Split quantification and the status of adjunction in the theory of grammar

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Abstract

This article provides new evidence in favor of recognizing adjunction as a grammatical operation distinct from complementation. I first introduce a case of split quantification in French that has received little attention in the literature. It consists of a quantificational expression the restriction of which is made up of the element comme 'as' followed by a bare common noun. I refer to this construct as QCN. I then compare QCN with two well-known cases of split quantification: quantification at a distance in French (QAD) and the so-called was-für/wat voor split quantification construction found in German and Dutch. I argue that a coherent account of those properties of French QCN that contrast with those of French QAD and German was-für sentences can only emerge from a theory of phrase structure that recognizes that arguments and adjuncts are subject to different requirements within the workspace. I show that if one assumes that QCN restrictor phrases are QP-modifying adjuncts that need not be present in the derivation while their QP host is undergoing Merge or Move (but can be introduced at a later stage in the derivation when their host is acting as the complement or specifier of some other projection), the patterns of locality restrictions observed for QCN as well as the scopal properties of this construction can be accounted for. This, I claim, constitute strong evidence against theories of phrase structure that do not recognize adjunction as a grammatical operation distinct from complementation.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)245-283
Number of pages39
JournalStudia Linguistica
Volume68
Issue number3
DOIs
StatePublished - Dec 1 2014

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Language and Linguistics
  • Linguistics and Language
  • History and Philosophy of Science

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