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Title: Space and events : spatial PPs and motion VPs
Author: Saeed, Sameerah Tawfweeq
ISNI:       0000 0004 5991 0842
Awarding Body: Newcastle University
Current Institution: University of Newcastle upon Tyne
Date of Award: 2015
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This thesis studies the internal syntax and semantics of spatial PPs, i.e. phrases headed by words such as (in English) in, on, at, above, in front of, from, out of, through, around, etc. as well as their role and contribution in motion events when combined with different motion verbs. I argue that these adpositions as used in spatial relationships are Relators. They relate entities, positions or events to specific entities or positions. For example, in/on/at relate a Figure to specific Spaces with reference to a Ground. Thus I refer to them as Place Relators. As to the elements to/from/through, I refer to them as Path Relators. They relate the Figure to specific points in a path domain. Based on the way I view these elements, the minimum P projection I propose is [RelPATHP [RelPLACEP]]. Furthermore, adapting ideas of Svenonius (2010), I decompose RelPLACEP into [RelPLACEP [AxPartP [KP]]]. The scope of the materials is extended to analyse equivalent elements in Kurdish and Arabic for which no full descriptions are available. The P projection proposed provides a better understanding of spatial adpositions in these languages. On the one hand, it helps distinguish the elements that belong to the P category in e.g. Arabic, which has true and semi adpositions. On the other hand, Kurdish data show that there is more to the P projection proposed through suggesting another functional head, namely PLACE. Furthermore, I investigate the role of spatial PPs in motion events when combined with different motion verbs. Following Ramchand’s (2008) first-phase syntax of verbs and based on the availability of a Res feature, I divide motion verbs into two classes: [Proc] and [Proc, Res] verbs. The occurrence of different spatial PPs with these two types of motion verbs is closely examined and discussed in the second half of the thesis. It is shown that there are two types of events expressed by such combinations: Process and (resultative) Transition. Process events can be expressed by [Proc] Vs and different spatial PPs. The PP in such an event structure mostly defines the location of the activity. Transition events can be expressed lexically by [Proc, Res] Vs in general. The spatial PP in such lexical Transition events does not contribute much to the event structure either, except for PPs headed by Ps such as in/on/behind/to/into, which can represent the culmination (upper bound) of the BECOME event involved in Transition events. Further I show that resultative Transition events can also be expressed syntactically by [Proc] Vs combined with specific spatial PPs that denote an end point (a culmination), such as English into/onto-phrases. In Kurdish and Arabic, the presence of a bounded GoalRelP headed by an adposition meaning ‘to’ and a lexicalised AxPart is crucial to give rise to a resultative Transition event with a [Proc] V. In such cases, since the PPs can suggest a culmination in the event structure, the combination suggests a Transition event that involves a BBECOME event. Syntactically I present this BECOME event as a null Res element.
Supervisor: Not available Sponsor: Higher Committee for Education Development (HCED), Iraq
Qualification Name: Thesis (Ph.D.) Qualification Level: Doctoral
EThOS ID:  DOI: Not available