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The Cognitive Foundations of Language

Semantic and Syntactic Categories in Universal Grammar

Peter J. Binkert
Copyright © Peter J. Binkert

First Printed in 1996.

The Langtech Corporation


3752 Root Drive
Troy, MI 48083–5189

All rights reserved, including those of translation into foreign languages. Except for the quotation
of short passages for the purposes of criticism and review, no part of this publication may be
reproduced or transmitted in any form or by any means, electronic or mechanical, including
photocopy, recording, or any information storage and retrieval system, without prior permission in
writing from the publisher.

Printed in Troy, Michigan by The Langtech Corporation.


PREFACE

This book is an exploration of semantic and syntactic categories — what they are, how they are
defined, how they are related, and how they interact. My primary concern is with the semantic and
syntactic specification of predicates in a lexicon, including the specification of thematic relations
like agent and goal associated with particular predicates and the specification of grammatical
relations like subject and object fulfilled by those thematic relations. The discussion involves
consideration of data from English and a wide range of other languages.

With regard to the semantic specification of predicates, I will focus on the following questions:

(1) a. What accounts for the fact that lexical items with similar meaning govern the same
thematic marker (preposition, postposition or grammatical case)? For example, in
English, why are the complements of verbs like remove (She removed the book from
the shelf) and discourage (She discouraged him from going) both introduced by the
same marker from? Why does into show up in both She inserted the key into the lock
and She forced them into reconciling? What accounts for the fact that similar classes
of lexical items exist in other languages as diverse as Japanese and Newari?

b. Why does the same thematic marker show up repeatedly in the world’s languages for
the same set of thematic relations? For example, why is the English preposition to
used to indicate the goal of motion (He flew to Paris), the recipient (He gave it to
her), and the person affected (He was mean to her)? And why are the same three
relations expressed by the preposition i in Welsh and the preposition a in Italian, by
the postposition ni in Japanese and the postposition ko in Hindi, by the allative case
in Finnish and Estonian and by the dative case in Latin, Sanskrit and Turkish?

c. How can the uses of particular markers be generalized so that the individual uses do
not have to be listed? Specifically, is there some element common to all uses of a
preposition like to in English so that the presence of that element “triggers” its
occurrence? Further, can the same common element be generalized to account for
the use of the postposition ni in Japanese, the dative case in Turkish, and
semantically related markers in other languages?

d. When a language loses a particular thematic marker over time, say, a grammatical
case, what accounts for the new marker that is used? For example, when Ancient
Greek lost the ablative case as a morphologically distinct case, why were the
functions of the Indo–European ablative taken over by the Greek genitive and not,
say, the Greek dative? How does one account for the evolution of a language like
Latin, which marks many thematic relations with specific grammatical cases, into
one like Italian, which marks those same relations with prepositions?
To account for the above facts, I will propose that thematic relations like agent and goal are not
atomic categories but bundles of semantic features. Further, I will propose that these semantic
features are defined in terms of human perceptual abilities, in particular, vision, so that there is a
direct link between the semantic structure of language and human perception. I will argue that the
proposed semantic features are universal and that they form the organizational infrastructure for the
separation of lexical items into various classes associated with specific thematic relations, as well
as various types of selectional restrictions seen in contrasts like He rowed the boat ashore and He
rowed the people ashore. Lastly, I will present a typology of predicates that reduces all predicates
to variations of one semantic schema. A summary of the answers to the above questions regarding
the semantics of predicates and thematic relations can be found at the conclusion of Chapter Two,
Page 126 ff.

In the area of syntax, this book is chiefly concerned with expressing the relationship between
different syntactic categories in natural language such as the different categories seen in examples
like He acted with courage, He acted courageously, and His actions were courageous. Specifically,
How are the verb act and the noun action related? What is the relationship between the
prepositional phrase with courage, the adverb courageously, and the adjective courageous?

With regard to the syntactic specification of predicates in a lexicon, I will focus on the following:

(2) a. Given that a predicate is associated with a particular set of thematic relations, what
accounts for the syntactic realization of those thematic relations, that is, for the
grammatical relations they can fulfill? For example, in the transference of something
from one entity to another as in They presented an award to the actress, why does
the transferred thing function as the grammatical direct object in so many languages,
and the recipient function as the grammatical indirect object?

b. How does a grammar specify the fact that the same thematic relation can fulfill
alternative grammatical functions. For example, what accounts for the alternation
between the noun phrase and prepositional phrase complements in They presented
an award to the actress and They presented the actress with an award? Why do we
have They gave an award to the actress and They gave the actress an award, but not
*They gave the actress with an award?

c. How does a grammar specify the fact that the transferred thing is often
“incorporated” into a predicate, that is, how does a grammar express the relationship
between They gave the first–place award to her and They awarded first–place to
her? How are such contrasts related to the incorporation of goals and sources in
examples like He put the money into his pocket/He pocketed the money and They
removed the king from the throne/They dethroned the king?

d. How does a grammar account for the fact that modification by means of a
prepositional phrase is often closely related to modification by means of an adverb,
e.g., He did it with amazing speed and He did it amazingly quickly? Further, what is

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the relationship between such structures and noun phrases with a specific case
marking in other languages, for example, the Latin ablative of manner seen in
mirabili celeritate ‘with amazing speed’ which occurs in variation with a
prepositional phrase (cum celeritate ‘with speed’) and an adverb (celeriter
‘quickly’).

My proposals for syntactic analysis parallel those for semantics. I will explore the idea that
syntactic categories like noun and verb are also not atomic categories but bundles of syntactic
features. Further, I will propose that these syntactic features are defined in terms of constraints on
human short term memory capacity which require that the phrases of all natural languages be
organized linearly and hierarchically. Thus, I will propose that there is a direct link between the
syntactic structure of language and human short term memory. I will also explore the hypothesis
that semantic considerations affect many of the choices for syntactic alternations of the type
illustrated above and most recently described in Levin 1993. I will extend Levin’s work, which
focuses primarily on noun phrase and prepositional phrase alternations, to all types of embedded
sentences including indirect statements, questions and commands, as well as gerunds, infinitives and
participles. Lastly, I will propose that all phrase structures are variations of one syntactic schema.
A summary of the answers to the above questions regarding grammatical relations and functions can
be found at the conclusion of Chapter Six, Page 453 ff.

