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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 76 All the

John Anderson 76 All the verb forms after the first one are {P;N}, distinguished by the category that they subcategorise for: thus Have requires a {P;N} that is past; the first Be is subcategorised for {P:N{progressive}}; and the second for {P;N{passive}}. We have, however a chain of {P;N}s. Similar but potentially more extended chaining is associated with the non-finite periphrast to exemplified in (166). Thus we can build up chains of the character of (iv): (171) Bill wants to seem to try to … Again, all the forms after wants is {P;N}. Another thing that is interesting about all these periphrases is that they are all, in involving non-finite forms, historically based on non-verbal constructions, involving deverbal nouns and adjectives. Non-finite forms in general tend to be traceable as originating in deverbalising constructions. This reflects the secondary character of direct embedding. Embeddings in origin typically invoke the reconceptualisations we associate with difference in primary syntactic category: a verb is reintroduced as part of a nominal construction, for instance; events are reintroduced as parts of entities. 38 Most extended indirect embedding, or recursion, in syntax depends on one or both of two properties, both of which we have looked at in some form already. Derivational morphology (discussed immediately above) allows for lexical structures wherein one lexical category is incorporated into another one, as in (147): (147) {N} | {N/prt}} { {abl}\{N/{prt}}} | : { {prt}} : {N} | : : {N;P{erg}} : : | : : {P;N} : : | : : {P;N/{abs},{erg}} { {loc}\{P;N}} : : : : : : : { {abs}} : {N} : : : : : : : : : : {N/{prt}} : : : : : : | : : : : : : {prt} : : : : : : | : : : : : : {N;P} : : : : : : : : : : : : : : : : : : students of physics at Cambridge from Iceland This means that, in this case, a nominal structure that can appear as an argument in a predication introduces itself a predicational structure with further arguments which can in turn include predicational structures, as well as the non-predicational structure of the attributive. In the second place, the modification, or ‘\’ relation allows for widespread recursions. In this respect, too, the limitation of the phonology to dependence of consonants on

77 Structural analogy in language, and its limits other consonants or of consonants on vowels, as well as other physically based limitations, limits the scope for recursion. In the syntax adjectives, in particular, as well as the functors in (147) (for instance) may be categorised as ‘\’, and allow for both circumstantialisation, as in (125) and (149), and attributivisation, which I shall now exemplify in a little more detail. Together, these are the major instantiation of modification. (172) gives a small sample of circumstantial types from English: (172) a. on the day before his birthday b. on leaving for his villa in Spain c. as frequently as possible d. when he left for his villa in Spain All of these except frequently are obviously based on functor phrases, with the initial form in (172.e) being a cumulation of functor and wh-form (the character of which we return to in the following subsection). And they all to varying degrees aloww for further embedding. In the case of attributivisation, both adjectives and verbs, and finite clauses, may function as attributives like the {abl} phrase in (147) and (173.a): (173) a. students from the working-class/working class students b. students living in college/visiting students c. students aware of the possibilities/serious students d. students who live in college e. students who(m) they taught These attributives are all ‘\{N/{prt}}’, whatever their primary category. The first (or only) phrase in each of (173) contains an attributive element that is overtly complemented, and appears to the right of the modified noun; such is regular in English with noun-modifiers that have complements or adjuncts. 39 Pre-nominal noun modifiers such as that in (173.a) are typically covert functor phrases, as suggested by the overt post-nominal equivalent. The last two examples in (173), involving attributive finite clauses, introduce another respect in which syntax requires formal properties that do not seem to be characteristic of the phonology. (173.e), in particular, contains a structure in which we have what we might call an ectopic element, namely who(m): this element appears to be a non-subject complement of taught, as well as being coreferential with students, but it does not occur in a position we otherwise expect of a complement of a verb in English. This is another circumstance, other than subjecthood, in which we find a misplaced complement, so that (173.e) contains two ectopic elements. In the next subsection I look at the characterisation of such elements and at the motivations for ectopicity. This moves us away from just the predicational aspect of the semantics of syntax towards the referential. 3.3 Ectopicity and referentiality A further striking difference between syntax and phonology is the prevalence of ‘displacements’ of elements from their accustomed positions – what I am referring to as ectopicity. It is not just that, as observed above, syntactic elements may vary in their relative positions both cross-linguistically (SVO, VSO, etc.) and intralinguistically (as, in a minor way, with the adverb positions in English); but in certain circumstances particular elements may be

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