Adverb placement [Elektronische Ressource] : an optimality theoretic approach / von Eva Engels
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Adverb placement [Elektronische Ressource] : an optimality theoretic approach / von Eva Engels

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Adverb Placement An Optimality Theoretic Approach Dissertation zur Erlangung des akademischen Grades Doctor philosophiae (Dr. phil.) eingereicht bei der Humanwissenschaftlichen Fakultät der Universität Potsdam von Eva Engels September 2004 CONTENTS Introduction 1 PART I: ADVERB PLACEMENT Chapter 1.The Dat 9 1.1 The Ordering of Adverbs and Verbs/Auxiliaries 9 1.1.1 Adverbs and Finite Verbs/Auxiliaries 9 1.1.2 Adverb and Non-Finite Verbs/Auxiliaries 14 1.2 The Ordering of Adverbs and Arguments 17 1.2.1 Focus-Background Structure 17 1.2.2 Topic-Comment 19 1.2.3 Frequency and Temporal Adverbs and the Reading of Arguments 21 Chapter 2. Previous Approaches to the Ordering of Adverbs and Verbs 24 2.1 Syntactic Approaches 24 2.1.1 (In)Variable Verb Positioning: Emonds (1976), Pollock (1989, 1997), Baker (1991) 24 2.1.2 (In)Variable Subject Positioning: Belletti (1990, 1994) 30 2.1.3 (In)Variable Verb and Subject Positioning: Cinque (1999) 38 2.14 (Un)Availability of X'-Adjunction: Ernst (2002) 41 2.2 A Semantic Approach: Ernst (1998, 2002) 50 2.3 Summary 62 i Adverb Placement. An Optimality Theoretic Approach Chapter 3. An Optimality Theoretic Approach to Adverb Placement 63 3.

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Publié par
Publié le 01 janvier 2004
Nombre de lectures 21
Langue English
Poids de l'ouvrage 2 Mo

Exrait









Adverb Placement
An Optimality Theoretic Approach



Dissertation

zur Erlangung des akademischen Grades
Doctor philosophiae (Dr. phil.)
eingereicht bei der Humanwissenschaftlichen Fakultät
der Universität Potsdam

















von
Eva Engels

September 2004












CONTENTS



Introduction 1


PART I: ADVERB PLACEMENT

Chapter 1.The Dat 9

1.1 The Ordering of Adverbs and Verbs/Auxiliaries 9
1.1.1 Adverbs and Finite Verbs/Auxiliaries 9
1.1.2 Adverb and Non-Finite Verbs/Auxiliaries 14
1.2 The Ordering of Adverbs and Arguments 17
1.2.1 Focus-Background Structure 17
1.2.2 Topic-Comment 19
1.2.3 Frequency and Temporal Adverbs and the Reading of Arguments 21


Chapter 2. Previous Approaches to the Ordering of Adverbs and Verbs 24

2.1 Syntactic Approaches 24
2.1.1 (In)Variable Verb Positioning: Emonds (1976), Pollock (1989, 1997),
Baker (1991) 24
2.1.2 (In)Variable Subject Positioning: Belletti (1990, 1994) 30
2.1.3 (In)Variable Verb and Subject Positioning: Cinque (1999) 38
2.14 (Un)Availability of X'-Adjunction: Ernst (2002) 41
2.2 A Semantic Approach: Ernst (1998, 2002) 50
2.3 Summary 62


i Adverb Placement. An Optimality Theoretic Approach
Chapter 3. An Optimality Theoretic Approach to Adverb Placement 63

3.1 Theoretical Assumptions 64
3.1.1 The Input
3.1.2 Candidates 67
3.2 The Ordering of Adverbs and Verbs/Auxiliaries in English and French 71
3.2.1 The Ordering of Wide Scope Adverbs and Finite Verbs/Auxiliaries 71
3.2.2 Excursus: The Ordering of Adverbs and Negation 80
3.2.3 The Ordering of Narrow Scope Adverbs and Finite Verbs/Auxiliaries 86
3.2.4 The Ordering of Adverbs and Non-Finite Verbs/Auxiliaries 88
3.2.5 Summary 90
3.3 German Verb Placement and the Prefield Position 92
3.3.1 Verb Placement in German 92
3.3.2 The Prefield Position 99
3.3.3 Summary 110
3.4 Adverb Placement and Focus-Background Structure 111
3.4.1 Focus-Sensitivity of Sentence Adverbs 111
3.4.2 Positioning of Focus-Sensitive Adverbs in German 114
3.4.3 Positioning of Focus-Sensitive Adverbs in English and French 135
3.4.4 Excursus: Placement of Sentence Adverbs in Italian 142
3.4.5 Summary 143
3.5 Adverb Placement and Topic-Comment Structure 145
3.5.1 Topic Fronting in Declarative Clauses 145
3.5.2 Adverb Fronting in Declarative Clauses 158
3.5.3 Topic Placement in Questions 166
3.5.4 Adverb Placem 175
3.5.5 ent and the Reading of Arguments 183
3.5.6 Summary 188
3.6 Summary 189


