Linguistic Issues in Language Technology, Volume 17, 2019

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Syntactic composition and selectional preferences in Hindi Light Verb Constructions
Ashwini Vaidya | Martha Palmer

Previous work on light verb constructions (e.g. chorii kar ‘theft do; steal’) in Hindi describes their syntactic formation via co-predication (Ahmed et al., 2012, Butt, 2014). This implies that both noun and light verb contribute their arguments, and these overlapping argument structures must be composed in the syntax. In this paper, we present a co-predication analysis using Tree-Adjoining Grammar, which models syntactic composition and semantic selectional preferences without transformations (deletion or argument identification). The analysis has two key components (i) an underspecified category for the nominal and (ii) combinatorial constraints on the noun and light verb to specify selectional preferences. The former has the advantage of syntactic composition without argument identification and the latter prevents over-generalization, while recognizing the semantic contribution of both predicates. This work additionally accounts for the agreement facts for the Hindi LVC.

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Argument alternations in complex predicates: an LFG+glue perspective
John J. Lowe

Vaidya et al. (2019) discuss argument alternations in Hindi complex predicates, and propose an analysis within an LTAG framework, comparing this with an LFG analysis of complex predicates. In this paper I clarify the inadequacies in existing LFG analyses of complex predicates, and show how the LFG+glue approach proposed by Lowe (2015) can both address these inadequacies and provide a relatively simple treatment of the phenomena discussed by Vaidya et al. (2019).

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Complex predicates: Structure, potential structure and underspecification
Stefan Müller

This paper compares a recent TAG-based analysis of complex predicates in Hindi/Urdu with its HPSG analog. It points out that TAG combines actual structure while HPSG (and Categorial Grammar and other valence-based frameworks) specify valence of lexical items and hence potential structure. This makes it possible to have light verbs decide which arguments of embedded heads get realized, somthing that is not possible in TAG. TAG has to retreat to disjunctions instead. While this allows straight-forward analyses of active/passive alternations based on the light verb in valence-based frameworks, such an option does not exist for TAG and it has to be assumed that preverbs come with different sets of arguments.

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Complex Predicates and Multidimensionality in Grammar
Miriam Butt

This paper contributes to the on-going discussion of how best to analyze and handle complex predicate formations, commenting in particular on the properties of Hindi N-V complex predicates as set out by Vaidya et al. (2019). I highlight features of existing LFG analyses and focus in particular on the modular architecture of LFG, its attendant multidimensional lexicon and the analytic consequences which follow from this. I point out where the previously existing LFG proposals have been misunderstood as viewed from the lens of theories such as LTAG and HPSG, which assume a very different architectural set-up and provide a comparative discussion of the issues.