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Mood, Aspect, Modality RevisitedNew Answers to Old Questions$
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Joanna Blaszczak, Anastasia Giannakidou, Dorota Klimek-Jankowska, and Krzysztof Migdalski

Print publication date: 2017

Print ISBN-13: 9780226363523

Published to Chicago Scholarship Online: September 2017

DOI: 10.7208/chicago/9780226363660.001.0001

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Aspectual Coercion versus Blocking

Aspectual Coercion versus Blocking

Experimental Evidence from an ERP Study of Polish Converbs

(p.381) Chapter Eleven Aspectual Coercion versus Blocking
Mood, Aspect, Modality Revisited

Joanna Błaszczak

Dorota Klimek-Jankowska

University of Chicago Press

The authors present the results of an ERP experiment in which they test the limits of tacit aspectual adjustment operations (the so-called coercion) in Polish in which every verb is obligatorily marked for either perfective or imperfective aspect. Błaszczak and Klimek-Jankowska use in their ERP study contexts with two kinds of aspectual mismatches: (i) morphological aspectual mismatches and (ii) semantic/pragmatic aspectual mismatches. The results of the ERP study provide evidence that the contexts with word-internal morphological aspectual mismatches are clearly processed as morpho-syntactic violations rather than coercion. In contexts involving semantic/pragmatic aspectual mismatches triggering inceptive coercion the obtained results point to the psychological reality of semantically based morphological blocking (understood as a competition between two potentially possible forms in which the form which is more specific/informative (here: the perfective one) blocks the use of the less specific form (here: the imperfective one). Błaszczak and Klimek-Jankowska provide new experimental evidence pointing to the conclusion that any discussion on the process of aspectual interpretation should take into account the semantics of overt aspectual operators supplemented with tacit adjustments (coercion) and possible blocking effects (resulting from the existence of a competition between two forms).

Keywords:   event related potential, coercion, Polish, aspect, aspectual mismatch, ERP

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