Alexandra Anna Spalek at LEL Research Seminar

Posted on April 28, 2017 by

Next Tuesday, May 2,  we welcome Dr. Alexandra Anna Spalek at the LEL Research Seminar. Alexandra’s talk will discuss cross-linguistic variation in the use of figurative verbs. The talk takes a logical semantic perspective, and focusses on English and Spanish. Here is a short abstract:

The logical semantic underpinnings of cross-linguistic variation in `figurative’ uses of verbs
Alexandra Anna Spalek
(University of Oslo)

Formally-oriented linguists have paid comparatively little attention to ‘figurative’ uses of verbs
(e.g. (1-b) or (1-c) in contrast to e.g. (1-a)).

a. […] the knife cut through the meat.
b. His words cut with the sting of an obsidian sliver.
c. a bipartisan plan to cut the deficit

Our ongoing contrastive study of English and Spanish shows that while examples like (1-b) may fall under familiar theories of conceptual metaphor that are independent of grammar (e.g. Lakoff and Johnson 1980), examples like (1-c) vary across languages in ways that reflect fundamental grammatical differences in lexical aspectual systems. In this talk we maintain that examples like (1-c) constitute evidence that should not be ignored in debates about the analysis of verb meaning and the grammar/meaning interface, such as that concerning Manner/Result complementarity (Levin and Rappaport-Hovav 1991).


Please join us for the talk! As usual, everyone is invited to stick around afterwards to talk to our speaker over some wine and crisps.

Event details:

Location: Sam Alex_A112

Date and time: Tuesday, April 25, 4.15pm-5.30pm

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