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Structural analogy in language and its limits [Contrast and analogy v.2]

Structural analogy in language and its limits [Contrast and analogy v.2]

John Anderson 74 verbal

John Anderson 74 verbal forms, either via a functor, as in (158) and (159), or directly as dependents of a verbal, as in (160): (158) a. Betsy is pleased at [John(’s) knowing the truth] b. Betsy is pleased [for John to know the truth] (159) a. [John(’s) knowing the truth] pleased Betsy b. [For John to know the truth] pleased Betsy (160) John seems [to know that] The {*P} forms are underlined: in one case they are incorporated (-ing), in the other periphrastic; the functor is not overt with the argument in (158.b), as well as in subject position in both of (159), which is general. Given this role as an argument serving a semantic function, it is not surprising that such forms are typically nominalisations in origin; and, indeed, the incorporated {*P} form of the (a) examples in (158-9)is still paralleled by nominalisations, as in (161): (161) a. John(’s) painting the wall was a disaster b. John’s painting of the wall was a disaster In (161.b), which is ambiguous between an ‘event’ (or action) reading of the -ing-form and an ‘entity’ (or concrete) reading, the nominal structure is signalled very overtly. Anderson (1997: §3.6) argues that the subordinate verb form in (160), as well as the finite in (162), however, depends directly on the main verb; their relationship is unmediated, as he puts it, by a semantic relation: (162) It seems that John knows the truth Thus, the subordinate clause in (162), lacking a semantic relation, cannot occupy subject position: (163) * That John knows the truth seems Seem is subcategorised for predicators of various sorts, as illustrated by (160), (162) and (164): (164) a. John seems very nice b. John seems a nice man Predicators do not occupy subject position. On the other hand, the mediated subordinates in (159) can occupy subject position in ‘passives’ and the like: (165) a. Betsy was pleased by/at John(’s) knowing the truth b. Betsy was pleased for John to know the truth If this analysis is appropriate, then (160) shows direct embedding, as represented in (166), where I have omitted the functor categories, as well as any representation of that, as not relevant at this point:

75 Structural analogy in language, and its limits (166) {P} | {N} {P;N} : : : : {P;N{*P}/{P;N}} : : : : : : {P;N/…} : : : : : : : : {N} : : : : : : : : : : John seems to know that I have represented to as a periphrastic morphological non-finite that takes a verbal as its complement. I return to this and other aspects of the syntax of (160/166) in §3.3. The -ing-form can also be directly embedded, as in (167.a), as can the {*P} form whose historical source is a deverbal adjective, as in (167.b): (167) a. Betsy saw John painting the wall b. Betsy had John fired But I do not pursue this here, nor in any detail the (related) role of these forms in forming periphrases, as exemplified in (110.a). But an attempt at some clarifications is in order. ‘Auxiliaries’ have been identified in two different ways that do not coincide in their consequences, in particular the classification that results. One sense applies to those elements which in some languages are independent words that realise the finiteness category and have a syntax distinct from lexical verbs; above I called these operatives. But another (and venerable) tradition applies the term in an etymologically appropriate way to words that help lexical verbs to express categories that otherwise might be expressed purely morphologically. Thus, for instance, in Latin perfect and passive are expressed morphologically in (168): (168) a. Monevit ‘s/he-(has)-warned’ b. Monetur ‘s/he is warned’ But in order to express both at once recourse has to be had to a periphrastic formation, involving an ‘auxiliary’ in the second sense, what one might call a periphrast: (169) Monetus est ‘s/he has been/was warned’ Periphrasts and operatives need not coincide: English get is arguably a periphrast for passive (It got lost), but it is not an operative (*Got it lost?, Did it get lost?); and dare, though for some speakers it is a marginal operative (Dare I leave?), is not obviously a periphrast. However that may be, what is important here is that English periphrasts that may also function as operatives (for instance) allow for rather obvious direct recursion. This may be illustrated with respect to (170): (170) It may have been being repaired

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