Verbal Symbols and Demonstrations Across Modalities
AuthorRamchand, Gillian C
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.
Source at https://doi.org/10.1515/opli-2019-0006.