Something inner- and cross-linguistically different

Original Paper

Abstract

Pronominal constructions such as something big, often referred to as the ‘indefinite pronoun construction’, have received different but often homogenous accounts in the literature. In this paper, I document the inner- and cross-linguistic diversity of this construction in German and some other languages. Highlighting respectively different sets of properties, I argue that there are three basic types: one type combines the adjective and the pronoun by complementation, another by adjunction, and a third involves a garden-variety DP. Adjunction is argued to be mediated by a Modifier Phrase (Rubin, E.J., Proceedings of the West Coast Conference on Formal Linguistics, CSLI, Stanford, 429–439, 1996). The latter assumption is shown to have a number of advantages.

Keywords

‘Indefinite pronoun + adjective’ Indefinite pronoun construction Pronominal DP Complementation Adjunction Modifier Phrase Pre-nominal and post-nominal adjectives Genitive Concord 

Preview

Unable to display preview. Download preview PDF.

Unable to display preview. Download preview PDF.

References

  1. Abney, Steven. 1987. The English noun phrase in its sentential aspect. Doctoral dissertation, MIT.Google Scholar
  2. Barbiers, Sjef. 2005. Variation in the morphosyntax of one. Journal of Comparative Germanic Linguistics 8: 159–183.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  3. Bayer, Josef and Ellen Brandner. 2004. Light nouns and predicative infinitives. Ms., University of Konstanz.Google Scholar
  4. Bolinger, Dwight. 1967. Adjectives in English: attribution and predication. Lingua 18: 1–34.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  5. Booij, Geert. 2002. The morphology of Dutch. Oxford: Oxford University Press.Google Scholar
  6. Bresnan, Joan W. 1973. Syntax of the comparative clause construction in English. Linguistic Inquiry 4(3): 275–343.Google Scholar
  7. Byrne, L.R.S., Elle Churchill, and Glanville Price. 1993. A comprehensive French grammar (4th ed.). Cambridge: Blackwell.Google Scholar
  8. Carstens, Vicki. 2000. Concord in minimalist theory. Linguistic Inquiry 31(2): 319–355.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  9. Cinque, Guglielmo. 1994. On the evidence for partial N-movement in the Romance DP. In Paths towards Universal Grammar. Studies in honor of Richard S. Kayne, ed. Guglielmo Cinque, Jan Koster, Jean-Yves Pollock, Luigi Rizzi, Raffaella Zanuttini, 85–110. Washington DC.: Georgetown University Press.Google Scholar
  10. Corver, Norbert. 1991. Evidence for DegP. Proceedings of NELS 21: 33–47.Google Scholar
  11. Corver, Norbert. 1998. Predicate movement in pseudopartitive constructions. In Possessors, predicates and movement in the determiner phrase, ed. Artemis Alexiadou and Chris Wilder, 215–257. Amsterdam: John Benjamins.Google Scholar
  12. Cormack, Annabel and Neil Smith. 1994. Serial verbs. UCL Working Papers in Linguistics 6: 63–88.Google Scholar
  13. Demske, Ulrike. 2001. Merkmale und Relationen: Diachrone Studien zur Nominalphrase des Deutschen. Berlin and New York: Walter de Gruyter.Google Scholar
  14. den Dikken, Marcel. 1995. Copulas. Paper presented at GLOW 18, Tromsø. Unpublished manuscript, Vrije Universiteit Amsterdam/HIL.Google Scholar
  15. den Dikken, Marcel. 1998. Predicate inversion in DP. In Possessors, predicates and movement in the determiner phrase, eds. Artemis Alexiadou and Chris Wilder, 177–214. Amsterdam: John Benjamins.Google Scholar
  16. de Schutter, Georges. 1994. Dutch. In The Germanic languages, eds. E. König, and J. van der Auwera, 439–477. New York: Routledge.Google Scholar
  17. Donaldson, Bruce. 1994. Afrikaans. In The Germanic languages, eds. E. König and J. van der Auwera, 478–504. New York: Routledge.Google Scholar
