Can you imagine how much more complicated it could have been for Elmer Fudd to figure out if its rabbit season or duck season?
Telicity tests and syntactic diagnostics are surprisingly relevant for understanding the semantics of the Ancient Greek perfect.
This is the entirety of my series of discussion of Charles Ruhl’s (1989) monograph On monosemy.
A few days ago, the Classics Blog, Sententiae Antiquae, had a lovely piece on how language, grammar, and gender often intersect.
A man marries, a woman gets married, but what about divorce & adultery?
Rachel Aubrey investigates.
It is sort of taken as a given in grammars that the perfects in these two languages are different, but there is surprisingly little discussion of exactly what that means or how they are different.
There are bits to be salvaged from Ruhl (1989), perhaps, but it might be easier to start elsewhere entirely.
I fully acknowledge there is certainly an appeal for monosemy as a theoretical construct. The ability to schematize all usages or senses within a single abstract sense does indeed simplified and elegant semantic theory. Such a theory is an attractive prospect for all linguists.
Generative grammar has moved on from its old theories about syntax. Can we please do the same with their semantic theories, too?
We’re getting over the peak and headed toward the end. The practical take away is coming.
Semantic theory: it’ll get harder before it gets hardest.