The research reported here has been conducted in relation to a parsing project that has been under
development for the past twenty years and will be described in Chapter Five, Section 5.10.
Essentially, the project has been concerned with supplying appropriate semantic and syntactic
descriptions for arbitrary sentences typed into a parser. The discussion in this book, therefore, has
a different emphasis than that usually found in works on grammatical analysis. Basically, a parser
divides an arbitrary input string into words, looks up each word in a lexicon, and, given the semantic
and syntactic specifications associated with successive words, attempts to merge them into ever
expanding structures culminating in a fully structured expression. Thus, from an arbitrary string like
The actress cried, the words the and actress are merged into a noun phrase which is subsequently
merged with the predicate cried to form a sentence. The phrase the actress is identified as the
grammatical subject of the sentence, actress is identified as fulfilling the thematic role of agent for
the verb cry, the action is specified as occurring in the past, and so on.

Since the input to a parser is a surface string of arbitrary lexical items, an immediate question is,
How “deep” must the structural analysis be? For example, in a sentence like The actress was
awarded a prize, must a parser derive an underlying representation roughly parallel to Someone
awarded a prize to the actress? Or, can the fact that the actress is the recipient of the prize be
accounted for without such a transformational analysis? Chomsky (1981: 90 ff.) considers a similar
issue discussed in terms of two variants of a theory in which surface representations contain empty
categories. In the first variant, surface structures are derived from based–generated deep structures
by a movement rule (Move–") leaving behind a trace (the empty category). In the second, surface
structures are generated directly with empty categories in place, and the grammar contains various
rules for interpreting the empty categories. Work in grammatical analysis over the past fifty years
has often involved the exploration of these two variants (among other things of course) giving rise

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to different grammatical models such as Transformational Grammar (TG), Relational Grammar,
Generalized Phrase Structure Grammar, Lexical–Functional Grammar, and so on. The discussion
in this book is an exploration of a grammatical model without syntactic movement rules; therefore,
I will be concerned at many points with the potential empirical differences and consequences of
grammars with and without syntactic movement rules. Throughout the discussion, I will use the
label “MA” (Movement Approach to syntactic analysis) as a cover term to embrace a model of
language which allows syntactic movement operations as described in various works on generative
syntax including the earliest publications in TG (Chomsky 1955, 1957), the Standard Theory of TG
(Chomsky 1965), Government and Binding Theory and the Principles–and–Parameters Model
(Chomsky 1981; Culicover 1997), and the Minimalist Program (Chomsky 1995). Although I will
borrow freely from the insights of several models as diverse as Generalized Phrase Structure
Grammar and Cognitive Grammar, I will refer to a model without syntactic movement rules in the
most neutral way possible as simply “NMA” (Non–Movement Approach to syntactic analysis).

The NMA described here is exploratory. I will attempt to account for a broad range of syntactic
phenomena without movement rules to test the hypothesis that an NMA can be more explanatorily
adequate than an MA. At the heart of this debate, of course, is the description of empty categories,
what they are and where they can occur. Chapter Seven focuses on PRO; Chapter Eight focuses on
[e] (=trace). The model described here lacks PRO and severely restricts both what an empty
category can be and where empty categories can be inserted. In addition, my proposals include
nearly twenty different conditions on syntactic representations. Some of these conditions are
versions of those found in various versions of movement approaches; others are completely new,
the result of the very different structural principles proposed (Appendix A: Outline of Technical
Terms, Page 607 ff.). In essence, I will propose a syntactic model that only contains Merge and no
operation like Move, arguing that only Merge is justified. This conclusion appears to comport with
Chomsky’s recent statement, “While (iterated) Merge ‘comes free,’ any other operation requires
justification” (Chomsky 2000). I will argue that, given an adequate theory of phrase structure and
binding relations, Move is redundant and, therefore, unjustified.

Some years ago, I presented an earlier version of the syntactic feature space discussed in Chapter
Three at one of the long sessions of the LSA annual meeting in Washington (Binkert 1989). At the
conclusion, a member of the audience asked why I had reverted to structuralism. I was rather taken
aback by the question then because I had not seen my proposals as a return to the concerns of
structural linguistics. Rather, it seemed to me that during the late 1960's linguistic theory had
reached a fork in the road. Transformations in the sense of the Standard Theory of TG (Chomsky
1965) were beginning to prove problematic. The subsequent decades were a period of considerable
upheaval in which a variety of proposals were considered. X–bar syntax was one of them, and I
considered my own work an outgrowth of that refinement in syntactic theory (Binkert 1984).
Alternatively, many linguists pursued another route: rather than try to enrich the theory of phrase
structure, they chose to look at conditions on transformations and on ways to constrain the
transformational component. My sense back in the 1980's was that movement rules could be
eliminated altogether if the theory of phrase structure were extended and refined, and if empty
categories were merged into phrases in the process of building up syntactic and semantic
representations, that is, if [e] were in the lexicon along with there, people, go, etc. I share that sense

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today even though it is clear that my own work has been informed by the research on movement
rules in general and trace theory in particular.

I am grateful to many colleagues and students for their useful comments on this research; in
particular, I would like to thank Georgianne Baartmans, David Dinneen, Renate Gerulaitis, Cindy
Hart–Gonzalez, Kathy Malin, Lynn MacFarland, Daniel McDougall, Yukari Mori, Steven
Nicholson, Keiko Noji, Tere Onica, Marlita Reddy, Asae Shichi, Daniel Teuber, and Jyoti Tuladhar.
I am also indebted to Dan Fullmer for many hours spent in spirited debate over the syntactic
structures discussed here, and to Madelyn Kissock for many useful discussions and suggestions
which helped to clarify the issues. I especially want to thank Rich Campbell whose comments on
earlier versions of this book have improved its quality in ways too numerous to mention
individually; Rich has caught many errors and uncovered many problems which forced me to rethink
and rewrite. The book was also used in manuscript form in an advanced course in semantics and
syntax at Oakland University during the Winter term, 1997. I am very grateful to the students in that
course for their valuable comments and helpful discussion. Naturally, I assume full responsibility
for all remaining mistakes.