  18. Duden 1995. Die Grammatik. vol. 4. Dudenverlag.Google Scholar
  19. Dürscheid, Christa. 2002. “Polemik satt und Wahlkampf pur” – Das postnominale Adjektiv im Deutschen. Zeitschrift für Sprachwissenschaft 21(1): 57–81.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  20. Emonds, Joseph E. 1985. A unified theory of syntactic categories. Dordrecht: Foris Publications.Google Scholar
  21. Emonds, Joseph E. 1987. The invisible category principle. Linguistic Inquiry 18: 613–632.Google Scholar
  22. Fanselow, Gisbert. 1988. Aufspaltung von NPn und das Problem der “freien” Wortstellung. Linguistische Berichte 114: 91–113.Google Scholar
  23. Gallmann, Peter. 1996. Die Steuerung der Flexion in der DP. Linguistische Berichte 164: 283–314.Google Scholar
  24. Grevisse, Maurice and André Goosse. 1993. Le bon usage. Grammaire française. (13th ed.) Duculot.Google Scholar
  25. Grosu, Alexander. 2003. ‘Transparent’ free relatives as a special instance of ‘standard’ free relatives. In From NP to DP. Volume 1: The syntax and semantics of noun phrases, eds. Martine Coene and Yves D’hulst, 139–178. Amsterdam: John Benjamins.Google Scholar
  26. Haider, Hubert. 1992. Die Struktur der Nominalphrase. Lexikalische und funktionale Strukturen. In Deutsche Syntax. Ansichten und Aussichten. Institut für deutsche Sprache Jahrbuch 1991, ed. Ludger Hoffmann, 304–333. Berlin: Walter de Gruyter.Google Scholar
  27. Harbert, W. 2007. The Germanic languages. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press.Google Scholar
  28. Helbig, Gerhard and Joachim Buscha. 2001. Deutsche Grammatik. Ein Handbuch für den Ausländerunterricht. Berlin und München: Langenscheidt.Google Scholar
  29. Hoekstra, Jarich and Peter Meijes Tiersma. 1994. Frisian. In The Germanic languages, eds. E. König and J. van der Auwera, 505–531. New York: Routledge.Google Scholar
  30. Huang, James. 1982. Logical relations in Chinese and the theory of grammar. Doctoral Dissertation, MIT.Google Scholar
  31. Hulk, Aafke and Els Verheugd. 1992. “Something funny” in French. In Reineke Bok-Bennema and Roeland van Hout (eds.) Linguistics in the Netherlands 9, pp. 87-100. Amsterdam: John Benjamins.Google Scholar
  32. Julien, M. 2005. Nominal phrases from a Scandinavian perspective. Amsterdam: John Benjamins.Google Scholar
  33. Jacobs, Neil G. 2005. Yiddish. A linguistic introduction. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press.Google Scholar
  34. Kayne, Richard. 1994. The antisymmetry of syntax. Cambridge, Mass.: MIT Press.Google Scholar
  35. Kayne, Richard. 2005. On parameters and on principles of pronunciation. Ms., New York University.Google Scholar
  36. Kester, Ellen-Petra. 1996. The nature of adjectival inflection. Doctoral Dissertation, Utrecht University.Google Scholar
  37. Kishimoto, Hideki. 2000. Indefinite pronouns and overt N-raising. Linguistic Inquiry 31(3): 557–66.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  38. Larson, Richard. 2004. The projection of DP. Handout of paper presented at the University of Stuttgart, Stuttgart, Germany (January 15, 2004). [handout available on Richard Larson’s homepage].Google Scholar
  39. Larson, Richard and Franc Marušič. 2004. On indefinite pronoun structures with APs: Reply to Kishimoto. Linguistic Inquiry 35(2): 268–87.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  40. Larson, Richard and Hiroko Yamakido. 2005. Ezafe and the Deep Position of Nominal Modifiers. Paper presented at the Barcelona Workshop on Adjectives and Adverbs, Universitat Pompeu Fabra, Barcelona, Spain (March 18, 2005). [ms. available on Richard Larson’s homepage].Google Scholar
  41. Larson, Richard and Hiroko Yamakido. 2006. Zazaki “double Ezafe” as double case-marking. Paper presented at the Linguistic Society of America annual meeting, Albuquerque, NM (January 8, 2006). [ms. available on Richard Larson’s homepage].Google Scholar
