning point or an endpoint. They are happy with durative adverbials, and unhappy in the imperative. Pat was sick for two months. *Be sick!

7 Almost there Adverbial modification, like with almost, has a different effect depending on the type of predicate it applies to: Pat almost swam.Process/Activity Pat did not begin swimming. Pat almost painted a picture.Accomplishment Pat did not quite begin painting, or he did not finish the picture. Pat almost arrived.Achievement Pat did not arrive. Pat almost left. Pat did not begin leaving or Pat did not complete the leaving. Why?

8 Basic event types Pustejovsky (e.g., 1991), proposes to describe event(ualities) in terms of basic event types and their combinations. The basic types are: S: State P: Process T: Transition

9 Event structures States are evaluated with respect to no other events. Processes are sequences of events identifying the same semantic expression. Transitions are events identifying a semantic expression which is evaluated relative to its opposition. S e P e1e1 enen … T E1E1 E2E2

10 Closing the door The door is closed. A state in which the door is closed. The door closed. Transition from a process in which the door is not closed, culminating in a state where the door is closed. S e T PS [closed(the-door)] e e1e1 enen … [  closed(the-door)] LCS: [closed(the-door)] LCS: BECOME([closed(the-door)])

11 Closing the door Pat closed the door. Transition from a process in which the door is not closed and in which the door is being acted upon by Pat, culminating in a state where the door is closed. T PS e [closed(the-door)] e1e1 enen … [act(Pat, the-door)   closed(the-door)] LCS: CAUSE([act(Pat, the-door)], BECOME([closed(the-door)]) )

12 Accomplishments vs. Achievements According to Pustejovsky, the difference between achievements and accomplishments lies in whether the verb makes explicit reference to the activity being performed (that is, when there is an actor acting upon an object): T PS [Q(y)] [act(x, y)   Q(y)] LCS: CAUSE([act(x, y)], BECOME([Q(y)]) ) T PS [Q(y)] [  Q(y)] LCS: BECOME([Q(y)])

13 Accomplishments vs. Achievements Pat arrived.(achievement) Pat built a house.(accomplishment) T PS [house(y)] [act(Pat, y)   house(y)] LCS: CAUSE([act(Pat, y)], BECOME([house(y)]) ) T PS [at(Pat, HERE)] [  at(Pat, HERE)] LCS: BECOME([at(Pat, HERE)])

14 Adverbial modification Certain adverbs ascribe intentionality: intentionally, deliberately. Only accomplishments allow this kind of adverbial modification—those where there is an actor acting on an object. *Pat intentionally arrived. Pat intentionally built a house. *Pat intentionally found a quarter. Pat intentionally walked to the store.

15 Adverbial modification Pat rudely departed. It was rude of Pat to depart. Pat departed in a particularly rude manner. T PS [departed(x)] [act(x)   departed(x)] LCS: CAUSE([act(x)], BECOME([departed(x)]) )

16 Adverbial modification Pat rudely departed. It was rude of Pat to depart. Pat departed in a particularly rude manner. The process was rude. T P[rude(P)]S [departed(Pat)] [act(Pat)   departed(Pat)] LCS: CAUSE([act(Pat)], BECOME([departed(Pat)]) )

17 Adverbial modification Pat rudely departed. It was rude of Pat to depart. Pat departed in a particularly rude manner. The process was rude. Or The departing was rude. T[rude(T)] PS [departed(Pat)] [act(Pat)   departed(Pat)] LCS: CAUSE([act(Pat)], BECOME([departed(Pat)]) )

18 Adverbial modification Pat almost built a house. Pat was on the verge of starting to build a house. Pat was on the verge of completing a house. It was almost a house. Or The process almost happened (intentional). T PS[almost(S)] [house(y)] [act(Pat, y)   house(y)] LCS: CAUSE([act(Pat, y)], BECOME([house(y)]) )

19 Adverbial modification Pat almost built a house. Pat was on the verge of starting to build a house. Pat was on the verge of completing a house. It was almost a house. Or The process almost happened (intentional). T P[almost(P)]S [house(y)] [act(Pat, y)   house(y)] LCS: CAUSE([act(Pat, y)], BECOME([house(y)]) )

20 Adverbial modification Pat almost arrived. Pat was on the verge of being here. *Pat was on the verge of starting to be here. The end state was almost achieved. T PS[almost(S)] [at(Pat, HERE)] [  at(Pat, HERE)] LCS: BECOME([at(Pat, HERE)]) ) Pustejovsky proposes that this arises from the fact that there is only one predicate here (at—and its opposition). Accomplishments allow modification of either subevent because the act predicate is distinct.

21 Adverbial modification Pat ran for 20 minutes. The duration of the running was 20 minutes. P[20m(P)] e1e1 enen … [  run(Pat)] LCS: [run(Pat)]

22 Adverbial modification Pat ran to the store for 20 minutes. *The duration of the running was 20 minutes. The being at the store lasted 20 minutes T S[20m(S)] [at(Pat, the-store)] LCS: BECOME([at(Pat, the-store)]) ) Temporal adverbials seem to prefer to be associated with the end state in complex events, even though they can be associated with processes in principle. Blockbuster rented Pat the video for 3 days Pat left for a week. Pat arrived for the day. P e1e1 enen … [  run(Pat)]

23 Pustejovsky summary Events have internal structure, and we can gain insight into the typology of events and the options for adverbial modification by recognizing them as such (that is, as basic event(ualities) of processes, states, or transitions from one to another).