PART II: ADVERB PLACEMENT IN GAP CONSTRUCTIONS

Chapter 4.English 195

4.1 The Data 195
4.2 Previous Approaches to Adverb Placement in Gap Constructions 203
4.2.1 Baker (1971, 1981) 203
4.2.2 Sag (1978, 1980b), Sag & Fodor (1994), Kim & Sag (1995a, 2002) 204
4.2.3 Empty Category Principle Approaches 205
4.2.4 Summary 206

ii Contents
4.3 The Gaps 207
4.4 Wide Scope Adverb Placement in Non-Inverted Gap Constructions 210
4.5. Excursus: There-Gap Constructions 218
4.6 Narrow Scope Adverb Placement in Gap Constructions 221
4.7 Adverb Placement in Inverted Gap Constructions 227
4.8 Summary 231


Chapter 5. French 233

5.1 The Data 234
5.2 Adverb Placement in Clitic Left Dislocations 240
5.3 Adverb Placement in Clefts 249
5.4 Excursus: The Distribution of Sentence Adverbs in Italian 258
5.5 Summary 260


Chapter 6.German 263

6.1 The Data 263
6.2 Syntax: V2 270
6.3 Pragmatics: Information Structure 273
6.4 Semantics: Scope 277
6.5 Summary 281


Conclusion 282

References 284

Appendix: Constraints and Rankings 299


iii









INTRODUCTION



This thesis examines the placement of adverbs in general (Part I) and in particular
constructions, called gap constructions below (Part II). On the basis of the investigation of
adverb distribution in English, French, and German, an Optimality Theoretic (OT) approach
to adverb positioning is developed in Part I. The languages examined here differ in various
aspects of their placement of adverbs. In English, the ordering of adverbs and finite verbs
depends on the type of verb: a medial adverb precedes a finite lexical verb while it may occur
on either side of a finite aspectual auxiliary. The linearization of adverbs and non-finite
verbs/auxiliaries is subject to scope-based restrictions: an adverb outscopes a following non-
finite verb while it takes narrow scope relative to a preceding one. In French, the reverse
pattern holds: while a medial adverb has to follow a finite verb irrespective of verb type
(lexical or auxiliary) - adverb intervention between the subject and the finite verb is strictly
prohibited -, adverb placement relative to a non-finite verb is more variable than in English,
permitting an adverb to follow a non-finite verb that it outscopes. In contrast to English and
French, finite verb placement in German depends on the type of clause (V2 in matrix clauses
vs. V-final in embedded ones), with non-finite verbs occurring in right-peripheral position;
consequently, adverb positioning relative to verbs/auxiliaries is rather restrained. Yet as an
OV-language, German displays a greater flexibility in the ordering of adverbs and arguments
than English and French. A survey of the basic phenomena of adverb placement is presented
in chapter 1.
Section 2.1 reviews various approaches to the variability of and restrictions on the ordering of
adverbs and verbs/auxiliaries in English and French, analyzing the cross-linguistic contrasts
as resulting from differences in the movement behavior of lexical verbs and auxiliaries
(Emonds 1976, Pollock 1989, 1997, Baker 1991), contrasts in the flexibility of subject
placement (Belletti 1990, 1994) and/or verb positioning (Cinque 1999) as well as from
differences in the availability of I'-adjunction (Ernst 2002). However, approaches applying
purely syntactic principles do not cover the fact that semantic factors may influence adverb
placement as well: whether or not a particular position is available for a certain adverb may
depend on the other items involved in the clause. In view of the fact that alternations in
adverb placement may give rise to differences in scopal interpretation, adverb positioning
seems to be restrained by the availability of scope options (see section 2.2). Ernst (1998,
1 Adverb Placement. An Optimality Theoretic Approach 2
2002) traces back these semantic restrictions on the placement of adverbs to their lexical
properties: in his approach, an adverb can only occur in a position in which it may satisfy its
selectional requirements, predicting adverb placement to be influenced by the co-occurring
elements.
Chapter 3 develops an Optimality Theoretic (OT) approach to adverb placement. In OT
(Prince & Smolensky 1993), grammaticality is determined by optimal satisfaction of a
hierarchy of violable constraints. For some input i , a set of output candidates is produced by k
the function GEN out of which the function EVAL selects that candidate o as grammatical k
output which optimally satisfies the constraint hierarchy: the candidate o is the optimal k
output if there is no candidate o such that o violates the highest ranking constraint o and o l l k l
disagree on less often. The correlation between the availability of particular scope options and
