Professor Grano's interests lie in natural language semantics, especially in relation to the syntax-semantics interface and to issues of cross-linguistic (non-)variation. Specific research interests include: propositional attitude reports; tense and finiteness (especially in Mandarin Chinese); and gradability and comparison.
Research interests: semantics, syntax, syntax-semantics interface, crosslinguistic variation and universals, Chinese linguistics
Research interests: attitude reports, control, nonfinite complementation, tense and aspect, modality, event semantics, gradability and comparison
These days, most of my research deals more specifically with the compositional semantics of propositional attitude reports (see my recent survey book Attitude Reports, pictured on the far right), sometimes with special attention to the role played by the finite-vs.-nonfinite status of the complement clause and other cross-linguistically similar oppositions. Some of this work also intersects with questions about how and to what extent semantic factors play a role in driving some sentence acceptability patterns that would more traditionally be given syntactic accounts. Finally, I have a longstanding interest in the grammar of gradability and comparison, especially as seen through the lens of Mandarin Chinese.
- syntax-semantics interface
- cross-linguistic variation
- complement clauses
- gradability and comparison
- Chinese linguistics
I am interested in the relationship between meaning and form, and how this relationship can and cannot vary from one language to the next.
Some of my driving questions are: (1) What do nonfinite-complement-taking verbs like want, try, manage, intend, begin and persuade denote and how do they interact compositionally with the denotations of their nonfinite complements? (2) What can we learn about the meanings of these verbs by manipulating the syntactic shapes of their complements and observing how these manipulations affect the acceptability and/or truth conditions of the relevant sentences? (3) How much uniformity is there from one language to the next in the syntactic behavior of these verbs, and to what extent does the observed syntactic uniformity reflect semantic uniformity in how different languages lexicalize the relevant concepts and integrate them compositionally into the sentences they inhabit?