Are fragments derived by movement and deletion?

In document Two indefinite pronouns in Catalan Sign Language (LSC) (Page 140-146)

Tyll Robin Lemke, Saarland University

Speakers frequently use apparently nonsentential expressions, or fragments (Mor- gan, 1973), (1) instead of full sentences (2). Despite their reduced form, given an appropriate context, fragments express the same propositional content as their fully sentential counterparts do.

(1) a. Nice dress. (Stainton, 1995, 293)

b. [Flight attendant to passenger:] Something to drink? (Stainton, 2006, 123)

(2) a. This is a nice dress.

b. Would you like something to drink?

An obvious explanation for the mismatch between a fragment’s form and func- tion is that fragments are in fact elliptical sentences, as suggested by Merchant (2004). Merchant derives fragments from sentences by movement of a con- stituent to a left-peripheral position and subsequent silencing, i.e. non-articulation, of the remnant on PF. This predicts that only constituents which may appear in a left-peripheral position are possible fragments. In this talk I present a series of experiments evaluating Merchant’s theory, which are based on this prediction. Experiment 1: Complement clause topicalization. Frazier et al. (2013) report two acceptability rating studies supporting Merchant’ (2004) account. In their ex- periment 1 participants find complementizer-less complement clause (CC) short answers (3a) less acceptable than those with an overt complementizer (3b). The authors claim that this pattern matches the acceptability of the CCs as topics (3c).

(3) What did Susan confess? (Frazier et al., 2013, 32)

a. *She stole from her roommate. (ok as indirect answer)

b. That she stole from her roommate.

c. *(That) she stole from her roommate, she confessed.

Nevertheless, to my knowledge, the grammaticality pattern in (3c) has not been empirically verified. Furthermore, some of the items in the study have factive matrix verbs, which prefer – if not require – CCs with overt complementizers (Kiparsky & Kiparsky, 1970; Hegarty, 1992).

My first experiment thus replicated the study by Frazier et al. (2013) in Ger- man with non-factive matrix verbs only and testing the CCs both as fragments and topicalized CCs (4) on a 7-point scale. The subjunctive condition was intro- duced as this mood is used in German in order to mark reported speech and

thus constitutes an additional cue against an indirect answer interpretation of the fragment.

(4) [Context: A famous painting has been stolen from the museum. The news- caster is reporting on the investigation of the robbery.]

Newscaster: “Was glaubt Kommissar Wagner?” Reporter:

a. “Der T¨ater ist durch das Fenster eingestiegen (, glaubt er).” V/2 Ind. b. “Der T¨ater sei durch das Fenster eingestiegen (, glaubt er).” V/2 Subj. c. “Dass der T¨ater durch das Fenster eingestiegen ist (, glaubt er).” V/L


‘What does inspector Wagner believe’ – ‘(That) the criminal entered through the window (he believes).’

As figure 1 shows, verb-last CCs are slightly better as fragments than verb- second ones (z=-4.47, p<.001)1. However, the opposite holds for topics (z=3.02,

p<.001). In order to test for a possible cross-linguistic difference between Ger- man and English I conducted the same study in American English. In the English study without factive matrix verbs, CC short answer fragments did neither signif- icantly differ in acceptability depending on the presence of the complementizer. This indicates that CC topicalization is not the ideal testing ground for Merchant’s theory.

Figure 1 Mean judgments in Exp. 1. Figure 2 Mean judgments in Exp. 2. Experiment 2: Multiple prefield constituents. My second experiment focuses on a well-known restriction on topicalization: Double prefield constituents in Ger- man. German declarative matrix clauses are generally assumed to be strictly verb-second, so that only one constituent is allowed to precede the verb in the so-called prefield. Despite this, M¨uller (2003) reports a large number of apparent violations of this constraint, which taken from the literature and e.g. newspaper corpora.

1All statistical analysis were done with Cumulative Link Mixed Models for ordinal data in R.