I owe a special debt to Chris Wagner, my partner in the development of the first parser to implement
the proposals discussed here. I also wish to express my gratitude to the United State Air Force, in
particular to Lt. Colonel Hugh L. Burns, Jr., Ph. D., for three grants which Chris and I received: (i)
Follow–on Grant, Universal Energy Systems, Natural Language Understanding tools, Part One:
A Case Analysis System, 1985–86; (ii) Follow-on Grant, Universal Energy Systems, Natural
Language Understanding tools, Part Two: Hardware Based Semantics, 1985–86; and (iii) Summer
Faculty Research Program Grant, Lowry Air force Base, Colorado, summer 1985.

I am grateful to Henry Ford Hospital, Detroit, Michigan, where I held the position of Senior Staff
Investigator, Psychiatry and Neurology, from 1989 to 1993. A special debt is owed to Michael
Welch, M.D., Chairman, Department of Neurology. My tenure at Henry Ford Hospital lead to
collaboration with Gregory Brown, Ph. D., currently at the VA Medical Center in San Diego. The
research reported in this book has also been supported in part by a four–year grant with Greg Brown,
# NS30618 from the National Institute of Neurological Disorders and Stroke, the National Institutes
of Health. The subject of that grant, lexical decision making in Parkinson’s disease, incorporates
the semantic theory presented here.

Lastly, I would like to thank my wife, Jacqueline, and my sons, Kevin and Nathan, for their support
during the twenty years that the research reported here has been in progress.

Peter J. Binkert
Troy, Michigan

Spring 2001

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TABLE OF CONTENTS

PREFACE . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . i

TABLE OF CONTENTS . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . vii

ABBREVIATIONS AND TERMINOLOGY . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . xv

CHAPTER ONE . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 1

1.1 INTRODUCTION: THE CATEGORIAL PROBLEM . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 1


1.1.1 DESCRIPTIVE ADEQUACY IN SYNCHRONIC ANALYSIS. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 5
1.1.2 DESCRIPTIVE ADEQUACY IN DIACHRONIC ANALYSIS. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 14
1.1.3 EXPLANATORY ADEQUACY. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 15

1.2 POSITIONAL THEMATIC RELATIONS . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 17

1.3 SOME BASIC FEATURE DISTINCTIONS . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 18

FIGURE ONE: PROXIMAL POSITIONAL THEMATIC RELATIONS . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 27

FIGURE TWO: NONPROXIMAL POSITIONAL THEMATIC RELATIONS . . . . . . . . . . . . 27

1.4 MOVEMENT AND NONMOVEMENT. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 28

1.5 NEGATION AND CAUSATION . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 33

1.6 NONPOSITIONAL THEMATIC RELATIONS . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 35

1.7 GENERAL HYPOTHESIS . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 35

1.8 EXPRESSIONS OF POSSESSION . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 36


1.8.1 INALIENABLE AND ALIENABLE POSSESSION. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 37
1.8.2 POSSESSION AND NONPOSSESSION. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 39

1.9 THE METAPHORICAL USES OF THE FEATURES . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 40


1.9.1 THE METAPHORICAL USE OF [±PROXIMAL]. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 40
1.9.2 THE METAPHORICAL USE OF [±DISJUNCTURAL]/[±CONJUNCTURAL].
. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 40
1.9.3 THE METAPHORICAL USE OF [±EXTENSIONAL]. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 47
1.9.4 THE METAPHORICAL USE OF [±FIRST ORDER]. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 48

1.10 HOW MANY THEMATIC RELATIONS ARE THERE? . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 49

FIGURE THREE: PROXIMAL NONPOSITIONAL THEMATIC RELATIONS . . . . . . . . . . 50


FIGURE FOUR: NONPROXIMAL NONPOSITIONAL THEMATIC RELATIONS . . . . . . . 50

1.11 THEMATIC AND ATHEMATIC ASPECTS OF PERCEPTION . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 55

1.12 A PREVIEW OF SEMANTIC NETWORKS . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 56

1.13 GENERALIZING MEANING: MOTION OVER AN EXPANSE . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 59

1.14 LEXICAL SPECIFICATION OF MEANING. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 62

ENDNOTES TO CHAPTER ONE . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 65

CHAPTER TWO . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 81

2.1 THE NEED FOR A TYPOLOGY OF PREDICATES . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 81

2.2 POSITIONAL VERSUS NONPOSITIONAL PREDICATES . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 84

2.3 SEMANTIC DISTINCTIONS AMONG PREDICATES . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 85

FIGURE FIVE: SPECTRUM SPECIFICATIONS . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 87

2.4 INGRESSIVE (IGR) PREDICATES . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 88

2.5 SPECTRUM SPECIFICATIONS: POSITIONAL PREDICATES . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 92

2.6 SPECTRUM SPECIFICATIONS: NONPOSITIONAL PREDICATES . . . . . . . . . . . . . 93

2.7 SUMMARY OF PREDICATE TYPES. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 95

FIGURE SIX: SUMMARY OF PREDICATE TYPES . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 96

FIGURE SIX: SUPPLEMENT ONE . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 96

2.8 NONSTATIVE REDUCTION . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 98

FIGURE SIX: SUPPLEMENT TWO . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 99

2.9 GENERALIZATIONS. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 105

2.10 SOME APPARENT PROBLEMS . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 107

2.11 INCORPORATION . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 114

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2.12 SUMMARY OF SPECTRUM SPECIFICATIONS . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 126

ENDNOTES TO CHAPTER TWO . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 141

CHAPTER THREE . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 151

3.1 A FEATURE ANALYSIS FOR SYNTACTIC CATEGORIES. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 151


3.1.1 THE SEPARATION OF X2 AND X1 LEVELS. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 161
3.1.2 LEXICAL DECOMPOSITION. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 166
3.1.3 MAJOR AND MINOR MORPHOSYNTACTIC FEATURES. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 170

FIGURE SEVEN I: FEATURES FOR ENGLISH . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 176

FIGURE SEVEN II: FEATURES FOR ENGLISH . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 177

3.2 THE ENGLISH NOUN PHRASE CONDITION (NPC). . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 180

3.3 PHRASE STRUCTURE FRAMES. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 184

3.4 COMPARISON WITH OTHER FEATURE SYSTEMS. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 194


3.4.1 THE DP AND CP ANALYSES. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 196
3.4.2 RADFORD’S ACCOUNT OF THE ACQUISITION OF ENGLISH SYNTAX.
. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 202

