Alexander Pfaff (UiO)

A "former" analysis, or: How to derive intensionality syntactically?

Adjectives like "former" belong to a class of modifiers that are called intensional (or opaque, privative, non-subsective etc.), but how does this property come about? Formal semantic accounts tend to assign a complex denotation in one fell swoop, while less formal (syntactic) accounts tend to oversimplify the semantics.

In this presentation, I will argue that it is possible to derive the opacity effects of adjectives like "former" by assuming that they have more syntactic structure and, in particular, comprise verbal (aspectual) structure.​

Published Mar. 4, 2019 12:10 PM - Last modified Mar. 4, 2019 12:13 PM