Whatever the underlying structure of the prefield might be, Merchant’s (2004) ap- proach predicts again only those configurations to acceptable fragments which are acceptable in the prefield. I tested three of the presumably acceptable2 and

two of the ungrammatical configurations3, again, both as short answer fragments

and as topics. As some of the patterns are highly marked and acceptable only in specific contexts, all stimuli were presented in a context (5) (an introductory sen- tence is omitted here) licensing the double prefield configuration (if grammatical at all).

(5) [Context: Someone has played a trick on Paul at work. He discusses with his colleague Tim who might be responsible.]

Tim: “Wer steckt dahinter?”

Paul: “Ganz bestimmt Sabrina (steckt dahinter)” SAdv, XP

‘Who is behind this?’ - ‘Certainly Sabrina is behind this.’

The data in figure 2 show that not all prefield configurations behave in the same way as topic and as fragment, which is reflected in significant interactions be- tween Sentence/Fragment and most of the prefield configuration types. Further- more, three seemingly ungrammatical prefield configurations are relatively fine as fragments. I argue that this constitutes a challenge to Merchant’s theory despite the possibility of attributing part of the data on double prefield configurations to the deletion of intermediate traces by ellipsis.

Selected References Frazier, L., J. Merchant, T. Weskott & C. Clifton (2013). ‘Frag- ment answers to questions. A case of inaudible syntax’. In L.Goldstein, ed. Brevity. Ox- ford University Press, Oxford, pp. 21–35. • Merchant, J. (2004). ‘Fragments and ellipsis’. Linguistics and philosophy 27, 661–738. • Morgan, J. L. (1973). ‘Sentence fragments and the notion ’sentence’. In Kachru, B., R. Lees, Y. Malkiel, A. Pietrangeli & S. Saporta: Issues in Linguistics: Papers in Honor of Henry and Ren´ee Kahane. University of Illinois Press, 719–751. • M¨uller, S. (2003). ‘Mehrfache Vorfeldbesetzung’. Deutsche Sprache 31(1), 29–62. • Stainton, R. (2006). Words and thoughts: Subsentences, ellipsis and the philosophy of language. Oxford University Press, Oxford, New York.

2(1) Locative + temporal PP / adverb, (2) direct + indirect object, (3) subject + adverb. 3(1) Extraction from different clauses, (2) subject + XP.

Event-related relative measurements Haoze Li

New York University

1 Introduction Sauerland (2014) and Ahn & Sauerland (2015a,b) pointed out that Mandarin sentences like (1) are ambiguous between two different interpretations, as spelled out in (1a-b). According to them, (1a) respects the conservativity hypothesis of generalized quantifiers, hence the name ‘conservative (C)-reading’, while (1b) appears to be the reversed version of (1a), hence the name ‘reversed (R)-reading’.

(1) Gongsi company gu-le hire-Asp 30% 30% de DE benderen. locals

a. The company hired 30% of the locals.

30%(|{x : x is a local}|) = |{x : the company hired x}| (Conservative) b. 30% of the people that the company hired are locals.

30%(|{x : the company hired x}|) = |{x : x is a local}| (Reversed)

In this paper, I propose a novel way to cash out the two readings. In particular, I argue that (at least) in Mandarin, the C-reading is an object-related measure, whereas the R-reading is an event-related measure.

2 Event-related proportion Inspired by Krifka (1990) and Doetjes & Honcoop (1997), I argue that the R-reading can express event-related proportions, but the C-reading cannot. Consider this scenario: Libai owns a laundry business in a small town. Since this place is very cold, people wear down coats, which require a special detergent to clean. Last year, Libai’s laundry business cleaned 1000 pieces of clothing and among them were 700 down coats. In the end-of-the-year report, Libai summarized: (2) Women we qunian last.year xi-le wash-asp 70% 70% de de yurongfu. down.coat Yongdiao-le finish-asp suoyou all de de teshu special qingjieji. detergent ‘Last year, 70% of the clothes that we cleaned were down coats. Cleaning the down coats

consumed all of the special detergent.’ (R)

Given the scenario, the R-reading is prominent. The proportion need not be related to individual down coats. There might be only 300 different down coats cleaned, some of which were cleaned more than once. However, the consumption of the special detergent is not affected, as long as there were 700 events in which down coats were cleaned. The special detergent was used in each event. Similarly, the number ‘1000’ does not necessarily reflect the number of pieces of clothing, since some clothes may be recycled (i.e., washed more than once). Counting is related to events in this situation.