3.5 THE AUXILIARY SYSTEM IN ENGLISH. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 206


3.5.1 PRELIMINARIES. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 206
3.5.2 THE DISTRIBUTION OF AUXILIARY ELEMENTS. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 210
3.5.3 THE CONSTITUENCY OF AUXILIARY ELEMENTS. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 213
3.5.4 THE PERFECTIVE. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 214
3.5.5 THE VERB be. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 217
3.5.6 THE VERB do. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 222
3.5.7 RESOLUTION. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 224

3.6 ADVERBS IN FRENCH AND ITALIAN. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 227

3.7 CONDITIONS ON REPRESENTATIONS. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 230

ENDNOTES TO CHAPTER THREE . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 237

CHAPTER FOUR . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 263

4.1 SYNTACTIC USES OF CASE . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 263

4.2 SEMANTIC USES OF CASE . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 266

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4.2.1 PRINCIPLED AND IDIOSYNCRATIC THEMATIC MARKING. . . . . . . . . . . . 266
4.2.2 PSYCHOLOGICAL PREDICATES. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 269

4.3 THE LATIN CASE SYSTEM. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 272


4.3.1 STRUCTURAL REPRESENTATIONS . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 277
4.3.2 THE LATIN CASE ALTERNATIONS. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 279
4.3.3 THE LATIN ABLATIVE WITH VERBS AND PREPOSITIONS. . . . . . . . . . . . 286

4.4 COMPARISON OF ENGLISH, LATIN, NEWARI AND JAPANESE. . . . . . . . . . . . . 292

4.5 CASE IN INDO–EUROPEAN . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 302

ENDNOTES TO CHAPTER FOUR . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 309

CHAPTER FIVE . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 315

5.1 COMPUTATIONAL APPLICATIONS: DIMENSIONAL EXPRESSIONS . . . . . . . . 315

FIGURE EIGHT: CLASSIFICATORY THEMATIC RELATIONS . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 319

5.2 THE PERCEPTUAL BASIS OF SEMANTICS . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 320

5.3 SEMANTIC NETWORKS . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 322

5.4 LEXICAL ENTRIES . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 323

5.5 PROMOTION AND DEMOTION . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 327

5.6 PROTOTYPES AND STRENGTH OF ASSOCIATION . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 331

5.7 LEXICAL REDUNDANCIES: MOTION VERBS . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 337

5.8 PROMOTION REVISITED . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 355

5.9 DERIVING THE SPECTRUM SPECIFICATION . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 357

5.10 THE LANGTECH PARSER. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 358


5.10.1 THE RETRIEVAL OF MORPHOSYNTACTIC FEATURES. . . . . . . . . . . . . 359
5.10.2 BUILDING SYNTACTIC STRUCTURE. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 360
5.10.3 MERGING FRAMES. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 362
5.10.4 A NOTE ON INHERITANCE. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 362
5.10.5 STRENGTH OF ASSOCIATION. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 363
5.10.6 THE RETRIEVAL OF SEMANTIC FEATURES. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 364
5.10.7 THE BREAKDOWN OF NOMINAL AND VERBAL FEATURES. . . . . . . . 366

ix
5.10.8 LINKING THE FEATURE SYSTEMS TOGETHER. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 373
5.10.9 USING THE NETWORK TO EXPRESS GENERALIZATIONS. . . . . . . . . . 374
5.10.10 SOME PROBLEMS. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 377

ENDNOTES TO CHAPTER FIVE . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 381

CHAPTER SIX . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 391

6.1 ENCODING THE MEANING OF PREDICATES. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 391


6.1.1 SPECTRUM SPECIFICATIONS. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 391
6.1.2 THEMATIC HIERARCHIES AND THEME LISTS. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 393
6.1.3 PROMOTION. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 397
6.1.4 THEMATIC REDUNDANCIES. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 404

6.2 VERB CLASSES AND STRUCTURAL ALTERNATIONS. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 406

6.3 LEVIN’S ALTERNATIONS. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 409


6.3.1 OMISSION ALTERNATIONS. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 410
6.3.1.1 UNDERSTOOD REFLEXIVE OBJECT ALTERNATION. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 410
6.3.1.2 UNDERSTOOD BODY–PART OBJECT ALTERNATION. . . . . . . . . . . . . . 413
6.3.1.3 LOCATIVE PREPOSITION DROP ALTERNATION. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 416
6.3.2 SUBJECT ALTERNATIONS NOT INVOLVING AN ANIMATE AGENT. . . . 421

FIGURE NINE: CAUSATIVE AND INSTRUMENTAL THEMES . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 426

6.3.3 MIDDLE ALTERNATION. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 429


6.3.4 CAUSATIVE/INCHOATIVE ALTERNATION. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 432
6.3.5 DATIVE ALTERNATION. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 437
6.3.6 LOCATIVE INVERSION and There–INSERTION ALTERNATIONS. . . . . . . . 437

6.4 SUMMARY. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 453

ENDNOTES TO CHAPTER SIX . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 455

CHAPTER SEVEN . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 469

7.1 SEMANTIC AND SYNTACTIC FRAMES . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 469

7.2 EMBEDDED PREDICATES . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 469


7.2.1 THE INTERNAL STRUCTURE OF VERBAL ADJECTIVES AND VERBAL
NOUNS. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 470
7.2.2 FINITE AND NONFINITE V3. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 477
7.2.3 CONTROL THEORY, STRUCTURE AND INTERPRETATION. . . . . . . . . . . . 483

x
FIGURE TEN: EMBEDDED V3 . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 488

7.3 NOMINALIZATIONS. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 489


7.3.1 THE INTERNAL STRUCTURE OF NOUN PHRASES. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 489
7.3.2 THE DOUBLE POSSESSIVE CONSTRUCTION. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 496
7.3.3 TREE DIAGRAMS FOR THE INTERNAL STRUCTURE OF N3. . . . . . . . . . . 500
7.3.4 GERUNDIAL NOMINALS AND DERIVED NOMINALS. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 501

7.4 ABSTRACT REPRESENTATIONS, CONTRACTION, AND THE PASSIVE. . . . . . . 506

ENDNOTES TO CHAPTER SEVEN . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 519

CHAPTER EIGHT . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 527

8.1 PERMANENT RESIDENTS, FREE RESIDENTS AND RESIDENTIAL DOMAINS


. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 527
8.1.1 THE RELATIONSHIP BETWEEN N3 AND V3. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 527
8.1.2 BINDING IN N3 AND V3. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 537
8.1.3 SYNTAX AND PARSING. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 542

