Spatial prepositions as kind-level predicates: on the existence of spatial entities
Thayse Ferreira
November 2021

In this paper, I discuss the nature of the internal argument of spatial prepositions (SPs), namely GROUND, within the framework of Nanosyntax and Formal Semantics. I revisit the role attributed to this class in the literature, arguing that the ontology mobilized in linguistic studies must rely on spatial entities of the type l, which are abstract in nature and denote spatial kinds. In this line, the GROUND argument denotes an entity of the type l and makes reference to a class, which, in turn, requires an instantiating predicate, a role widely attributed in natural language sentences to SPs. I argue that the Region feature [Reg], suggested initially by Romeu (2014), acts as a free access syntactic head, being responsible for the creation of these spatial entities, constituted from an ordinary object. To account for the instantiation of these abstract entities created by [Reg], we can assign the realization predicate, as defined by Carlson and Sussman (2005), to the feature [Loc], lexicalized by the spatial prepositions [P_loc]. In this sense, this work places spatial prepositions as a sui generis class among the prepositions, as it demonstrates that these items are predicates capable of selecting, manipulating and instantiating a specific reference level, that of spatial entities, associated with the GROUND argument.
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Reference: lingbuzz/006316
(please use that when you cite this article)
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keywords: spatial prepositions. spatial entities. formal semantics. nanosyntax., semantics, syntax
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