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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 82 (182)

John Anderson 82 (182) {P} | {P/{SR}} ⇒ {P/{SR}} (where ‘SR’ is any semantic relation, i.e. marks a ‘main-verb’ use). The finiteness element introduced by (182) takes a free abs, which is satisfied in this case, given the failure of the indefinite { {abs}} to ‘raise’, by the expletive there, which is devoted to the subject in a predication with just such a configuration as we have here. We thus have the structure outlined in (183): (183) {P} | { {abs} {P/{abs},{loc}} | : {N} : { {abs}} { {loc}} : : : : : : {N} : {N} : : : : : : : : : : there were bugs in the soup (which, though expanding on the kind of representation proposed in (87), continues to ignore the internal structure of the nominals). What in (179.c) is not a subject, but Eric is. Thus we find the latter ‘raised’ in (184): (184) What does Eric seem to have eaten? But it does not occupy specifier position with respect to the finite verb in either sentence; this has been ‘usurped’ by what. I suggest the representation in (185): (185) {P//{ /{wh}}} | { {abs}} {P} : : : : { {abs}} {P;N{abs},{erg}} : : : : { {abs}} : { {erg}} : | : | : {N{wh}} : {N} : : : : : : : : : what had Eric eaten In this case, even though Eric is shared with the free abs of the finiteness element realised as had, it fails to be realised in specifier position, which instead is occupied by the { {abs}} of the higher {P//{ /{wh}}} which shares its argument with the wh-form. The whform is required indirectly (‘//’) by this predicator, to satisfy its valency. The word order is a residue of the ‘V-2’ constraint, in that, unlike in (178), the presence of the wh-form ‘displaces’ the subject from specifier position. The Eric argument continues to control con-

83 Structural analogy in language, and its limits cord via its dependence on the free abs of the lower {P}. The upper {P} is introduced by the redundancy (186): (186) {P//{ /{wh}}} | {P} ⇒ {P} This allows a higher ‘question’ predicator to govern any finiteness element. (I neglect here non-finite questions – and indeed subordinate questions in general.) Eric in (179.b) is also a subject, though its subject behaviour is less well established – perhaps unsurprisingly, given the recessive status of the construction: (187) ?Never does Eric seem to have eaten such a meal (179.b) involves a focus construction like that in (178), but in this case the negative focused adjunct ‘displaces’ the subject from specifier position; again we have the ‘V-2’ effect: (188) {P{focus}} | { {abs}} {P/{P;N{past}}} : : : : { {abs}} {P;N} : : : | { {loc}\{P;N}} : { {abs}} {P;N{past}/{erg},{abs}} | : : : {N{neg}} : { {loc,erg}} : { {abs}} : : : : | : : {N} : {N} : : : : : : : : : : never had Eric eaten such a meal Both (179.b) and (179.c) display a considerably diluted form of ‘V-2’, in that only operatives are involved, while Old English ‘V-2’ involved all (finite) verbals. And also the morphosyntactic subjects in these constructions are also syntactic subjects. (179.a) is in some respects a more faithful reflection of ‘V-2’, though the sentenceinitial item is restricted to a small set of pronominal (spatial and temporal) locatives. It involves lexical verbs – and its dynamic presentational character is indeed inimical to the use of auxiliaries. And the displaced ‘subject’, though retaining its morphosyntactic properties, does not seem to be a syntactic subject. This is characteristic of ‘full-blown V-2’, such as we find in German main clauses (Anderson 1997: 288-91). We can associate the structure in (189) with sentence (179.a):

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