8.2 WORD ORDER VARIATIONS AND WORD ORDER CONSTRAINTS. . . . . . . . . . . 547


8.2.1 RELATIVE CLAUSES IN ENGLISH. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 547
8.2.2 DIRECT AND INDIRECT QUESTIONS IN ENGLISH. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 558
8.2.3 NONCONFIGURATIONAL LANGUAGES; SCRAMBLING IN LATIN. . . . . . 560
8.2.4 THE ORDERING OF V1 CONSTITUENTS IN ITALIAN AND HEBREW. . . . 565
8.2.5 THE VERB SECOND CONSTRAINT IN GERMAN. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 573

8.3 SUMMARY AND NOTATIONAL VARIATION. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 579

8.4 BINARY BRANCHING AND THE SYMMETRY OF SYNTAX. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 591

8.5 INNATENESS AND UNIVERSAL GRAMMAR. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 595

ENDNOTES TO CHAPTER EIGHT . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 599

APPENDIX A: OUTLINE OF TECHNICAL TERMS . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 607

APPENDIX B: GLOSSARY OF TERMS AND ABBREVIATIONS . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 615

APPENDIX C: AN ILLUSTRATIVE NETWORK . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 623

REFERENCES . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 637

INDEX (TO BE EDITED) . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 659

xi
xii
xiii
ABBREVIATIONS AND TERMINOLOGY

See also Appendix A: Outline of Technical Terms, Page 607 ff. and Appendix B: A Glossary of Terms and
Abbreviations Page 615 ff.
SYNTAX

MA Movement Approach to syntactic analysis, especially transformational grammar (TG) and any generative
grammar with movement operations like transformational rules, Move–", or Move.
NMA Non–Movement Approach to syntactic analysis; any generative grammar without movement operations.

PHRASE STRUCTURE

X3 A maximal projection of a phrase belonging to the syntactic category X. X3 projections immediately


dominate specifiers (subject and auxiliary in sentences and possessives and determiners in noun phrases).
X2 An intermediate projection of a phrase belonging to the syntactic category X. X2 projections immediately
dominate modifiers (adjuncts) such as descriptive adjectives and manner adverbs.
X1 An intermediate projection of a phrase belonging to the syntactic category X. X1 projections immediately
dominate complements and elements of compounds.
X0 A minimal projection of a phrase belonging to the syntactic category X. X0 projections immediately
dominate elements of word morphology.

Vn Verb Phrase Projections (n , {0, 1, 2, 3,}); includes projections of verbs, modals, auxiliaries, etc.
Nn Noun Phrase Projections (n , {0, 1, 2, 3,}); includes projections of nouns, pronouns, quantifiers, etc.
Cn Characterizer Phrase Projections (n , {0, 1, 2, 3,}); includes projections of adjectives, adverbs,
prepositions, determiners, degree words, complementizers, tense, etc.
[u] An unbound empty category, e.g., Let’s eat [u].
[e] A bound empty category, e.g., Whati should we eat [e]i?

GRAMMATICAL FUNCTIONS
SUBJECT Subject
PCOMP Primary Complement (Direct Object)
SCOMP Secondary Complements (Indirect Object, Prepositional Complements, Object Complements, etc.)
MOD Modifiers
CONDITIONS ON SYNTACTIC REPRESENTATIONS

AHC Argument Head Condition Page 536


APC Argument Predicate Condition Page 482
CBC Contraction Block Condition Page 508
CEC Center Embedding Condition Page 448
DRC Distinct Reference Condition Page 514
DTC Double Trigger Condition Page 537
EBC [e]–Binding Condition Page 545
ECC Empty Category Condition Page 232, 579
ENC Extended Neighborhood Condition Page 232
NPC Noun Phrase Condition Page 180
OAC One Affix Condition Page 186
SEC Subject Exclusion Condition Page 515
SHC Specifier Heaviness Condition Page 539
SOC Strict Order Condition Page 506
SVC Support Verb Condition Page 208
XCC X3 Cue Condition Page 533
XPC X Projection Condition Page 505
XSC X3 Specifier Condition Page 530
SEMANTICS

POSITIONAL ([+PST]) THEMATIC RELATIONS (›–ROLES)

THEME EXAMPLE (The theme is underlined.)

ABE ABESSIVE He is away from the building.


ABL ABLATIVE He walked away from the building.
ABS ABSENTIVE He is out of the building.
ADE ADESSIVE He is near the building.
ALL ALLATIVE He walked toward the building.
ELA ELATIVE He walked out of the building.
ILL ILLATIVE He walked into the building.
LOC LOCATIVE He is in the building.

NONPOSITIONAL ([–PST]) THEMATIC RELATIONS (›–ROLES)

THEME EXAMPLE (The theme is underlined.)

AFC AFFECTIVE (EXPERIENCER) He is nice to her.


AFR AFFERENTIAL (RECIPIENT) He gave it to her.
APS ALIENABLE POSSESSOR He has many debts.
ASC ASSOCIATIVE He has many debts.
ATT ATTRIBUTIVE He has many fears.
BEN BENEFACTIVE He did it for her.
CAU CAUSAL He died of cancer.
CIR CIRCUMSTANTIAL He did it with haste.
CNS CONSECUTIVE He is too ill for work.
COM COMITATIVE He went with her.
CPR COMPARATIVE He is similar to her.
CPS COMPOSITIONAL He made it out of gold.
DEL DELIMINITIVE He does well under pressure.
DIF DIFFERENTIAL He won by a mile.
EFC EFFECTIVE (AGENT) He embraced her.
EFR EFFERENTIAL He took it from her.
EXP EXPEDIENTIAL He went by train.
INS INSTRUMENTAL He built it with tools.
IPS INALIENABLE POSSESSOR He has many fears.
NAPS ALIENABLE NONPOSSESSOR He has no debts.
NASC NONASSOCIATIVE He has no debts.
NATT NONATTRIBUTIVE He has no fears.
NCIR NONCIRCUMSTANTIAL He did it without haste.
NCOM NONCOMITATIVE He went without her.
NCPR NONCOMPARATIVE He is different from her.
NINS NONINSTRUMENTAL He built it without tools.
NIPS INALIENABLE NONPOSSESSOR He has no fears.
ORG ORIGINITIVE He got out of debt.
PUR PURPOSIVE He did it for exercise.
REF REFERENTIAL He is suitable for her.
RES RESULTATIVE He made it into a ring.
TRM TERMINATIVE He got into debt.

