Meeting, Feb 26th

When: 10:30 am, Feb 26th
Where: IRCS 402
What: Seth will give a practice talk for the  Complex Predicates
workshop. It's a 45 minute talk. 

In this talk I discuss complex predicate constructions, focusing on
Romance, in the framework of Tree Adjoining Grammar (TAG)
and argue that the resulting analysis has several desirable
properties.  TAG is a formalism in which structural representations
are built out of pieces of phrase structure, called {\it elementary
trees}, which are taken as atomic by the formal system.  Inter-clausal
movement is captured by using the {\it adjunction} operation to insert
one tree within another, thus allowing components of a tree to be
``stretched'' apart.  It is an attractive aspect of TAG that
well-known constraints on locality, such as subjacency, are derivative
from the properties of adjunction, and do not need to be stated as
stipulations.  As a result, the substantive theory of syntax can be
limited to conditions on the well-formedness of elementary trees.

The constrained nature of TAG rules out an analysis of ``restructuring'' 
effects in Romance, such as clitic climbing, in terms of movement from one 
clause to another.  Instead, we must have an account in which the restructuring
verbs are ``defective'', and so are small enough that they can adjoin into a 
clause where a non-defective verb could not.  For example, we derive an 
Italian sentence such as (\ref{A}) by having a tree for {\it vuole} adjoin 
into a tree for {\it Mario lo leggere}, thus stretching {\it Mario lo} away 
from {\it leggere}, with no actual ``movement'' of the clitic.  In contrast 
to movement accounts of restructuring, which often rely on the complement 
missing some functional projections (e.g., \cite{Martins}),  the 
complement in the TAG analysis has a full projection in 
its own elementary tree, and it is instead the higher verb which is defective.   
\item {Mario lo vuole leggere \\
Mario wants to read it \label{A}}

Essentially, for these ``restructuring'' cases, the biclausal/monoclausal 
conflict is resolved by allowing the restructuring verbs to adjoin into 
another verb's elementary tree. This type of adjunction, while formally 
possible, is usually prohibited because it violates the constraint on a TAG 
derivation that syntactic composition must be monotonic in its effect on 
semantic interpretation. But it is exactly in the case of these restructuring 
verbs that such adjunction is allowed, because of their well-known properties 
of being semantically weak (\cite{Napoli} and others).  The distinction
in TAG between the record of the derivational history (used for semantic
interpretation) and the corresponding
derived phrase structure tree  allows for an interesting approach to the 
syntax/semantics non-isomorphism.

The TAG analysis has certain desirable results.  Two examples are: (1) It 
predicts, with no stipulations necessary,  that restructuring will be 
impossible with object-control verbs, since the subject of the final sentence 
is simply the subject of the elementary tree projected from the lower verb.
I propose that that all apparent cases of object-control restructuring verbs, 
such as the {\it permitir} class in Spanish, should be treated as
causatives, based 
both on the semantic properties of these verbs, and the fact that they 
classify with uncontroversial causatives and against restructuring verbs in 
crucial ways, such as the placement of the reflexive clitic {\it se} 
\cite{Suner}.  (2) The various facts showing that the main predicate in these
constructions is the embedded verb, such as the interpretation of plural null 
pronominals in Catalan \cite{Picallo}, follow directly from this analysis. 

This type of analysis in TAG, however, is not possible for causative 
constructions.  Instead, a variant of TAG, {\it multi-component} TAG, is
used for these cases.  I suggest that this allows a way to differentiate
between the cases of ``restructuring'' in which the subject of the embedded
clause is or is not coreferential with the subject of the matrix clause.
I also discuss the locality properties of clitic movement with embedded 
causatives, a crucial issue for TAG.

I will discuss some issues that are potentially problematic for this
analysis (e.g., Italian auxiliary selection), and also how the TAG analysis 
compares and contrasts with certain aspects of analyses in other frameworks, 
such as argument composition in HPSG \cite{PM}.