This paper relates two issues normally considered separately: the licensing conditions on AP- and PP-modifying measure phrases (such as 'six feet' in 'six feet above the barn') and the atelicity restriction imposed by certain temporal adverbials. These questions are given a common answer: both classes of expressions are subject to an independently-motivated cross-categorial monotonicity condition on measure-phrase modification, the Modification Condition (Zwarts and Winter 2000, Winter 2001, 2004) of Vector Space Semantics. To make this connection, independent evidence is marshaled that some temporal adverbials are simply verbal measure phrases, and a cross-categorial syntax and semantics is proposed for measure-phrase modification that may ultimately blunt certain arguments in favor of enriching the ontology with vectors.
Proceedings of the 25th West Coast Conference on Formal Linguistics
edited by Donald Baumer, David Montero, and Michael Scanlon
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