xv
CHAPTER ONE

1.1 INTRODUCTION: THE CATEGORIAL PROBLEM.

Many linguists have attempted to explain thematic roles like AGENT and INSTRUMENT in the
context of formal grammatical theory. Within the framework of Transformational Grammar
(hereafter, TG), some of the earliest studies include those of Fillmore (1968, 1969, 1977) and Gruber
(1967a, 1967b, 1976); later work in the framework of Government and Binding Theory includes
Hoekstra 1984, Marantz 1984, and Baker, M. 1988.1 But there have also been studies within the
framework of Cognitive Grammar (Langacker 1987, 1991a, 1991b), Functional Grammar (Dik
1980; Bolkestein et al. 1981), Lexical–Functional Grammar (Bresnan 1982), and Relational
Grammar (Johnson, D. 1977; Perlmutter 1983), as well as some more general studies (Anderson,
J. M. 1971; Nilsen 1973; Cook, W. 1979; Givón 1984; Croft 1991; Spencer 1991; Levin 1993). All
of these efforts have one thing in common: they attempt to explicate the nature, distribution, and/or
manifestation of thematic relations like AGENT, INSTRUMENT, SOURCE, GOAL, etc.2

In this chapter, we will be concerned with the following questions mentioned above in the Preface:

(1) a. What accounts for the fact that lexical items with similar meaning govern the same
thematic marker (preposition, postposition or grammatical case)? For example, why
are the complements of verbs like remove (She removed the book from the shelf) and
discourage (She discouraged him from going) both introduced by the same marker
from? Why does into show up in both She inserted the key into the lock and She
forced them into reconciling?

b. Why does the same thematic marker show up repeatedly in the world’s languages for
the same set of thematic relations? For example, why is the English preposition to
used to indicate the goal of motion (He flew to Paris), the recipient (He gave it to
her), and the person affected (He was mean to her)? And why are the same relations
expressed in Japanese by the postposition –ni, in Finnish by the allative case, and in
Sanskrit by the dative case?

c. How can the uses of particular markers be generalized so that the individual uses do
not have to be listed? For example, is there some common element to all uses of
from and to in English so that the presence of that element automatically “triggers”
the use of those prepositions?

d. When a language loses a particular thematic marker over time, say, a grammatical
case, what accounts for the new marker that is used? For example, when Ancient
Greek lost the ablative case as a morphologically distinct case, why were the
functions of the Indo–European ablative taken over by the Greek genitive and not,
say, the Greek dative?
All of the above questions deal with predictability and expectation. The fact is that the use of
2 Chapter One

particular thematic markers is not haphazard. As one moves from language to language, there is a
very high level of predictability associated with the uses of prepositions, postpositions, and
grammatical cases. For example, one is not surprised to discover that the Italian preposition da
marks both the SOURCE of movement (uscire dal negozio ‘to come from the store’) and the
CAUSE of an activity (tremare dal freddo ‘to tremble from the cold’), since SOURCE and CAUSE
are very frequently indicated by the same marker in many languages including those that are not
related historically, e.g., Turkish ablative case (Lewis 1967: 37–38), German preposition aus
(Durrell 1983: 411–412), Japanese postposition –kara (Martin 1975: 44–46). An adequate theory
of grammar must account for such expectations and, at the same time, provide a description for those
instances where expectations are not met. For example, although both SOURCE and CAUSE are
marked by da in Italian and from in English, one does not use the same interrogative for SOURCE
and CAUSE in either language. Generally speaking, dove ‘where’ or da dove ‘from where’ is used
for SOURCE, and perchè ‘why’ is used for CAUSE. Our chief goal in this chapter will be to lay
the foundation of a theory of thematic relations which accounts for both the similarities and the
differences in the use of thematic markers.

Within the entire group of thematic relations that have been proposed in the literature, a basic
division occurs between positional and nonpositional relations. In the former group, we find
relations like SOURCE and GOAL in (2) which refer to a location in space and co–occur with
expressions related to location and distance measurement; in the latter group, we find relations like
CAUSE and PURPOSE in (3) which show none of these characteristics.

(2) a. He went out of the meadow (SOURCE).


b. He went into the woods (GOAL).
c. Where he went was into the woods.
d. All the way out of the meadow, he went.
e. How deeply into the woods did he go?
f. *It was out of the meadow and not because of anything else that he went.

(3) a. He went out of curiosity (CAUSE)


b. He went for rest and relaxation (PURPOSE).
c. *Where he went was for the rest and relaxation.
d. *All the way out of curiosity, he went.
e. *How deeply for the rest and relaxation did he go?
f. It was out of curiosity and not because of anything else that he went.

Let us refer to relations like SOURCE and GOAL as [+POSITIONAL] ([+PST]) and ones like
CAUSE and PURPOSE as [–POSITIONAL] ([–PST]), a distinction we will make precise shortly.
As we will see at many points in this book, the distinction between [+PST] and [–PST] relations
plays a pivotal role in many areas of syntax. For example, in English, notice that only [+PST]
expressions can occur in sentence initial position when the subject occurs after the verb (the
“Locative Inversion Alternation,” Levin 1993: 92–94):
Chapter One 3

(4) a. Out of the woods, ran Sue.


b. Into the room, walked John.

(5) a. *Out of guilt, acted Sue.


b. *For exercise, walks John.

Similarly, only [–PST] indirect objects occur in the double object construction (the “Dative
Alternation,” Levin 1993: 45–48) as the following examples illustrate:

(6) a. He threw the ball to the center fielder.


b. He threw the center fielder the ball.

(7) a. He threw the ball to center field.


b. *He threw center field the ball.

Further, English and many other languages have sets of adverbial quantifiers like where, there, and
here, which are only used in [+PST] expressions. Compare the following:

(8) a. He turned the car into a dark alley.


b. Into a dark alley is where he turned the car.

c. He turned the car into a collector’s item.


d. *Into a collector’s item is where he turned the car.

(9) a. He carried the gun out of the house.


b. Was it really out of that house over there that he carried the gun?

c. He carried the gun out of fear.


d. *Was it really out of that fear over there that he carried the gun?

