Natural Language Semantics

, Volume 19, Issue 1, pp 1–38

Parasitic degree phrases

Article

Abstract

This paper investigates gaps in degree phrases with too, as in John is too rich [for the monastery to hire ___ ]. We present two curious restrictions on such gapped degree phrases. First, the gaps must ordinarily be anteceded by the subject of the associated gradable adjective. Second, when embedded under intensional verbs, gapped degree phrases are ordinarily restricted to surface scope, unlike their counterparts without gaps. Just as puzzlingly, we show that these restrictions are lifted when there is overt wh-movement in the main clause, revealing a striking similarity between the distribution of gapped degree phrases and so-called parasitic gap constructions. These findings, we argue, suggest that the theory of parasitic gaps needs to accommodate gapped degree phrases. Specifically, they argue that parasitic constituents are null operator structures—and under the right conditions need not be accompanied by matrix wh-movement.

Keywords

Degree phrases Scope Gapped infinitival clauses Null operator movement Parasitic gaps 

Preview

Unable to display preview. Download preview PDF.

Unable to display preview. Download preview PDF.

References

  1. Barker Chris. (2007) Parasitic scope. Linguistics and Philosophy 30: 407–444CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  2. Beck, Sigrid. 2000. Star operators. Episode 1: Defense of the double star. In UMass occasional papers in linguistics 23: Issues in semantics, ed. Kiyomi Kusumoto and Elisabeth Villalta, 1–23. Amherst: GLSA.Google Scholar
  3. Bhatt, Rajesh, and Shoichi Takahashi. 2007. Direct comparisons: Resurrecting the direct analysis of phrasal comparatives. In Proceedings of SALT 17, ed. Masayuki Gibson and Tova Friedman. Ithaca: CLC Publications.Google Scholar
  4. Browning, Margaret. 1987. Null operator constructions. Doctoral dissertation, MIT, MITWPL, Cambridge.Google Scholar
  5. Chomsky, Noam. 1977. On wh-movement. In Formal syntax, ed. P. Culicover, T. Wasow, and A. Akmajian, 71–132. New York: Academic Press.Google Scholar
  6. Chomsky Noam. (1986) Barriers. MIT Press, Cambridge, MAGoogle Scholar
  7. Contreras Heles. (1984) A note on parasitic gaps. Linguistic Inquiry 15: 698–701Google Scholar
  8. Cresswell, M. J. 1976. The semantics of degree. In Montague grammar, ed. Barbara Partee, 261–292. New York: Academic Press.Google Scholar
  9. Engdahl Elisabet. (1983) Parasitic gaps. Linguistics and Philosophy 6: 5–34CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  10. Faraci, Robert. 1974. Aspects of the grammar of infinitives and for-phrases. Doctoral dissertation, MIT, MITWPL, Cambridge.Google Scholar
  11. Fox Danny. (2000) Economy and semantic interpretation. MIT Press, Cambridge, MAGoogle Scholar
  12. Gawron Jean Mark. (1995) Comparatives, superlatives, and resolution. Linguistics and Philosophy 18: 333–380CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  13. Hacquard, Valentine. 2006. Aspects of too and enough constructions. In Proceedings of SALT 15, ed. E. Georgala and J. Howell, 80–96. Ithaca: CLC Publications.Google Scholar
  14. Heim, Irene. 1985. Notes on comparatives and related matters. Ms., University of Texas, Austin.Google Scholar
  15. Heim, Irene. 1999. Notes on superlatives. Ms., MIT.Google Scholar
  16. Heim, Irene. 2001. Degree operators and scope. In Audiatur Vox Sapientiae, ed. C. Féry and W. Sternefeld, 214–239. Berlin: Akademie-Verlag.Google Scholar
  17. Heim Irene, Angelika Kratzer. (1998) Interpretation in generative grammar. Blackwell, MaldenGoogle Scholar
  18. Hornstein Norbert, Jairo Nunes. (2002) On asymmetries between parasitic gap and across the board movement constructions. Syntax 5: 26–54CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  19. Johnson, Kyle. 2000. How far will quantifiers go? In Step by step: Essays on minimalist syntax in honor of Howard Lasnik, ed. R. Martin et al., 187–210. Cambridge, MA: MIT Press.Google Scholar
  20. Kayne Richard. (1983) Connectedness. Linguistic Inquiry 14: 223–249Google Scholar
  21. Kratzer, Angelika. 1996. Severing the external argument from its verb. In Phrase structure and the lexicon, ed. L. Rooryck and L. A. Zaring, 109–138. Kluwer: Dordrecht.Google Scholar
  22. Longobardi, Giuseppi. 1985. The theoretical status of the adjunct condition. Ms., Scuola Normale Superiore, Pisa.Google Scholar
  23. Meier Cécile. (2003) The meaning of too, enough, and so . . .that. Natural Language Semantics 11: 69–107CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  24. Nissenbaum, Jon. 1998. Movement and derived predication: Evidence from parasitic gaps. In The interpretive tract, ed. U. Sauerland and O. Percus, MIT working papers in linguistics, Vol. 25, 247–295. Cambridge: MITWPL.Google Scholar
  25. Nissenbaum, Jon. 2000. Investigations of covert phrase movement. Doctoral dissertation, MIT, MITWPL, Cambridge.Google Scholar
  26. Nissenbaum, Jon and Bernhard Schwarz. 2008. Two puzzles about infinitivals with too. In Proceedings of the 27th west coast conference on formal linguistics, ed. Natasha Abner, Jason Bishop, and Kevin Ryan, 344–352. Somerville: Cascadilla Proceedings Project.Google Scholar
  27. Nunes, Jairo. 1995. The copy theory of movement and linearization of chains in the minimalist program. Doctoral dissertation, University of Maryland, College Park.Google Scholar
  28. Partee, Barbara H., and Mats Rooth. 1983. Generalized conjunction and type ambiguity. In Meaning, use, and interpretation of language, ed. Rainer Bäuerle, Christoph Schwarze and Arnim von Stechow, 361–383. Berlin: de Gruyter.Google Scholar
  29. Pesetsky, David. 1982 . Paths and categories. Doctoral dissertation, MIT, MITWPL, Cambridge.Google Scholar
  30. Rett, Jessica. 2008. Antonymy and evaluativity. In Proceedings of SALT 17, ed. M. Gibson and T. Friedman. Ithaca: CLC Publications.Google Scholar
  31. Sauerland, Uli. 1998. Plurals, derived predicates, and reciprocals. In The interpretive tract, ed. U. Sauerland and O. Percus, MIT working papers in linguistics, 177–204, Cambridge: MITWPL.Google Scholar
  32. Schwarz, Bernhard. 2007. Reciprocal equatives. In Proceedings of Sinn und Bedeutung, ed. E. Puig-Waldmüller, Vol. 11, 568–582, Barcelona: Universitat Pompeu Fabra.Google Scholar
  33. Schwarzschild Roger. (2008) The semantics of comparatives and other degree constructions. Language and Linguistics Compass 2: 308–331CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  34. von Stechow Arnim. (1984) Comparing semantic theories of comparison. Journal of Semantics 3: 1–77CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  35. von Stechow, Arnim, Sveta Krasikova, and Doris Penka. 2004. The meaning of German um zu: Necessary condition and enough/too. Handout for Workshop on Modal Verbs and Modality, University of Tübingen.Google Scholar

Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media B.V. 2010

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Department of Languages, Literatures and LinguisticsSyracuse UniversitySyracuseUSA
  2. 2.Department of LinguisticsMcGill UniversityMontrealCanada

Personalised recommendations