the acceptability of certain adverb positions is captured by restrictions on the input and its
realization in the output candidates (see section 3.1): the input is taken to be a semantic
structure, which is subject to compositional principles based on Ernst's analysis, guaranteeing
that only representations that reflect acceptable scopal relations may enter the syntactic
competition. Moreover, an inviolable constraint in GEN is assumed to restrain the base
positioning of an adverb in the output candidates in accordance with its scope: an adverb has
to be merged as sister to its semantic argument specified in the input. However, the surface
position of an adverb is decided on by the candidates' evaluation with regard to the violable
constraints. Since the hierarchic relation between these constraints is crucial in determining
grammaticality, cross-linguistic contrasts in word ordering can be traced back to alternations
in the language-specific constraint rankings. Adverb placement will be shown to be subject to
syntactic, semantic, and pragmatic factors the diverse effects of which in English, French, and
German are accounted for by the distinct constraint rankings.
As will be illustrated in section 3.2, the various constraints and their relative ranking regulate
the availability of particular movement operations and the accessibility of certain adverb
positions, accounting for the differences in the ordering of adverbs and finite as well as non-
finite verbs/auxiliaries in English and French. The inviolable requirement on scope-dependent
base positioning of an adverb together with the violable constraints predicts that an adverb
takes scope over a verb/auxiliary following it in these languages; inverse scope may only arise
by verb movement across an adverb which is restricted to finite auxiliaries in English, but
may also affect lexical and non-finite verbs in French.
Section 3.3 focuses on finite verb placement and the occupation of the prefield position in
German. The necessity to fill the prefield position in German matrix clauses will be argued to
result in V-to-C movement. Adverb adjunction to CP or C' being prohibited, German matrix
clauses are thus expected to display V2. The choice of which constituent is placed in prefield
position and, consequently, which position an adverb occupies is assumed to depend on the
0featural composition of C . English and French not having to fill Spec,CP (these languages
rank the relevant constraint lower than German), projection of CP is usually suppressed in
matrix declarative clauses, predicting that these languages do not necessarily exhibit V2.
Section 3.4 concentrates on the placement of focus-sensitive frequency and sentence adverbs.
These types of adverbs will be shown to give rise to focus-dependent interpretative effects
Introduction 3
and to tend to occur in focus-initial position: an argument following such an adverb within the
German middle field is usually perceived as the adverb's associated constituent; unfocused
arguments should precede the adverb, which thus seems to partition the sentence into focus
and background. Effects of the constraints demanding for focus-adjacent placement of these
adverbs are also visible in the word ordering of the other languages under discussion, e.g.
giving rise to pre-auxiliary adverb placement in English or non-finite verb movement in
French. Moreover, focus apparently plays a crucial role in the distribution of sentence adverbs
in Italian: a sentence adverb may occur behind a finite or non-finite lexical verb only in case a
narrowly focused constituent follows it.
The fronting of topical arguments and adverbs is examined in section 3.5. Topic placement in
the leftmost position within the German middle field and in clause-initial position in English
and French will be argued to follow from a constraint requiring [+top] elements to appear in
left-peripheral position within IP. Adverbs in topic position are subject to an additional
restriction, which prohibits them to move across a scope-bearing element, thereby accounting
for the different distributional patterns of topical arguments and adverbs in English and
French interrogative clauses: pre-subject placement of some phrase being disallowed in these
contexts, an argument but not an adverb that is within the scope of the question may move on
to clause-initial position in matrix clauses. Finally, besides information structure, the reading
of an indefinite or quantified argument will be shown to be decisive for its positioning relative
to an adverb within the German middle field. Section 3.6 summarizes the results of Part I.
