Some Other Possible Cases of Nonlocal Dependencies: Comments on The Paper by Jaklin Kornfilt

  • Wayne Harbert
Part of the Studies in Natural Language and Linguistic Theory book series (SNLT, volume 35)


Jaklin Kornfilt’s contribution to this volume touches on a key problem in syntax—the question of what sorts of devices the theory of grammar should have at its disposal for explaining the fairly frequent instances in natural language in which typically local grammatical processes give the appearance of operating at a distance (as, for example, when a characteristically clause-bounded rule applies in a domain consisting of two clauses). The particular case she considers—the IDP construction of Turkish—results to be only an apparent, not a real instance of non-local application of NP movement, under the analysis she advances: the occurrence of passive morphology in both the main and the subordinate clause is not the result of any particular linkage between the INFL nodes of the two clauses (though she does explore an alternative possible analysis, under which the two are linked by head-raising). Rather, passive morphology in the main clause is simply forced when the embedded clause is passive by the fact that the failure of the passivized object to get case by moving to matrix subject position would result in ill-formedness. The analysis requires no special assumptions about locality conditions, aside from the claim that try-type verbs can in some languages exceptionally govern but not case-mark the subjects of their complements. In particular, a satisfactory account of IDP’s does not require the assumption of restructuring/reanalysis, and the consequent weakening of the Projection Principle.


Embed Clause Main Clause Matrix Clause Nominative Case Complement Clause 
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© Kluwer Academic Publishers 1996

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  • Wayne Harbert

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