  42. Leu, Thomas. 2005a. Something invisible in English. UPenn Working Papers in Linguistics 111: 143–55, (Proceedings of PLC 28).Google Scholar
  43. Leu, Thomas. 2005b. ‘What for’ internally. [http://ling.auf.net/lingBuzz/000207].
  44. Löbel, Elisabeth. 1989. Q as a functional category. In Syntactic phrase structure phenomena in noun phrases and sentences, eds. Christa Bhatt, Elisabeth Löbel and Claudia Schmidt, 133–158. Amsterdam: John Benjamins.Google Scholar
  45. Longobardi, Giuseppe. 1994. Reference and proper names: A theory of N-Movement in syntax and logical form. Linguistic Inquiry 25(4): 609–665.Google Scholar
  46. Meister, Eckhart. 1963. Die deutschen und lateinischen Werke. Die deutschen Werke. Traktate. (Vol 5) (edited by Josef Quint). Stuttgart: W. Kohlhammer Verlag.Google Scholar
  47. Milner, Jean-Claude. 1978. De la syntaxe à l’interprétation. Quantités, insultes exclamations. Paris: Le Seuil.Google Scholar
  48. Motsch, Wolfgang. 2002. Die Wortart ‚Adjektiv’. In Lexikologie: Ein internationales Handbuch zur Natur und Struktur von Wörtern und Wortschätzen, (Vol. 1), eds. D. Alan Cruse, Franz Hundsnurscher, Michael Job and Peter Rolf Lutzeier, 598–604. Berlin: de Gruyter.Google Scholar
  49. Panagiotidis, P. 2002a. Pronouns, clitics and empty nouns. ‘Pronominality’ and licensing in syntax. Amsterdam: John Benjamins.Google Scholar
  50. Panagiotidis, P. 2002b. Pronominal nouns. In Pronouns – Grammar and representation, eds. HJ Simon and H Wiese, 183–203. Amsterdam: John Benjamins.Google Scholar
  51. Panagiotidis, P. 2003a. Empty nouns. Natural Language & Linguistic Theory 21(2): 381–432.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  52. Panagiotidis, P. 2003b. One, empty nouns, and θ-assignment. Linguistic Inquiry 34(2): 281–292.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  53. Partee, Barbara H. 1976. Some transformational extensions of Montague Grammar. In Montague Grammar, ed. Barbara H Partee, 51-76. New York: Academic Press.Google Scholar
  54. Paul, Hermann, Peter Wiehl, and Siegfried Grosse. 1989. Mittelhochdeutsche Grammatik. (23rd ed.). Tübingen: Max Niemeyer Verlag.Google Scholar
  55. Ponelis, Fritz. 1993. The development of Afrikaans. Frankfurt am Main: Peter Lang.Google Scholar
  56. Postal, Paul M. 1966. On the so-called pronouns in English. In Nineteenth Monograph on Language and Linguistics, ed. F. Dinneen, 177-206. Washington, D.C.: Georgetown University Press.Google Scholar
  57. Rizzi, Luigi. 1986. Null objects in Italian and the theory of pro. Linguistic Inquiry 17(3): 501–557.Google Scholar
  58. Roehrs, Dorian. 2005. Pronouns are determiners after all. In The function of function words and functional categories, eds. Marcel den Dikken and Christina Tortora, 251-285. Amsterdam: John Benjamins.Google Scholar
  59. Roehrs, D. 2006a. Something post-pre-nominal in German and beyond. Paper presented at the 21st Comparative Germanic Syntax Workshop, University of California at Santa Cruz.Google Scholar
  60. Roehrs, D. 2006b. The morpho-syntax of the Germanic noun phrase: Determiners MOVE into the determiner phrase. Doctoral Dissertation, Indiana University.Google Scholar
  61. Roehrs, Dorian. 2006c. Pronominal noun phrases, number specifications, and null nouns. In Comparative studies in germanic syntax: From Afrikaans to Zurich German, eds. Jutta M. Hartmann and László Molnárfi, 143-180. Amsterdam: John Benjamins.Google Scholar
  62. Roehrs, D. 2007. Complex determiners: A case study of German ein jeder. Paper presented at the 81st Annual Meeting of the Linguistic Society of America (Anaheim), January 2007.Google Scholar
  63. Rubin, Edward J. 1996. The transparent syntax and semantics of modifiers. Proceedings of the 15th WCCFL, pp. 429–439.Google Scholar
