Thursday 20 October – Sjef Barbiers

Speaker: Sjef Barbiers (Leiden University)

Title: Restructuring Bridges

Date: Thursday 20 October

Venue: Van Eyckhof 2/005

Time: 15.15-16.30 hrs




In the sentences in (1a,b) the MoodSpeechAct adverb eerlijk gezegd/honestly is surfacing in the embedded clause but must be interpreted in the matrix clause.


(1)         Syntax-semantics mismatch type 1

  1. Ik denk dat ze eerlijk gezegd voor Rooney kiezen.                                   Dutch
  2. I think that they honestly will go for Rooney.                                            English

Both: ‘I honestly think they will go for Rooney.’


The reverse type of syntax-semantics mismatch is found in (2). Here the adverb ook ‘also’ is surfacing in the matrix clause but can be interpreted in the embedded clause.


(2)         Syntax-semantics mismatch type 2

Ze hebben gebeld maar… ‘They have called, but…’                                          Dutch

Ik denk ook dat ze komen.

I think also that they come

‘I think that they will also come.’


The two types of mismatches do not have the properties of speech errors or parentheticals. They are both restricted to bridge verbs. The type of adverbs that can occur in mismatch type 1 depends on the bridge verb, e.g., the bridge verb THINK only allows for MoodSpeechAct adverbs, while the bridge verb WANT only allows for ModVolition adverbs. I argue that these properties follow if we extend Cinque’s (2001) analysis of restructuring to finite complement clauses, such that the “matrix” bridge verb originates in the embedded clause and moves to the position of the matrix verb. It is this movement that distinguishes bridge verbs from other CP-selecting verbs. Only adverbs located in the specifier of the base position of the “matrix” verb in the embedded clause must be interpreted in the matrix clause. Mismatch type 2 is restricted to adverbs that are generated in or can reach a position immediately below the base position of the “matrix” verb in the embedded clause. Movement of the “matrix” bridge verb into the matrix clause makes it possible for them to move into the matrix clause as well. A consequence of this analysis is that the syntactic structure of finite CP complements of bridge verbs depends on the type of bridge verb involved. If time permits, I will also discuss other consequences, such as the analysis of long Wh-extraction, Neg-raising and complementizers.



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