The interaction of compositional semantics and event semantics
Lucas Champollion
December 2014

Davidsonian event semantics is often taken to form an unhappy marriage with compositional semantics. For example, it has been claimed to be problematic for semantic accounts of quantification (Beaver and Condoravdi, 2007), for classical accounts of negation (Krifka, 1989), and for intersective accounts of verbal coordination (Lasersohn, 1995). This paper shows that none of this is the case, once we abandon the idea that the event variable is bound at sentence level, and assume instead that verbs denote existential quantifiers over events. Quantificational arguments can then be given a semantic account, negation can be treated classically, and coordination can be modeled as intersection. The framework presented here is a natural choice for researchers and fieldworkers who wish to sketch a semantic analysis of a language without being forced to make commitments about the hierarchical order of arguments, the argument-adjunct distinction, the default scope of quantifiers, or the nature of negation and coordination.
Format: [ pdf ]
Reference: lingbuzz/002118
(please use that when you cite this article)
Published in: Linguistics and Philosophy (2015) vol. 38 issue 1 pp. 31-66. Published online Dec 23 2014. Supplementary video also available at
keywords: event semantics, thematic roles, quantifiers, negation, coordination, conjunction, for-adverbials, semantics
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