SOAS Research Online

A Free Database of the Latest Research by SOAS Academics and PhD Students

[skip to content]

Marten, Lutz (2002) At the Syntax-Pragmatics Interface. Verbal Underspecification and Concept Formation in Dynamic Syntax. Oxford: Oxford University Press.

Full text not available from this repository.


This book develops a new analysis of the interpretation of verb phrases and VP adjunction by arguing that the lexical subcategorization information of verbs is systematically underspecified and is only resolved when verb phrases are built in context, with recourse to pragmatic knowledge. This idea is formally implemented in the framework Dynamic Syntax by introducing an underspecified semantic type into the logical system. This provides an account of how verb phrases are built on-line and how verbs can be used with a different array of complements on each occasion of use. Under this dynamic view, the interpretation of verbs is argued to be essentially pragmatic, making use of the notion of ad hoc concept formation developed in Relevance theory. The approach is illustrated in detail by a case study of Swahili applied verbs. The study brings together results from dynamic approaches to syntax and Relevance theoretic pragmatics, and charts the stretch of the syntax-pragmatic interface where lexical information from verbs and contextual concept formation meet.

Item Type: Authored Books
SOAS Departments & Centres: Legacy Departments > Faculty of Languages and Cultures > Department of the Languages and Cultures of Africa
Subjects: P Language and Literature > P Philology. Linguistics
ISBN: 9780199250639
DOI (Digital Object Identifier):
Date Deposited: 23 May 2008 15:23

Altmetric Data


Download activity - last 12 monthsShow export options
Downloads since deposit
6 month trend
6 month trend
Accesses by country - last 12 monthsShow export options
Accesses by referrer - last 12 monthsShow export options

Repository staff only

Edit Item Edit Item