Madeleine Butschety: Additives and Comitatives

In this course we will investigate additive particles such as too, even; and comitative elements such as with — in configurations where they do not behave as we would expect them to. Additive particles like German auch (`too, also’), for example, are known to convey a meaning that can be paraphrased as ‘In addition to x…’. While this is certainly the case in run-of-the-mill sentences such as (a), the same additive element in (b) conveys a meaning that need rather be defined as ‘x is a (proper) subset of Y’.

(a) Die meisten Katzen haben geschlafen und Muri auch.
     the most      cats      have   slept           and Muri too
     `Most of the cats slept and Muri did too.’
(b) Die meisten Katzen, auch Muri, haben geschlafen.

      the most      cats      too    Muri  have    slept
      `Most cats slept. This includes Muri.’ (i.e. Muri is among those cats who slept)

Comitatives (like Torlakian s, `with’ as in the examples below), on the other hand, have an intriguing effect in many Slavic languages when they appear in combination with a plural pronoun. In particular, sentences such as (c) and (d) are ambiguous between the default interpretation (i), and an unexpected singular interpretation of the plural pronoun (ii).

(c) Mi s Mariju smo otišli u muzej.
     we with Marija.INSTR AUX.1PL went in museum
(d) Juče smo pro s Mariju otišli u muzej.
      Yesterday AUX.1PL pro.1PL with Marija.INSTR went in museum
(i) `We went to the museum with Marija.’
(ii) `Marija and I went to the museum.’

We will explore the question of how such unexpected / unpredicted meanings arise in the first place. We will enter unexplored or little-researched territory of linguistic theory and see what we can learn about the general or classical meaning of the two elements under consideration from their non-classical ones.