Natural Language & Linguistic Theory

, Volume 19, Issue 1, pp 199–228 | Cite as

Dressing Up For Vocabulary Insertion: The Parasitic Supine

  • Anna-Lena Wiklund


In the context of a subclass of bare complements in Swedish, the present paper argues for a structure of grammar that partly separates the mechanisms that build syntactico-semantic structures from those determining the phonological expression of these. The parasitic supine construction displays the properties that are relevant for such a separation: a clear-cut discrepancy between form and meaning. The construction type exemplifies a complementation strategy available for a restricted class of infinitive selecting verbs in variants of the Scandinavian languages. The complement verb surfaces with an inflection identical to that of the matrix verb, yet the form has no effect on the interpretation, which remains the same as for the infinitival counterpart used in the standard language. The approach makes use of grammatical feature underspecification, the seeming gap between meaning and form being bridged by selectional restrictions and constraints on the relevant syntactic configuration. On the basis of its distribution, it is proposed that the phenomenon is a restructuring effect. The form is the result of morphological manipulations of the underspecified syntactico-semantic structure, providing it with the necessary clothes for Vocabulary Insertion.


Artificial Intelligence Restricted Class Standard Language Construction Type Select Verb 
These keywords were added by machine and not by the authors. This process is experimental and the keywords may be updated as the learning algorithm improves.


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Copyright information

© Kluwer Academic Publishers 2001

Authors and Affiliations

  • Anna-Lena Wiklund
    • 1
  1. 1.Dept. of Philosophy and LinguisticsUmeå UniversityUmeåSweden

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