Adjunct Extraction and Chain Configurations

M. Hegarty, 1992

for $19.95 x

This study is concerned with the semantic content of complementizers, and with the modes of interpretation of adverbial wh elements and with their possibilities for wh movement.  It examines the event structure of complement clauses, revealing a difference of semantic function between the complementizers in tensed factive complement clauses and propositional complement clauses.  This yields a difference in their effects on adverbial wh extraction points to the Minimality Condition, taking effect for nongoverning heads such as complementizers.  An attempt is made to define antecedent government in such a way as to capture the Minimality effects of complementizers.

Chapter 1 reviews some pertinent aspects of the underlying syntactic and semantic frameworks, and contains a brief outline of the thesis.

Chapter 2 examine the event structure of complement clauses.  It argues that the event position of factive complements is discharged by the factive complementizer, yielding an interpretation of factive complements as involving discourse binding of the event position of various infinitival complement clauses and of gerunds, as well as some other contexts which involve discourse binding of an event variable, and which exhibit the resulting presupposition that the event occurred.  In all cases, event positions which are not bound are found to exhibit the possibility of unselective binding by an adverb of quantification.

Chapter 3 examines the pattern of adverbial wh extraction from factive and propositional complement clauses and shows that this pattern depends on the event structures of the complement clauses detailed in Chapter 2.  Adverbial wh extraction out of infinitivals and gerunds is then examined, along with extraction from some other contexts which involve discourse binding of the event variable.

Chapter 4 examines some simplifications in extraction theory that follow from a typology of chains at LF proposed by Chomsky.  On the basis of these simplifications, a radically reduced system of g-marking is proposed for extraction theory.  A definition of antecedent government is then formulated so as to capture the Minimality effects on antecedent government of intervening complementizers.

Chapter 5 summarizes the results of the thesis and discusses them in the light of some recent literature.

Thesis Supervisor:         Noam Chomsky

Title:                             Institute Professor

Chapter 1         Preliminaries and Theoretical Framework                                              8

            1.0       Introduction                                                                                          8

            1.1       The Syntactic Framework                                                                     8

            1.2       The Semantic Framework                                                                     14

                        1.2.1    Theta role discharge and semantic composition              15

                        1.2.2    Event semantics                                                                        20

                        1.2.3    Discourse binding                                                                     23

            1.3       Outline of the thesis                                                                               26

Chapter 2         Events and Presuppositions                                                                   28

            2.0       Introduction                                                                                          28

            2.1       The event structure of tensed complement clauses                                  28

                        2.1.1    Propositional and factive complements                          29

                        2.1.2    Response stance complements                                      45

                        2.1.3    The complementizer in propositional complements                     48

                        2.1.4    Further properties of factive and response stance

complements                                                                            50

            2.2       The event structure of infinitival complement clauses                   55

                        2.2.1    Nonimplicative (propositional and “irrealis”) infinitivals   55

                        2.2.2    Implicative infinitivals                                                     57

            2.3       The event structure of gerunds                                                   67

            2.4       The structural generation of some other presuppositions             77

                        2.4.1    Temporal adverbial clauses                                                       78

                        2.4.2    Change/continuation of state verbs                                            79

                        2.4.3    Iteratives and continuants                                                          81

                        2.4.4    Clefts and pseudoclefts                                                 82

                        2.4.5    Implicit clefts with stressed constituents                         83

            2.5       Presuppositions, defeasability, and modal contexts                                 83

                        2.5.1    Defeasability                                                                             83

                        2.5.2    Modals and presuppositions                                                      86

Chapter 3         Adjunct Extraction                                                                                88

            3.0       Introduction                                                                                          88

            3.1       Adverbial extraction from tensed complements                          89

                        3.1.1    The basic extraction facts                                                          90

                        3.1.2    Syntactic accounts in the literature                                             92

                        3.1.3    Adverbial extraction and event structure                                    95

                        3.1.4    Adverbial extraction out of multiple embeddings                        100

                           On a processing account of the data                              105

            3.2       Adverbial extraction and event structure: other contexts             107

                        3.2.1    Nonfactive infinitivals                                                    107

                        3.2.2    Perception verbs and implicative verbs                          109

                        3.2.3    Gerunds                                                                                   111

                        3.2.4    Temporal adverbials                                                                 120

                        3.2.5    Change/continuation of state verbs                                            121

                        3.2.6    Iteratives and continuants                                                          123

            3.3       Referential indices and secondary predication                            124

Chapter 4         Wh Movement and Legitimate Objects at LF                                        130

            4.1       Legitimate LF chains                                                                             130

            4.2       Antecedent government and Minimality                                     141

            4.3       Complementizer agreement and the Comp-trace effect              161

            4.4       Inner Islands                                                                                         165

            4.5       Subjacency                                                                                           170

            4.6       Wh-in-situ                                                                                            177

Chapter 5         Summary and Discussion                                                                      185

            5.1       On the semantic content of complementizers                                          185

                        5.1.1    Negative complementizers: Laka (1990)                                    189

                        5.1.2    Indicative and subjunctive complements in Italian:

Scorretti (1991)                                                                        193

            5.2       Complementizers, antecedent government, and Minimality                     195

                        5.2.1    Lasnik and Saito (1984, forthcoming)                            198

                        5.2.2    Chomsky’s Barriers                                                                 199

                        5.2.3    Cinque (1990)                                                                          200

                        5.2.4    Rizzi (1990)                                                                              204

            5.3       Topics for further inquiry                                                                       209