Part II specializes in a particular phenomenon of adverb positioning: the distribution of
adverbs in constructions in which the sister constituent of an adverb is deprived of its
phonetic material by movement or ellipsis, henceforward gap constructions. The OT approach
advanced in chapter 3 is extended to the analysis of the different patterns of adverb placement
in these constructions in English, French, and German. As presented in chapter 4, the
distribution of adverbs in gap constructions in English is influenced by the type of adverb, its
scope, and the syntactic construction (wh-question vs. Topicalization / VP Fronting / VP
Ellipsis; inverted vs. non-inverted clauses). A wide scope adverb of any type cannot precede a
gap in non-inverted clauses: the order finite auxiliary - adverb is ungrammatical in case the
adverb's sister constituent does not include any phonetic material; some overt element has to
intervene between the adverb and the gap. Yet in case the adverb has narrow scope or subject-
auxiliary inversion takes place, adverb placement in front of an overt element such as the
subject or finite auxiliary is impossible: placement of an adverb in pre-gap position might be
acceptable, depending on the type of adverb and the type of gap. Note that the examination of
adverb distribution in gap constructions is restricted to five types of adverbs: epistemic,
evidential, subject-oriented, frequency, and temporal adverbs. Though other types of adverbs
such as evaluative and discourse-oriented ones exhibit a similar pattern in that they prohibit
placement in front of a gap in non-inverted clauses as well, they are excluded from the
investigation since they do not allow for a narrow scope reading relative to a modal verb or
negation nor may they appear within the scope of a question. As discussed in section 4.2,
approaches to adverb positioning in gap constructions relying exclusively on conditions on
the auxiliary (e.g. Baker 1971, 1981, Lobeck 1987, 1995, Zagona 1988, Potsdam 1997a) or
Adverb Placement. An Optimality Theoretic Approach 4
restrictions on adverb placement (Sag 1978, 1980b, Sag & Fodor 1994, Kim & Sag 1995a,
2002) fail to account for the complete distributional pattern. Assuming that the avoidance of
pre-gap placement of an adverb results from a violable constraint that prohibits adverb
adjunction to a phonetically empty constituent, the analysis of adverb positioning in gap
constructions can be embedded in the OT approach to adverb placement laid out in Part I: the
influence of adverb type, scope, and syntactic construction on the acceptability of adverb
positioning in front of a gap follows from the interaction of the violable constraints. Their
relative ranking decides on whether or not an adverb may escape pre-gap placement by e.g.
exceptional positioning or omission of movement/ellipsis.
Since constraints are universal, it is expected that an effect of the constraint prohibiting pre-
gap adverb placement can be observed in other languages as well. In fact, adverb type, scope,
and syntactic construction also play a role in the distribution of adverbs in French gap
constructions, as shown in chapter 5: the various types of adverbs differ in which type of gap
(CLLD or Cleft) they may precede, following a finite or non-finite lexical or modal verb.
Although the same factors as in English obviously influence adverb placement in French,
their effects on the distributional pattern differ in the two languages: English and French
diverge in which strategies may be pursued to prevent a certain type of adverb from
preceding a gap, as captured by their distinct constraint hierarchies.
However, although constraints are active in every language, it depends on their relative
ranking whether or not they are able to impose their requirement on the word order of a given
language. In German, the constraint against pre-gap adverb placement apparently does not
have any visible effect: adverb positioning in front of a gap never yields to ungrammaticality
(see chapter 6). Rather, word ordering is carried out on the basis of the syntactic, semantic,
and pragmatic principles discussed in chapter 3; whether it results in adverb adjunction to a
phonetically empty constituent seems to be irrelevant, indicating that the corresponding
syntactic, semantic, and pragmatic constraints conceal the effect of that prohibition.
The Optimality Theoretic framework proves to be suitable to capture the various factors
affecting adverb placement as well as their distinct instantiations in the diverse languages.
The work closes with a conclusion followed by an appendix which lists the constraints as well
as their complete rankings in English, French, and German.