About the Speaker: Towards a Syntax of Indexicality

By: Alessandra Giorgi

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This book considers important aspects of the syntax of sentences and their relation to the extra-sentential context. The relation between a sentence and the context is frequently reckoned to be in some sense "syntax-free", in that it is not syntactically represented but introduced post-syntactically by semantic rules of interpretation. Alessandra Giorgi develops a different perspective through an empirically grounded exploration of temporal indexicality: she arguesthat the speaker's temporal location is specified in the syntactic structure. She supports her analysis with theoretical and empirical arguments based on data mainly from English and Italian but also considering Chinese and Romanian. Professor Giorgi addresses some difficult and longstanding issues in the analysis of temporal phenomena - including the Italian imperfect indicative, the properties of the so-called future-in-the-past, and the properties of Free Indirect Discourse. She shows that her framework can account elegantly for all of them. Carefully argued, succinct, and clearly written her book will appeal widely to syntacticians and semanticists from graduate level upwards and to linguists interested in thesyntax-semantics interface.
Publication Date:
17 / 12 / 2009

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