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At the Syntax-Pragmatics InterfaceVerbal Underspecification and Concept Formation in Dynamic Syntax$
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Lutz Marten

Print publication date: 2002

Print ISBN-13: 9780199250639

Published to Oxford Scholarship Online: January 2010

DOI: 10.1093/acprof:oso/9780199250639.001.0001

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(p.209) 7 Conclusion
At the Syntax-Pragmatics Interface


Oxford University Press

This concluding chapter summarizes the arguments presented and draws out the main consequences. It points out the basic idea of the study, namely that verbal subcategorization is underspecified and that verbs allow for a free process of adjunction resulting in verb phrases with varying complementation patterns, built anew on every occasion of use, and interpreted with recourse to pragmatic enrichment. The relation between the conceptual content of the study and the particular implementation is shown, and possible improvements or alternatives are sketched. Further possible empirical developments are mentioned, such as a closer study of other valency changing operations such as passives. The most important result of the study is, however, that the interpretation of verbs and their syntactic environment is thoroughly context-dependent, thus providing evidence against a syntactic level of logical form. Rather, in the process of utterance interpretation, lexical, syntactic, and pragmatic knowledge interact so as to jointly derive an interpretation of the words encountered.

Keywords:   syntax-pragmatics interface, verb phrases, complementation patterns, valency changing, passives, logical form, utterance interpretation

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