(1) a. Satoshi sent Thilo the Schw¨abische W¨orterbuch. b. Satoshi sent the Schw¨abische W¨orterbuch to Thilo. Many have entertained the notion that there is a rule that relates sentences such as these. This is suggested by the fact that it is possible to learn that a newly coined verb licenses one of them and automatically know that it licenses the other. Marantz (1984) argues for the existence of such a rule in this way, noting that once one has learned of (...) the new verb shin by exposure to (2a), the grammaticality of (2b) is also learned. (2) a. Thilo shinned the ball to Satoshi. b. Thilo shinned Satoshi the ball. This is explained if there is a rule that ties the double object frame together with the NP+PP frame, making it sufﬁcient to know that a verb licenses one if it licenses the other. Frequently, the rule involved has been taken to be syntactic in nature. See, among many others, Fillmore (1965), Oehrle (1976), Baker (1988), and Larson (1988). The leading idea under this view is that the two frames are simply different surface manifestations of the same underlying structure. Typically, this approach posits that the NP+PP frame represents that underlying structure from which the double object frame is transformationally derived. There is evidence, however, that the two frames instead have different underlying structures, and are not related by transformation. This evidence, then. (shrink)
A method now popular for fixing the scopes of arguments involves a covert movement operation, named QR (for Quantifier Rule) by Robert May. May envisioned QR as a kind of adjunction operation, attaching the arguments so affected to phrases dominating that argument. From the surface representation in (1a), for instance, QR can fashion the representations in (1b) and (1c) by adjoining the object and/or subject argument to IP. (1) a. [IP Someone [VP loves everyone ]]. b. [IP everyone1 [IP someone (...) [VP loves t1 ]]]. c. [IP someone2 [IP everyone1 [IP t2 [VP loves t1 ]]]] As the representations in (1a,b) suggest, QR has syntactic consequences rather like those displayed by Topicalization, the process that derives (2b) from (2a). (shrink)
One job of the ellipsis theorist is to characterize the connection between the syntax of ellipsis and its semantics. And a central goal of that task is to explain where it is that ellipses are possible. The most thorough examination of what’s involved in meeting this goal is probably Lobeck (1995), where it is proposed that heads with certain properties license the ellipsis of their complements. Merchant (2001, section 2.2.1) amends this proposal with an explicit characterization of the semantics of (...) these heads which captures the semantic side of ellipsis. He suggests that the heads which license ellipsis of their complements have a feature, “E,” whose meaning is.. (shrink)
In one approach to classifying island phenomena, there is a group that answers to the following description. ADJUNCT ISLAND CONDITION If an XP is in an adjunct position, nothing may move out of it. In the inﬂuential approach to this condition in Huang, “adjunct” position is deﬁned in terms that reference argument structure and its reﬂection in phrasemarker geometry. This deﬁnition groups together subject phrases and modifying phrases, contrasting them with phrases in “complement” position. The subsequent bounding theories in Lasnik (...) and Saito and Chomsky build on this basic idea, but attempt to spread it to a wide variety of island effects, including those characterized by early versions of Chomsky’s Subjacency condition. Central to their approaches is the notion of “lexical governor,” which is responsible for making the complement/non-complement cut — only phrases that are governed by a suitably lexical Xo are “complements,” and the island conditions are deﬁned, then, over all the others. This part of the system has fallen into disuse partly, I suspect, because characterizing the “lexical” versus “non-lexical” distinction never found itself grounded in something more general, and partly because it became unwieldy in the increasing richness of post-Pollock representations of phrase-markers. This paper adopts the view that there is an island condition like that in, which groups together subjects and adjuncts, but it does not attempt to deﬁne these phrases on the basis of a “lexical governor.” Instead, let us adopt a characterization of “adjunct” that is wholly geometric: An adjunct is a phrase whose sister is also a phrase and whose mother is not its projection. This will put together “subject” phrases and modiﬁer phrases under the standard assumption that these are both necessarily sisters to phrases rather than heads. Thus it will single out the boxed phrases in. (shrink)
