Accessible Unlicensed Requires Authentication Published by De Gruyter Mouton March 22, 2014

Partitive and pseudopartitive structures Partitive and pseudopartitive structures in temporal adverbials

Aniko Csirmaz
From the journal The Linguistic Review


The article discusses the interpretation and structure of those durative and frame adverbials in English which contain partitive or pseudopartitive constructions (e.g. for 18 months of my life and in 18 months of repairs). In addition to the oft-discussed for and in-adverbials, the paper considers adverbials headed by through(out) and within as well. Building on the observation that these adverbials contain a measure phrase, an adverbial structure is proposed which parallels the structure of other measure phrase expressions. It is shown that some durative and frame adverbials have the expected partitive and pseudopartitive interpretation; this permits a treatment that relies on nominal counterparts such as 18 pounds of (the) sand, with a nominal projection serving as the (pseudo)partitive structure. However, some in-adverbials and all within-adverbials are interpreted differently. These adverbials have a boundary interpretation, which is shown in the example We knew within five minutes of talking to her / within five minutes of her arrival that her story was true. It is suggested that the boundary interpretation arises because the of-phrase is a PP, with a structure reminiscent of a locative PP rather than a nominal projection.

Published Online: 2014-3-22
Published in Print: 2014-3-1

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