Linguistics and English Language

Linguistic Circle

Speaker: Susi Wurmbrand (University of Vienna)

Title: Cross-clausal case and agreement - Consequences for the A/A'-distinction (Susi Wurmbrand and Magdalena Lohninger)

Abstract: This talk provides an overview of case and agreement dependencies that are established across clause-boundaries, such as raising to subject or object and cross-clausal agreement. We show that cross-clausal A-dependencies (CCAs) in several languages can apply across finite and non-finite clause boundaries, in particular across CPs, which poses a challenge to the traditional 'truncation' approach to CCAs according to which CCAs are restricted to reduced (CP-less) complements. Surveying the cross-linguistic properties of CCAs, we can observe that:

  1. the embedded clauses can be true, non-deficient CPs;
  2. regular structural case is available in these complements;
  3. movement to the matrix clause is not a necessary condition for CCAs;
  4. CCAs show several semantic and pragmatic restrictions which differ across languages; and time permitting;
  5. CCAs occur in contexts that do not allow clause reduction/restructuring and configurations allowing clause reduction do not necessarily allow CCAs. The direction proposed to bring all of the observed properties together is to maintain a universal improper A-after-A' constraint, but allow certain positions in certain CPs to qualify as A-positions from which further A-dependencies can be established.

Contact details

Dr Chris Cummins

Jan 17 2019 -

Linguistic Circle

2019-01-17: Cross-clausal case and agreement - Consequences for the A/A'-distinction

Room S1, Psychology Building, 7 George Square, Edinburgh, EH8 9JZ