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Open Linguistics

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2300-9969
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Verbal Symbols and Demonstrations Across Modalities

Gillian Ramchand
Published Online: 2019-05-22 | DOI: https://doi.org/10.1515/opli-2019-0006

Abstract

In this paper, I develop a new theory of the ingredients of semantic composition for the verb phrase, building on work in Ramchand (2018). I argue that the essential properties of this new approach make possible a new rapprochement between the theoretical analyses of symbolic verbal meaning across the visual and auditory modalities. The innovation of the new theory is that it partitions the verb phrase into a lower purely symbolic zone and a higher instantiational situation zone, mediated by the demonstrative act (cf. Davidson 2015, Henderson 2016). In the first part of the paper, I lay out the system, and then I show how it can be used to give a formal analysis of gestural and iconic elements in language. Along the way, I discuss the different ways in which iconicity in the two modalities plays out.

Keywords: iconicity; demonstration; co-speech gesture; quotation; event kinds

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About the article

Received: 2018-08-17

Accepted: 2019-03-01

Published Online: 2019-05-22

Published in Print: 2019-01-01


Citation Information: Open Linguistics, Volume 5, Issue 1, Pages 94–108, ISSN (Online) 2300-9969, DOI: https://doi.org/10.1515/opli-2019-0006.

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© 2019 Gillian Ramchand, published by Sciendo. This work is licensed under the Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 Public License. BY 4.0

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