KACL Lecture Series

#44: Professor Line Mikkelsen

University of California, Berkeley

Title: Specificational clauses in the taxonomy of copular constructions

Date: Wednesday, November 22, 2006, 16:30--18:00
Place: Kobe Shoin Women's University Room 1422, ground floor of Bldg 14, next to the Graduate School Building (Bldg 13)

Higgins (1979) proposes a taxonomy that distinguishes four kinds of copular clauses: predicational, specificational, identificational, and equative. Subsequent work has aimed to provide a theoretical understanding of Higgins' taxonomy and of the rich set of facts underpinning it, though various aspects of both have resisted explanation. In this talk I examine the taxonomy with special attention to specificational clauses and argue that they can be unified with Higgins' class of identificational clauses. This leaves us with a simpler taxonomy and a better understanding of the specificational clause type and its distinctive properties.

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