By contrast, the event-related proportion is not possible if the proportion item gives rise to the C-reading. The C-reading for (2) becomes prominent when the domain of the set of down coats is explicitly mentioned, as in (3). It is clear that if people in our town have 1000 different down coats, the laundry business must clean 700 different down coats. The recycling of objects is not relevant.

(3) Women we qunian last.year xi-le wash-asp quan whole zhen town 70% 70% de de yurongfu. down.coat

‘Last year, the down coats we cleaned made up 70% of the down coats in our town.’ (C) 3 Proposal I propose that relative measures are ambiguous between two types of quantification. The C-reading is derived from object-related quantification like (4), in which the proportion item is treated as a determiner (C stands for ‘the company’ and max is the maximal operator for degrees).


(4) a. [the company hired [DP30%D [NPlocals]] ] b.J30%DK (λx .locals(x ) | {z } restriction )(λx∃e.C-hired(x, e) | {z } scope ) = max(λd∃x∃e.C-hired(x, e) ∧ µ(x) = d) max(λd∃x .locals(x) ∧ µ(x) = d) = 30 100

The R-reading is derived by event-related quantification like (5), in which the proportion item quantifies over the event-individual pair (Doetjes & Honcoop 1997). According to Huang, Li & Li (2009), event modifiers in Mandarin like for-adverbials and time-phrases structurally follow main verbs. Following their study, I assume the syntactic structure in (5a) for event-related proportion expressions. Specifically, in syntax, 30%Ain (5a) behaves like an adverbial, adjoining to VP, and the main verb undergoes head movement; in semantics, the restriction and scope of 30%A are determined by focus mapping (Herburger 2000; Beaver & Clark 2008): the sentence final element locals bears the sentential default focus (Xu 2004), and the non-focused part is mapped to the restriction, as in (5b).

(5) a. [the company [VPhired1[VP30%A[VPt1[NPlocals]]]]]

b.J30%AK (λx λe .C-hired(x , e ) | {z } restriction )(λxλe.local(x) ∧ C-hired(x, e) | {z } scope ) = max(λd∃hx, ei.locals(x) ∧ C-hired(x, e) ∧ µ0(x, e) = d)

max(λd∃hx, ei.C-hired(x, e) ∧ µ0(x, e) = d) =

30 100

In this quantification, what is being counted ishx, ei pairs, instead of objects. Simply speaking, a hx, ei pair can be treated as a stage individual (Barker 1999). The same object can be considered as different stage individuals in different events. Therefore, in (2), one down coat may be counted more than once.

4 Beyond the VP domain In my proposal, the C-reading and R-readings correspond to two different syntactic structures. In the former reading, the proportion items form nominal phrases with their NP complements, whereas, in the latter reading, they are adjoined to VP. It is predicted that when it is impossible for a proportion item to adjoin to VP, only the C-reading is possible. This prediction is indeed borne out by (6). In this example, the R-reading is not generated when the proportion item precedes the subject, which is beyond the VP domain. In this case, the proportion item should be analyzed as a determiner, instead of a VP adjunct.

(6) 30% 30% de DE kuaguo international gongsi company [VPgu-le hire-Asp bendiren]. locals

a. 30% of the international companies hired locals. (C)

b. # 30% of the companies that hired locals are international companies. (R) 5 ‘Completeness’ verbs The R-reading is subject to a restriction on the verbal domain, while the same restriction does not hold for the C-reading. In (7), both C and R-readings are available. How- ever, if the verb zuo ‘do’ is suffixed by the particle wan ‘finish’, which expresses the completion of an event, the R-reading becomes unavailable, as shown in (8). The same pattern is observed for other verbal particles expressing completeness, such as guang and diao.

