Introduction to the Semantics of Events

In this course we will examine the conceptual and empirical evidence for assuming events in the representation of the semantics of natural language. The topics covered in the course will include the interpretation of PPs and adverbials, the interpretation of Tense, the stage vs. individual-level contrast, and linguistic generalisations based on aspectual event decompositions. A few choice readings will be required including some or all of the following:

Davidson, D. (1967). The logical form of action sentences. The Logic of Decision and Action. N. Rescher (ed.) Pittsburgh: University of Pittsburgh Press.

Higginbotham, J. (1983). The logic of peprceptual reports: an extensional alternative to situation semantics. Journal of Philosophy. 80, 100-127.

Kratzer, A. (1995). Stage-Level and Individual-Level Predicates. In The Generic Book. G. Carlson, and F. Pelletier (eds.). Chicago: University of Chicago Press.

Parsons, T. (1990). Events in the Semantics of English. Cambridge, Mass: MIT Press.

Pustejovsky, J. (1991). The syntax of event structure. Cognition. 41, 47-81.