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School of Languages, Linguistics and Film

LingLunch | Dalina Kallulli (Vienna)

3 November 2021

Time: 2:00 - 3:00pm
Venue: Scape 2.01

Abstract: In this talk, I will report joint work with Isabel Oltra-Massuet on cognate objects primarily in Albanian, comparing where possible with English and Romance. Cognate objects in English and Romance appear restricted in different ways, and contrast in a number of respects with Albanian, which shows a pattern of alleged cognate objects with unergatives in which the object may appear without a modifier. Albanian is a language where, unlike English and Romance, (countable) bare singular nouns may occur as direct objects, a dimension which might be relevant in the discussion on cognate objects and unergativity more generally. In particular we note that bare singulars are NPs lacking further functional structure, and accordingly they translate as properties (vs. individual) denoting expressions semantically, i.e., they are always non-referential. The idea that they are NPs lacking functional structure and hence having a property-denoting interpretation seems rather clear for the class of unergative verbs, the crucial aspect being that while bare singulars are complements to the verb, their non-bare counterparts can be true arguments merged in Spec, V. Moreover, Albanian differs from English in a further respect, namely that while modification has to be overt in English, this is not necessarily the case in Albanian, where (degree) modification can be realised intonationally, thus yielding further support to the claim that prosody may serve as instantiating (i.e., realising) syntactic structure."

For more information, please contact events organiser Chiara Ardoino (

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