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Contemplated Actions in the Conceptual Structure of Verbs Expressing Propositional Attitude
Stockholm University, Faculty of Humanities, Department of English.
2003 (English)In: Semantik i Fokus 2003, 2003Conference paper (Other (popular science, discussion, etc.))
Abstract [en]

The selectional properties of object control verbs like persuade, subject control verbs like intend, and exceptional case marking verbs such as want, can be distinguished in terms of actional and situational propositional attitudes. In Jackendoff’s conceptual semantics, propositional attitude is a feature represented by a function ATTITUDE in the lexical conceptual structure of these types of verbs. According to Jackendoff (1995), actional propositional attitudes are directed toward actions represented by a two-place function EXEC in conceptual structure which converts a (mental representation of a) situation into an action, i.e. something one can observe and conceptualise into something one can do. In Jackendoff’s model, since EXEC is a signal to the motor system to perform an action, there exist no contemplated actions, only real physical actions. Situational attitudes, on the other hand, are directed toward unconstrained situations. I would like to suggest, however, that all propositional attitudes are directed toward contemplated situations (propositional functions). These contemplated situations can, in my approach, be either agentive, i.e. construed as actions, or non-agentive, i.e. states or non-agentively construed events. There is no ontological category unconstrained situation toward which propositional attitudes can be adopted. Situational attitudes select for any type of situation, whereas actional attitudes select for actions only. The Agent in an actional argument of the function ATTITUDE could be the holder of the attitude or another individual.

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
URN: urn:nbn:se:su:diva-12781OAI: diva2:179301
Available from: 2008-02-04 Created: 2008-02-04Bibliographically approved

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Hertzman, Henric
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