Michael Johnston, Ph.D.
Research Lab for Linguistics and Computation,
Computer Science ,
Volen Center for Complex Systems,
Brandeis University, Waltham, MA 02254
- with Federica Busa, "Cross-linguistic Semantics for
Complex Nominals in the Generative Lexicon". AISB Workshop on Multilinguality in
the Lexicon, Sussex, England. 1996.
- "A Syntax and Semantics for Purposive Adjuncts in HPSG".
In Robert Levine and Georgia Green (eds.).
Readings in Head-driven Phrase Structure Grammar. (In preparation). 1995.
- "The Telic/Atelic Distinction and the Individuation of
Quantificational Domains". Paper presented at Paris Syntax Semantics Conference,
University Paris VII, Jussieu, Paris. 1995.
- "Semantic Underspecification in Lexical Types: Capturing
Polysemy without Lexical Rules." Paper presented at Acquilex Workshop on
Lexical Rules. Cambridge, England. 1995.
- with Branimir Boguraev and James Pustejovsky,
"The Acquisition and Interpretation of Complex Nominals".
Working Notes of AAAI Spring Symposium on the Representation
and Acquisition of Lexical Knowledge. AAAI. 1995.
- The Role of Aspect in the Composition of
Adverbs of Quantification with Temporal Adverbial Clauses.
Proceedings of the 25th Meeting of the North-Eastern Linguistics Society (NELS).
GLSA, UMASS Amherst. 1994.
- "When-clauses, Adverbs of quantification, and Focus"
Proceedings of the Thirteenth West Coast Conference on Formal Linguistics (WCCFL). Chicago University Press. 1994.
"The Syntax and Semantics of Adverbial Adjuncts".
Doctoral Dissertation. University of California. Santa Cruz. 1994.
Available by ftp from ftp.cs.brandeis.edu.
The file is pub/research/johnston/mjdiss.ps.gz.
- "Because-clauses and Negative Polarity Licensing".
Proceedings of The Eastern States Conference On Linguistics (ESCOL). 1993.
Cornell University Press. Ithaca, New York.
- "A Definite Clause Grammar for a Fragment of English". Department of Artificial Intelligence Discussion Paper No. 64. 1988.
University of Edinburgh.
DOCTORAL DISSERTATION ABSTRACT
The syntactic and semantic properties of clause-modifying adjuncts such
as temporal adverbial clauses, because-clauses, and purpose clauses are
investigated and analyzed. In particular, their composition with adverbs
of quantification and negation is explored, and their subclassification
into relational and non-relational subtypes is identified.
The Syntax and Semantics of Adverbial Adjuncts
Michael James Robert Johnston
Temporal adverbial clauses headed by the temporal connectives when,
before, and after are analyzed as syntactic adjuncts which are basegenerated
adjoined to IP or VP. Contra Heinamaki (1978) and De Swart (1991),
they are argued to be non-relational. Semantically, they contribute
descriptions of intervals within the temporal neighborhood of the eventuality
described by their clausal complement. Diesing (1992)'s proposal that the
distinction between IP and VP correlates with the distinction between the
restriction and nuclear scope is shown to be relevant to adjunct interpretation.
The distinction between IP and VP adjunction determines whether the temporal
adjunct serves as the restriction or nuclear scope of an adverb of quantification.
This account enables the temporal semantics of these expressions to follow from
general principles regarding the truth of an eventuality description at an
interval and allows when to be given a unified semantics.
Because-clauses and purpose clauses are also adjuncts which may
adjoined to IP or VP. They introduce higher-order relations between
eventualities. The distinction between IP and VP adjunction accounts
for the ambiguity of constructions where they compose with negation and
with adverbial quantifiers. In conjunction with the roofing theory of
Ladusaw (1992), this account explains the licensing of negative polarity
items in these constructions.
In addition to providing an analysis of adverbial adjuncts, this
work also has consequences for the syntax/semantics interface. The
distinction between IP and VP adjunction of adverbials is shown to be
significant for their semantic interpretation. These proposals argue
against Rooth (1985)'s theory of association with focus and support
Vallduvi (1990)'s claim that intonational focus is not relevant to
semantic interpretation. The telic/atelic distinction in aspectual
class is shown to determine whether an eventuality description is able
to individuate a domain for quantification. The relationship between
presupposition and quantificational structure is addressed.
Available by ftp from ftp.cs.brandeis.edu. The file is pub/research/johnston/mjdiss.ps.gz.
The goal of the Core Lexicon Project is to develop a computational
model of the lexicon which captures the basic lexical types of English.
This model can be used, in conjunction with corpus-based lexical acquisition
techniques to derive domain specific lexicons. These resources and
techniques play an essential role in the development of systems for
natural language understanding and intelligent information extraction.
The Core Lexicon utilizes and builds on Pustejovsky's theory of the
Generative Lexicon. The system is implemented utilizing the TDL (Type
Description Language) system developed at DFKI in Saabruecken.
Computer Science Department
Volen National Center for Complex Systems
Waltham MA 02254
office phone: +1-617-736 2729
office fax: +1-617-736 2741