Why chocolate eggs can taste old but not oval
a frame-theoretic analysis of inferential evidentials
So-called phenomenon-based perception verbs such as 'sound, taste (of)", and "look (like)" allow for a use in inferential evidential constructions of the type "The chocolate egg tastes old". In this paper, we propose a frame-theoretic analysis of this use in which we pursue the question how well-formed inferential uses can be discriminated from awkward uses such as #"The chocolate egg tastes oval". We argue that object knowledge plays a central role in this respect and that this knowledge is ideally captured in frame representations in which object properties are easily translated into attributes such as TASTE, smell, age, and form. We represent the more general knowledge of the range and domain of the attributes in a type signature. In principle, an inference is recognized as admissible if the values of one attribute can be inferred from the values of another attribute. In the analysis, this kind of inferability is modeled as an inference structure defined on the type signature. The definitions of type signatures and inference structures enable us to establish two constraints which are sufficient to discriminate the admissible and inadmissible uses of phenomenon-based perception verbs in simple subject-verb-adjective constructions.
Petersen, W. , Gamerschlag, T. (2014)., Why chocolate eggs can taste old but not oval: a frame-theoretic analysis of inferential evidentials, in T. Gamerschlag, D. Gerland, R. Osswald & W. Petersen (eds.), Frames and concept types, Dordrecht, Springer, pp. 199-218.
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