A joint presentation at SLE52

On August 21-24, 2019, Cristiano Broccias and I will be jointly presenting a paper at the 52nd Annual Meeting of the Societas Linguistica Europaea (SLE52), which will take place at the University of Leipzig, Germany. Our contribution will be entitled ‘Extravagant Harry Potter adverbs in American English: Synchronic and diachronic considerations,’ and will be part of the Extravagant Morphology workshop, organized by Dagmar Haumann and Matthias Eitelmann.

What are ‘Harry Potter adverbs’? They are subject-oriented ‘–ingly’ adjuncts, typically found in fiction (as in the Harry Potter series). They are formed out of verbs that can be the predicate of the matrix subject either subjectively or objectively. In the former case, the verbal base (e.g., plead) pertains to the speaker’s subjective assessment of the process profiled by the matrix verb (e.g., look). This works as a clue to the emotional state the clausal trajector is or, rather, seems to be (e.g., ‘Neville looked pleadingly at Harry, Ron, and Hermione,’ i.e., ‘Neville {seemed to be /*was} pleading Harry, Ron and Hermione’). In the latter case, the verbal base (e.g., [(not)] move) describes a process unfolding simultaneously with that profiled by the matrix verb. This is predicated of the clausal trajector (e.g., ‘[H]e stared unmovingly at the sea,’ i.e., ‘He {*seemed not to be/was not} moving (as he stared at the sea).’

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