[UMR] Alexander Grosu (Tel Aviv)
Alexander Grosu (Tel Aviv)
Transparent Free Relatives (TFR):
The puzzle of prima facie conflicting syntactic and semantic properties
In TFRs like Bill bumped into what seemed to him to be a werewolf, the boldfaced constituent (call it pre-theoretically 'the pivot') exhibits certain properties that are typically associated with syntactic Heads. However, not all syntactic properties of TFRs are compatible with a Head analysis of the pivot, and such an analysis moreover does not provide a natural basis for a compositional semantic analysis.
This talk will provide a detailed description of the principal syntactic, semantic and pragmatic properties of TFRs, and will propose a syntactic and semantic analysis which, among other things, aims at reconciling the prima facie conflict.
The analysis is based on data from English, German and Dutch, and one of its goals is to hopefully stimulate investigation of the extent to which the properties of TFRs in these languages are or are not found in the TFRs of other languages, e.g., Romance and Slavic.