For some reason that is not clear, many of the earliest studies on thematic relations focused primarily
on the nonpositional relations (but see Anderson, J. M. 1971; Miller and Johnson–Laird 1976;
Jackendoff 1983, Chapter Nine; Herskovitz 1986; and, more recently, much work in the framework
of Cognitive Grammar, e.g., Zelinsky–Wibbelt 1993). This was unfortunate, because the positional
relations are more concrete and, therefore, undeniably easier to specify, and because the
nonpositional relations are related to and derived from the positional ones despite the fact that there
is often a distinction between them as the above examples show. In general, languages do not have
two entirely distinct sets of thematic markers (prepositions, postpositions, grammatical cases, etc.),
one for relations that are [+PST] and another for those that are [–PST]. For example, in the ancient
Indo–European languages, all separative relations are expressed by the ablative case if there is one.
This includes actual perceived movements in the direction away, i.e., SOURCE, as well as
expressions of freedom, deprivation, abandonment, etc. We have examples like the following in
Sanskrit (10) and Latin (11):3
4 Chapter One

(10) a. té sédhanti pathó (ablative) vË;kam.


they drive away path wolf
‘They drive away the wolf from the path.’
(Atharva–Veda; example from Whitney 1955: 286)

b. n~4 sm~d (ablative) gan; áç chidyát‘.


not–him people cut off
‘The people are not cut off from him.’
(Catapatha–Brahmana, 14, 5, 1, 10; example from Delbrück 1988: 109)

c. sá ;
‘v~ínam varun; ap~ç~3 n (ablative) muñcáti.
he even–him Varuna–snare release
‘He releases even him from Varuna’s snare.’
(Taittiriya–Samhita, 2, 1, 2, 2; example from Delbrück 1988: 109)

(11) a. Dolabella Delo (ablative) proficiscitur.


Dolabella Delos sets out
‘Dolabella sets out from Delos.’
(Cicero, Actio in Verrem, I, 18, 46; example from Gildersleeve and Lodge 1960: 251)

b. Omni Gallia (ablative) Romanis interdicit.


all Gaul Romans bars
‘He bars the Romans from all (of) Gaul.’
(Caesar, Bellum Gallicum, 1, 46; example from Allen and Greenough 1931: 249)

c. Oculis (ablative) se privavit.


eyes himself deprived
‘He deprived himself of his eyes.’
(Cicero, De Finibus Bonorum et Malorum, v, 42; example from Allen and
Greenough 1931: 249)

In Ancient Greek, which has no ablative case, the separative functions of the ablative are expressed
by the genitive:

(12) a. ‘% n‘sos ou& polù diéchousa t‘s ‘& peírou (genitive)


the island not far cut off the mainland
‘the island being not far distant from the mainland’
(Thucydides 3.51; example from Smyth 1956: 329, §1392)

b. a* postereî me tÇn chr‘mátÇn (genitive).


he deprives me the property
‘He deprives me of my property.’
(Isocrates, 12, 35; example from Smyth 1956: 329, §1394)
Chapter One 5

c. tÇn epit‘deíÇn (genitive) ou& k apor‘3 somen.


the provisions not we shall lack
‘We shall not lack provisions.’
(Xenophon, Anabasis, 2, 2, 11; example from Smyth 1956: 329, §1396)

Whatever the defects of traditional terminology, in the Indo–European languages which have an
ablative, it remains that the ablative is the from–case; therefore, governors (verbs, adjectives, etc.)
having a separative meaning are generally construed with the ablative, whether the meaning involves
actual ([+PST]) or figurative ([–PST]) separation. When the ablative is lost as a morphologically
distinct case as in Greek, there is order in the way the functions of the ablative are distributed among
the remaining cases. That order is specified by semantic classes like “Separative Notions.” The
same situation obtains in other languages with grammatical case, including those as diverse as Innuit
(Barnum 1901), Finnish (Olli 1958), and Turkish (Lewis 1967): semantic relationships are grouped
into classes, and these classes are realized by the same grammatical case.

When languages do not have elaborate case systems, but express thematic relations with prepositions
(English, Welsh, etc.) or postpositions (Japanese, Hindi, etc.), we find the same basic criterion of
semantic commonality underlying the use of these particles. Thus, it is not an accident that from
occurs in separative phrases like the following, whether or not real movement occurs:

(13) a. He ran from his office (his father, his responsibilities, etc.)
b. He is back from Europe (the market, unconsciousness, etc.).
c. Keep this away from the children.
d. She can’t tell puce from fuchsia.
e. He can’t find any relief from pain.
f. They’ll be here an hour from now.
g. We got a note from the dean.
h. He bought the car from John.
i. He died from overexposure.
j. We made it from the materials we had.

In examples like the above, there is a direct connection between positional phrases (from his office)
and nonpositional phrases (from overexposure), however one wishes to term this connection
(denotative/connotative, literal/figurative, literal/metaphorical, central/extended, etc.). Furthermore,
these examples are typical: as we will see, similar sets exist for the other prepositions in English
(to, in, out, over, etc.); and, one can easily construct other sets for non–Indo–European languages,
e.g., the postpositions ni, e, kara, de, etc. in Japanese.

1.1.1 DESCRIPTIVE ADEQUACY IN SYNCHRONIC ANALYSIS.

Theories of case grammar (Fillmore 1968, 1969, 1977; Gruber 1967a, 1967b, 1976; Stockwell et
al. 1973) cannot account for data such as those in (13) in a way that relates the positional and
nonpositional uses of prepositions. In Fillmore’s system, for example, it is an accident that a
6 Chapter One

preposition like English to shows up as both GOAL (He went to New York) and
DATIVE/EXPERIENCER (New York appeals to him). This is a serious loss of descriptive
adequacy, because the same two relations (GOAL and DATIVE/EXPERIENCER) are realized by
the same postposition in Japanese (ni) and Hindi (ko), the same preposition in Italian (a) and Welsh
(i), the same inflectional case affix in ancient Indo–European languages like Sanskrit and Latin
(dative case), the same case in non–Indo–European languages like Finnish and Estonian (allative
case) and Turkish (dative case), and so on. When such a wide range of languages realizes ostensibly
different relations in the same way, it is clear that the relations have something in common, and that
a descriptively adequate theory of language must discover and formalize what that commonality is
if it is to make revealing generalizations about natural language.

