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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 78

John Anderson 78 ‘displaced’ to positions which reflect neither their immediate dependency nor their usual or expected positioning. One of the most generally recognised manifestations of ectopicity is that exemplified by (160/166) above. What is involved here is clarified if we now include the functors excluded from (166): (174) {P} | { {abs}} {P;N} : : { {abs}} : {P;N,*P/P;N} : : : { {abs}} : : {P;N/{loc,erg},{abs}} : : : : { {loc,erg}} : : : { {abs}} | : : : | {N} : : : {N} : : : : : : : : : : John seems to know that The verb know has two arguments, the absolutive that and the {loc,erg} John. The latter, compound relation is that of the ‘experiencer’, the location of the experience – but this is not important here. What is important is that John is an argument of the lowest verbal in (174); and this is indicated there by the dependency arc which links the ‘experiencer’ with the know verb. It is also the argument that we would expect to be the subject of know, and as such it is available for argument-sharing. This occurs when the upper predication contains an absolutive that is not subcategorised-for, that is not part of the valency of the predicator. Both to and seem lack {abs} in their subcategorisation. Therefore an unsubcategorised-for {abs} – what I have called elsewhere a free abs – is introduced. This is to satisfy the requirement that every predication must contain an { {abs}} (Anderson 1997: 166-7). This is a manifestation of the special status of abs among the semantic relations: it is the non-specific relation whose content depends on the kind of predicator (which in turn largely depends on the other semantic relations involved); it may occur twice in a predication unaccompanied by another relation (i.e. uncompounded), to form equatives, such as John is the one with red hair/The one with red hair is James. If a predication lacks a subcategorised-for { {abs}}, then a free abs is introduced in default. The free abs, like any other functor, takes a {N} as a complement. This requirement may be satisfied by an expletive, as in (162), repeated here: (162) It seems that John knows the truth Or it may be satisfied by argument-sharing, specifically with the argument of a predicator dependent on the seem verb that would be its subject. This is what happens, successively, with the free abs in both the to and the seem predications. The position of the shared argument is determined by the uppermost predicator, here the finiteness element associated with seems, to whose left the shared argument is placed. The topmost { {abs}} in (174) is the free abs associated with the finiteness element which has all the rest of the sentence subordinate to it. Though it is not a intrinsic specifier, the free abs is serialised in specifier position, unlike regular (subcategorised-for) ar-

79 Structural analogy in language, and its limits guments. This illustrates how in general the ectopicity of subjects in English is provided for. This behaviour of subjects can be exemplified more transparently if we substitute for (174) an example without the other various instances of free abs, by now completing (125), wherein we left the status of subjects aside, as in (175) – thus completing the original replacement of (120.b) with a representation showing functional categories: (125) {P} | {P/{{abs}}} : : { {abs}} { {loc}\{P}} : | | : {N} {N} : : : : : : read reviews yesterday (175) {P} | { {abs}} {P;N} : | { {abs}} {P;N/{{erg},{abs}}} : : { {erg}} : { {abs}} { {loc}\{P}} | : | | {N} : {N} {N} : : : : : : : : Fritz read reviews yesterday (175) differentiates between ‘{P;N}’ and the finiteness element ‘{P}’, and completes the subcategorisation of read, which involves two participants, one of them the subject; and the subject ({ {erg}}) argument is shared ultimately with the free abs associated with the finiteness element {P}. In (176), the finiteness element is given independent expression as an operative, but the syntax is otherwise the same: (176) {P} : { {abs}} : {P;N} : : | { {abs}} : {P;N/{{erg},{abs}}} : : : { {erg}} : : { {abs}} { {loc}\{P}} | : : | | {N} : : {N} {N} : : : : : : : : : : Fritz had read reviews yesterday

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