Mapping a parochial lexicon onto a universal semantics

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In this paper, we argue that languages differ in what parts of meaning are<br />specified in the syntax and what parts are negotiated by the Conceptual-<br />Intentional systems (C-I). This leads to a kind of parametric variation, which<br />we illustrate with examples from Norwegian definiteness, Russian perfectivity,<br />Salish tense, and other natural language phenomena. Our claim is that syntactic<br />variation is not as great as sometimes suggested (for example, we argue that<br />Chinese has a D head and Salish has a T head), but nor are syntactico-semantic<br />representations identical across languages; LFs vary from one language to the<br />next, and in some cases C-I specifies what syntax/semantics does not, particularly<br />when it comes to reference tracking for the variables introduced by the syntax.<br />The result is a very clean system with no semantic module disinct from syntaxand hence no distinction between syntactic and semantic parameters.


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