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Compounding in English and the nature of attribution

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If you have a question about this talk, please contact Christopher Lucas.

Dinner with speaker afterwards at Sala Thong (Thai); email apc38 if interested

In this talk I want to pursue two questions. (1) What are the characteristics of the attribute-head relationship in English? And (2), in what way(s) do these characteristics shed light on the well-known distinction between NP and ‘compound’ N? I want to argue that many of the characteristics of attribution are found on either side of the syntax-lexicon divide (such that there is ‘postlexical’ and ‘lexical’ attribution) and that the differences between the two can largely be predicted from more general characteristics of syntactic and lexical constructions. But I shall also show that the purported modular ‘divide’ is not as robust as has been claimed both in lexicalism and in traditional grammar.

This talk is part of the Cambridge University Linguistic Society (LingSoc) series.

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