(7) Wo I zuo-le do-Asp yiban half de DE shuxue math ti. exercises a. I did half of the math exercises.

b. Half of the exercises that I did are math. 2

(8) Wo I zuo-wan-le do-finish-Asp yiban half de DE shuxue math ti. exercises a. I completed half of the math exercise.

b. # Half of the exercises that I completed are math.

Since the measure function µ0in the event-related quantification involves events, the contrast be- tween (7) and (8) can be captured by a constraint on µ0, namely, Monotonicity in Schwarzschild (2006) or Stratified Reference in Champollion (2010) (see also Nakanishi 2007). Under either constraint, in (8), thehx, ei pair such that x are exercises and finished in e must have proper sub- parts (the domain ofhobject, eventi pairs is mereologically structured (Doetjes & Honcoop 1997)). However, at least part of the meaning of the particle wan requires the event predicate that it modi- fies be quantized, leading to the meaning that an event is “completed.” Therefore, the event in the event predicate zuo-wan ‘do-finish’ does not have proper subparts. Then, thehx, ei pair does not, either. As a result, the constraint imposed by the measure function cannot be satisfied when the hx, ei pair are measured. By contrast, the main verb in (7), which is not suffixed by wan, obeys this constraint and hence supports event-related quantification.

6 Scope of negation The proposal can directly capture another difference between the C and R- readings. For the C-reading, it is observed that the proportion item interacts scopally with negation (9a-b). However, a similar scope interaction is not available for the R-reading (9c-d).

(9) Gongsi company meiyou not gu hire 30% 30% de de bendiren. locals

C-reading: a. It is not the case that the company hired 30% of the locals. (not > 30%) b. 30% of the locals are the ones that the company didn’t hire. (30% > not) R-reading: c. It is not the case that 30% of the people that C hired are locals. (not > 30%) d. # 30% of the people that C didn’t hire are locals. (30% > not) As shown in (9d), it is not possible for 30% to take wide scope relative to negation with the R- reading. This fact follows the algebraic structure ofhx, ei pairs. According to Doetjes & Honcoop (1997), allowing 30% to take wide scope in the R-reading would result in weak island effects, in the sense of Szabolcsi & Zwart (1993). This is becausehx, ei pairs are structured in a join-semi- lattice, while negation is associated with Boolean complementation. If hx, ei were not closed by 30% before meeting negation, negation would perform complementation in the domain of hx, ei. However, Boolean complementation is not defined on a join-semi-lattice.

References Ahn & Sauerland. 2015a. Non-conservative quantification with proportional quan- tifiers: Crosslinguistic data. NELS 45. Ahn & Sauerland. 2015b. The grammar of relative mea- surement. SALT 25. Barker. 1999. Individualization and quantification. LI. Beaver & Clark. 2008. Sense and Sensitivity. Wiley-Blackwell. Champollion. 2010. Parts of a whole. PhD diss. Krifka. 1990. Four thousand ships passed through the lock. L & P. Doetjes & Honcoop. 1997. The semantics of event related readings: A case study of pair quantification. In Ways of scope taking. Herburger. 2000. What Counts. MIT. Huang, Li & Li. 2009. Syntax of Chinese. CUP. Nakanishi. 2007. Measurement in nominal and verbal domains. L & P. Sauerland. 2014. Sur- face non-conservativity in German. In Empirical Issues in Syntax and Semantics. Schwarzschild. 2006. The role of dimensions in the syntax of noun phrases. Syntax. Szabolcsi & Zwart. 1993. Weak islands and an algebraic semantics of scope taking. NLS. Xu. 2004. Manifestation of informational focus. Lingua.


Evidence for Single-Type Semantics –

In document Two indefinite pronouns in Catalan Sign Language (LSC) (Page 140-146)