Contrast and distributivity in the semantics of alternation
Maria Esipova
July 2017

Languages have various means of talking about events alternating in time, for example, the English adverb 'alternately' and its cross-linguistic counterparts. Temporal alternation has two parts to it: temporal disjointness (events of different kinds don’t happen simultaneously) and temporal arrangement (an event of one kind is followed by an event of another kind, etc.). However, the previous analyses of temporal alternation (Lasersohn 1995, Champollion 2015, a.o.), which focus on the semantics of 'alternately', don’t derive the temporal disjointness part. In this paper I look at novel data on contrastive coordinate constructions, existing in many languages (I focus primarily on the data from Russian), that illuminate the previously overlooked role of contrast and distributivity in the semantics of alternation. Exploring the properties of those constructions, I propose a modular analysis of alternation within the quantificational event semantics framework from Champollion 2015.
Format: [ pdf ]
Reference: lingbuzz/003893
(please use that when you cite this article)
Published in: Proceedings of NELS 47 (preprint)
keywords: event semantics, coordination, contrast, distributivity, semantics
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