This paper looks at an approach to Principle C in which the disjoint reference effect triggered by definite description arises because there is a preference for using bound pronouns in those cases. Philippe Schlenker has linked this approach to the idea that the NP part of a definite description should be the most minimal in content relative to a certain communicative goal. On a popular view about what the syntax and semantics of a personal pronoun is, that should have the (...) effect of favoring a pronoun over a definite description. This paper shows how that can be made the source of “Vehicle Change,” an effect in ellipsis contexts in which definite descriptions seem to behave like pronouns. It requires, however, a way of distinguishing bound pronouns from non-bound pronouns, and the paper makes a proposal about how these two kinds of pronouns can be distinguished in the way needed. (shrink)
Pseudogapping is no misnomer. Despite the many tempting similarities, Gapping and Pseudogapping are distinct constructions. Pseudogapping is a special instance of VP Ellipsis, while Gapping, I will argue, is a special instance of across-the-board movement. Squeezing Gapping into across-the-board movement has its own discomforts, however, which I will suggest can be remedied by re-tailoring our syntax to include string-based output constraints. I give a sketch of one such alteration that involves apparent Left Branch Condition violations.
One of the interests in the Gapping construction is the headache it causes for those trying to get constituency structure right. On the assumption that Gapping, like other processes of sentence grammar, respects constituency, it is very hard to deliver the right constituents in cases such as (1). (1) a. Some consider him honest and others consider him pleasant. b. The faculty brought scotch to the party and the students brought beer to the party. c. The girls occasionally ate peanuts (...) and the boys occasionally ate breath mints. (Understand the material in strikeouts to be Gapped.) Everything else tells us that the Gapped strings in (1) should not form a constituent which excludes the material left behind. Yet, the fact that only when the verb Gaps may the other material too suggests just the opposite. That is, if we deny that the verb forms a constituent with the other material, and let Gapping apply to each of the elided constituents independently, we would have no way to express this dependency. If we let Gapping only elide constituents that house the verb, on the other hand, it follows. (shrink)
Clausal edges seem to have an effect on the scopes that arguments residing at those edges can have. In particular, they influence whether an argument may be interpreted at a lowered, or reconstructed, position within the clause. This is probably what is responsible for the difference between (1a) and (1b), which formed the focus for the debate in Stowell 1991 and Williams..
We need a better theory of movement. e present theories harbor stipulations and give little traction on understanding why movement has the properties it does. A presently popular theory of movement has the following ingredients.
Icelandic is the only Scandinavian language in which the verb always moves past negation, and other sentence adverbials, in embedded clauses. We follow everyone else and take this as evidence that Icelandic as opposed to the other Scandinavian languages has V°-to-I°1 movement (see, e.g., Kosmeijer 1986, Holmberg & Platzack 1990:101, Rohrbacher 1994:30-69, and Vikner 1994:118-127, 1995:ch.5). If we assume that negation and sentence adverbials mark the left edge of VP (they could be adjoined to VP or to TP, for example), (...) then the following embedded questions clearly show that the verb has to move to I° in Icelandic and remain lower in Swedish. (shrink)
( ) Di erence in Semantic Displacement a. Total Reconstruction: Mary kaupir ikke skó. ¬ Mary kaupir skó b. Variable Binding: Which book Mary had read e set of propositions such that x Mary had read x, x a book. A guard stands before every bank x if x is a bank then a guard stands before x..
Some of α may be semantically interpreted in the position it is not pronounced in. illustration: Which story about her should none of the women forget? * Which story about her should someone who knows none of the women forget?
One of the fascinations of Sluicing – one that figured in Ross’s (1969) original exploration of the construction – is that it seems to overcome many island effects. Most speakers find contrasts between the pairs of sentences in (1) and (2), for instance.