Tid: Onsdag 9 september 2015, kl 15:00–17:00
Plats: C307, Södra huset, Frescati

Postseminarium följer efter föredraget i institutionens pentry.


This talk offers a novel account of toponyms or place names (e.g. London, Shanghai, Città di Castello, Joensuu), and their relation to, and interaction with spatial prepositions (e.g. in front of, in English). The account is based on an analysis of toponyms and spatial prepositions in four languages forming a cline of increasing morphological complexity: English, Mandarin, Italian and Finnish. Three key properties of toponyms and SPs are motivated and discussed in detail. First, toponyms include a sub-set of morphemes not necessarily denoting spatial information (e.g. Greater Sydney). Second, the morphological structure of toponyms and SPs draws upon a core of spatial categories, usually (but not necessarily) denoting cardinal or axial locations (e.g. North Sea). Third, their parallel morphological structures seems to determine the syntactic, semantic and phonological properties of toponyms and SPs alike (e.g. distribution and morpheme order; interpretation; segmentation and stress assignment; respectively). The account, based on a type-logical syntax formalism, aims to model these properties, and how they are realized in each language under discussion. The key intuition behind the account is that toponyms and SPs are built via simple combinatorial rules operating on spatial morphemes interacting with other morphological categories. The output(s) of these processes determine their compositional interpretation and word structure.

Hjärtligt välkomna!

Maria Koptjevskaja-Tamm & Ljuba Veselinova