24 Jackendoff’s conceptual semantics Ray Jackendoff has been a major figure in the decomposition of semantics to structures formed from primitives. Idea: X lifted YentailsY rose X gave Z to YentailsY received Z X persuaded Y that PentailsY came to believe P X killed YentailsY died All can be described as X causes E to occurentailsE occurs Thus: CAUSE is a primitive (and isolable) part of the semantics of the verbs on the left.

25 Conceptual semantics Bill went into the house. [ EVENT GO ( [ THING Bill], [ PATH TO ( [ PLACE IN ( [ THING HOUSE] ) ] ) ] ) ] ) ] Brackets identify “conceptual constituents” which can belong one one of a small number of major conceptual categories (“semantic part of speech”): Thing, Event, State, Path, Place, Property, Time, Amount.

26 Bill went into the house This is just a tree representation of the same information we had on the previous slide. Bill traverses a path that terminates in the interior of the house. EVENT THINGGO BILL PATH PLACETO THINGIN HOUSE

27 Lexical entries Jackendoff proposes the following form for lexical entries (tying together phonological form, syntactic form, and semantic/conceptual structure): into P [ PATH TO([ PLACE IN([ THING ] A )])] go V [ EVENT GO([ THING ] A, [ PATH ] A )] Empty brackets with a type and a subscript A take an argument— that is, a THING type thing fits in into, and a THING and a PATH type thing is needed for go.

28 Lexical entries Jackendoff proposes the following form for lexical entries (tying together phonological form, syntactic form, and semantic/conceptual structure): enter V [ EVENT GO([ THING ] A, [ PATH TO([ PLACE IN([ THING ] A )])] Enter is basically go + into.

29 The light flashed until dawn The light flashed until dawn. This conveys a “repetitive” meaning, yet… The light flashed. …suggests only a single flash. And until dawn isn’t giving us the repetitive meaning, since… Bill slept until dawn. …does not express repeated acts of sleeping.

30 The light flashed until dawn Jackendoff proposes to view this as follows: Until dawn bounds an unbounded event. Bill slept (until dawn). The light flashed is a bounded event. You can’t bound an already bounded event, so you first need to convert it to an unbounded event, and then bound it. One way to “unbound” a bounded event is to “pluralize” (iterate) it.

31 Events and entities Jackendoff proposes (following a tradition, going back to at least Bach 1986) to treat events as a kind of entity. Nouns can be count or mass, plural or singular. Events can be bounded or unbounded, iterative or not. Internal structure [+i] or not [-i] Bounded [+b] or not [-b]

32 Plurals and iteration A count noun like dog is [+b, -i]. When pluralized, dogs is [-b, +i]. A group noun like committee is [+b, +i]. But pluralized, committees is [-b, +i]. A mass noun like corn is [-b, +i]. And you can’t pluralize it. Nor can you re- pluralize a plural noun (*dogses, corns). So, the effect of the plural morpheme is to change a [+b] noun into a [-b, +i] noun.

33 Plurals and iteration N+plural = -b, +i PL([ MAT +b ] A ) MAT MAT = “material entity” people = -b, +i PL( ) MAT +b, -i PERSON MAT

34 Plurals and iteration V+plural = -b, +i PL([ EVENT +b ] A ) EVENT The light flashed(iter.) = -b, +i PL( ) EVENT +b, -i LIGHT FLASHED EVENT

35 Bounding until dawn Until dawn imposes a boundary on an unbounded event, rather like iteration “removes” the boundary from a bounded event: X until Y = +b COMP([ EVENT -b X]) BOUNDED-BY([ TIME Y]) EVENT COMP(X) means “composed of”—in the nominal domain, this would correspond to wood in house of wood (and of would be the morphological exponent of COMP).

36 &c Jackendoff fleshes out his system with several further functions, to handle measurement (a grain of sand, sleep until noon converting unbounded entities into bounded ones), “grinding” (there is chair all over the room, Pat is running to the store, converting bounded entities into unbounded ones), etc. We can see where this is going, though.

37 have = BE + PHAVE You may recognize this project—it’s the same basic idea that we covered back in week 3, when we considered the idea that have is BE + P HAVE, give is CAUSE + BE + P HAVE, etc. The basic motto is: things are more complex than they appear on the surface.

38 Conflation patterns Talmy (1985) observed that Romance and English “conflate” different things within lexical items. Verbs of motion can be considered to consist of a fact of motion, a theme, a path, and a manner. Pat sauntered into the house. Tracy ran from the tiger. In English, manner is often part of the verb.

39 Conflation patterns In Romance languages, manner is expressed separately, not incorporated into the verb—but the directional part of the path is incorporated into the verb. Salió de la casa corriendo.(Spanish) Left from the house running(gloss) ‘He ran out of the house.’(English) Subió las ecaleras corriendo. Went-up the stairs running ‘He ran up the stairs.’ La botella entró a la cueva (flotando). The bottle moved-in to the cave (floating) ‘The bottle floated into the cave.’

40 Atsugewi Talmy cites Atsugewi (California) as a language that conflates (the classificational part of) the theme with the verb: Verb roots: (conflating fact of motion with theme) -lup- (small shiny spherical object moves) -t’- (small planar object that can be affixed moves) -caq- (slimy lumpish object moves) -swal- (limp linear object suspended by one end moves) -qput- (loose dry dirt moves) -st’aq’- (runny icky material moves)

41             


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