  64. Rubin, Edward J. 2003. 2003. Determining pair-merge. Linguistic Inquiry 34(4): 660–668.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  65. Schlenker, Philippe. 1999. La flexion de l’adjectif en allemand: la morphologie de haut en bas. Recherches Linguistiques de Vincennes 28:115–132. [http://rlv.revues.org/document1216.html].
  66. Schmidt, Wilhelm, Helmut Langner, and Norbert Richard Wolf. 2000. Geschichte der deutschen Sprache. (8th ed.). Stuttgart: S. Hirzel Verlag.Google Scholar
  67. Schütze, Carson T. 2001. On the nature of default case. Syntax 4(3): 205–238.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  68. Scott, Gary-John. 2002. Stacked adjectival modification and the structure of nominal phrases. In Functional structure in DP and IP: The cartography of syntactic structures (Vol.1). ed. Guglielmo Cinque, 91-120. Oxford: Oxford University Press.Google Scholar
  69. Sproat, Richard and Chilin Shih. 1991. The cross-linguistic distribution of adjective ordering restrictions. In Interdisciplinary approaches to language. Essays in honor of S.-Y. Kuroda, eds. Carol Georgopoulos and Roberta Ishihara, 565-593. Dordrecht: Kluwer.Google Scholar
  70. Stavrou, Melita. 2003. Semi-lexical nouns, classifiers, and the interpretation(s) of the pseudopartitive construction. In From NP to DP. Volume 1: The syntax and semantics of noun phrases, eds. Martine Coene and Yves Dhulst, 329-353. Amsterdam: John Benjamins.Google Scholar
  71. Svenonius, Peter. 1993. The structural location of the attributive adjective. In The Proceedings of the Twelfth WCCFL, eds. E. Duncan, D. Farkas and P. Spaelti, 439–454, Stanford Linguistics Association.Google Scholar
  72. van der Wal, Marijke J and Aad Quak. 1994. Old and Middle Continental West Germanic. In The Germanic languages, eds. Ekkehard König and Johan van der Auwera, 72-109. New York: Routledge.Google Scholar
  73. van Riemsdijk, Henk. 1998. Movement and regeneration. In Dialect variation and the theory of grammar, P Benincà ed., 105–136. Dordrecht: Foris Publications.Google Scholar
  74. van Riemsdijk, Henk. 1998. Head movement and adjacency. Natural Language and Linguistic Theory 16: 633–678.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  75. Vater, Heinz. 1985. Determinantien und Pronomina. In Deutsche Grammatik II. Osnabrücker Beiträge zur Sprachtheorie 30, ed. Angelika Redder, 107-126. Osnabrück: Universität Osnabrück.Google Scholar
  76. von Megenberg, Konrad. Das Buch der Natur. Die erste Naturgeschichte in deutscher Sprache. (edited by Franz Pfeiffer). Hildesheim: Georg Olms Verlagsbuchhandlung. [1962; reprint of the 1861 Stuttgart edition].Google Scholar
  77. Watanabe, Akira. 2006. Functional projections of nominals in Japanese: Syntax of classifiers. Natural Language and Linguistic Theory 24(1): 241–306.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  78. Weerman, Fred. 1997. On the relation between morphological and syntactic case. In Parameters of morphosyntactic change, eds. Ans van Kemenade and Nigel Vincent, 427-459. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press.Google Scholar
  79. Wiese, Richard. 1996. The phonology of German. Oxford: Oxford University Press.Google Scholar
  80. Wiese, Heike and Maling Joan. 2005. Beers, kaffi, and schnaps – different grammatical options for ‘restaurant talk’ coercions in three Germanic languages. Journal of Germanic Linguistics 17(1): 1–38.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  81. Williams, Edwin S. 1982. Another argument that passive is transformational. Linguistic Inquiry 13(1): 160–163.Google Scholar

Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media B.V. 2008

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Department of Foreign Languages and LiteraturesUniversity of North TexasDentonUSA

Personalised recommendations