Linguistics Circle Talk 

Visiting lecturer, Dr Mounira Loughraïeb will give a talk on the 'Thematic Structure of a Subset of Psychological Predicates'. Dr Loughraïeb is guest lecturer from the Department of Linguistics at University of Nancy, France.

Dr Loughraïeb gives a contrastive description of the thematic structure of a sample of so-called 'psych-verbs', such as LOVE, HATE, DISGUST and IMPRESS. These verbs are said to be non-agentive and their subject is usually said to bear an Experiencer role. Dr Loughraïeb first shows that this role can occur in either subject or object position, depending on which argument bears the "affectedness" feature. Then, she focuses on a subset of this class (verbs such as PLEASE, SEDUCE, TERRORIZE and HURT) whose members may bear the features [+consciousness, +volition], which are typical of agentive processes.  In such cases, the  Experiencer role and the Agent role can co-occur, triggering different interpretations and therefore different readings and/or translations for the same predicate.  Finally Dr Loughraïeb shows  to what extent morphological patterns for derived nominals in Maghrebi Arabic can help to distinguish agentive from non-agentive psych-verbs.

The Speaker
Dr Loughraïeb has been a member of the Linguistics Department (Sciences du Langage) of the Université Nancy since 1980. Her main areas of expertise are Syntax and Natural Language Processing. She has recently started a course in the descriptive linguistics of Berber and Maghrebi  (Algerian) Arabic.  Concurrently with her teaching duties at Nancy, Dr Loughraïeb is also engaged in research within the LanDisCo (Language, Discourse, Cognition) framework of the Centre Nationale de la Recherche Scientifique, where she runs a project investigating 'A syntax/semantics interface for the representation of determination'.

The talk will be held on Thursday 25 March 1999, at 6.30pm. The venue is room 118, Lecture Centre (off Car Park 2)

March 1999