That such generalizations must be made is indicated by sets of data like the following; an example
of literal motion toward a place occurs in the (a)–sentences expressing a GOAL; of non–literal
motion in the (b)–sentences expressing a RECIPIENT; of no perceptible motion at all, but rather of
the person affected or EXPERIENCER in the (c)–sentences:

(14) English (same preposition, to).

a. She drove the car to New York. (A question like Where did she drive the car (to)?
is completely acceptable and asks about literal motion toward some unknown place.)

b. She gave the book to him./She gave him the book. (To him cannot be the answer to
a question like Where did she give the book?; in fact, such questions are marginal,
at best.)

c. The book appeals to him. (*Where does the book appeal?)

(15) Latin (same grammatical case, dative).4

a. Hostes finibus (dative) appropinquant.


enemy border approach
‘The enemy approaches the border.’

b. Litteras mihi (dative) nuntius reddidit.


letter to me messenger delivered
‘The messenger delivered a letter to me.’

c. Mihi (dative) placet.


to me it pleases
‘It pleases me.’
Chapter One 7

(16) Italian (same preposition, a).

a. Mio fratello va a scuola ogni giorno.


my brother goes to school every day
‘My bother goes to school every day.’

b. Paulo scrive una lettera a Maria.


Paul wrties a letter to Mary
‘Paul is writing a letter to Mary.

c. A mio fratello piace il romanzo.


to my brother pleases the novel
‘The novel pleases (is pleasing to) my brother.’

(17) Sanskrit (same grammatical case, dative).

a. r~j~ van~ya (dative) pratis;t;hati.


king forest sets out
‘The king sets out for the forest.’

b. mahyam ; (dative) pustakam


; dehi.
to me book give
‘Give me the book.’

c. rocate viprebhyah (dative).


it is pleasing to the Brahmans
‘It is pleasing to the Brahmans.’

(18) Hindi (same postposition ko).5

a. vah apne deÑ ko laut; gay~. (example from McGregor 1995: Page 54)
he own country to return went
‘He went back to his own country.’

b. us ~dm§ ko t§n pustkem < d§jie. (example from McGregor 1995: Page 54)
that man to three books give
‘Give three books to that man.’

c. landan Ram ko pasand hai.


London Ram to pleasing is
‘Ram likes London.’
8 Chapter One

(19) Welsh (same preposition, i).

a. Ddaru nhw fynd i Iwerddon. (example from King, G. 1993: 187)


did they go to Ireland
‘Did they go to Ireland?’

b. Rhoddias fwyd i gath. (example from Thorne 1993: 405)


I gave food to cat
‘I gave food to a cat.’

c. Dylem ni maddau i’n gelynion. (example from Thorne 1993: 405)


necessary we forgiving to–our enemies
‘We ought to forgive our enemies.’

(20) Japanese (same postposition, ni).

a. Mary–wa Tokyo–ni itta.


Mary Tokyo–to went
‘Mary went to/toward Tokyo.’

b. Mary–wa sensei–ni tegami–o kaku.


Mary teacher–to letter writes
‘Mary writes a letter to the teacher.’

c. John–ni eiga–ga omoshiroi


John to movie is interesting
‘The movie is interesting to John.’

(21) Finnish (same grammatical case, allative).

a. Menimme asemalle (allative). (example from Olli 1958: 147)


we went to the station
‘We went to the station.’

b. Annoin miehelle (allative) rahaa. (example from Olli 1958: 147)


I gave man money
‘I gave the man some money.’

c. Jumala on laupias syntisille (allative). (example from Eliot 1890: 155)


God is merciful to sinners
‘God is merciful to sinners.’
Chapter One 9

(22) Turkish (same grammatical case, dative).

a. Türkiye’ye (dative) döndüler. (example from Lewis 1967: 36)


Turkey they returned
‘They returned to Turkey.’

b. Mektubu Ali’ye (dative) gösterdim. (example from Lewis 1967: 36)


letter Ali I showed
‘I showed the letter to Ali.’

c. Tütün size (dative) dokunur–mu. (example adapted from Deny 1971: 187)
tobacco you annoy–question
‘Does tobacco annoy you?’

Given these data, suppose we explore the hypothesis that thematic relations like GOAL,
EXPERIENCER, SOURCE, CAUSE, etc. are actually categorial labels for constellations of
semantic features. We might then attribute the use of one marker over several thematic relations to
a common semantic feature which the relations share. For example, the commonality in GOAL and
EXPERIENCER might be a feature [+CONJUNCTURAL] which, roughly speaking, would denote
association or union. The commonality in SOURCE, CAUSE and all the examples in (13), might
be [+DISJUNCTURAL], which, again roughly speaking, would denote dissociation or separation
(a precise definition of these features will be given below).6 Therefore, the use of one thematic
marker (preposition, postposition, grammatical case, etc.) for a variety of thematic relations can be
attributed to the presence of identical feature(s) in the set of features that defines each of those
relations.

This approach would overcome the loss of descriptive adequacy that the theories of thematic
relations mentioned above have shared. In those systems, the common features associated with
thematic relations are not expressible, so that it is an accident that the same marker is used across
relations. Under the present hypothesis, rather than saying that the thematic markers in (14)
through (22) indicate three different unrelated thematic relations (GOAL, RECIPIENT and
EXPERIENCER), we say they indicate the feature [+CONJUNCTURAL] which is a member of the
set of features defining each of these three relations.

Another advantage of the present hypothesis is that it would allow for specificity along with
generality. We need a descriptive system that will allow us to generalize a marker across relations
as well as one which would allow divergence. For example, consider again the relations GOAL,
RECIPIENT and EXPERIENCER as they are expressed in Newari, a Tibeto–Burman language
spoken in Nepal. In this language, the distribution splits in an interesting way. Literal motion,
always in the locative case and marked by a distinct inflectional affix, can only be made to places
(23a and 23b), never directly to people (23c); accordingly, there is no dative counterpart to the “a”
sentences in (14) through (22), and (23d) does not occur. However, alongside of the expected
RECIPIENT in (23e) in the dative case, we still get the EXPERIENCER example (23f).7
10 Chapter One

(23) a. Jĩ Kathmand–e (locative) safu yãka.


I Kathmandu–to book took
‘I took the book to Kathmandu.’

b. Jĩ R~m–y~ tha–e (locative) safu yãka.


I Ram–of place–to book took
‘I took the book to Ram.’ (Literally: to Ram’s place)

c. *Jĩ R~m–y~ke (locative) safu yãka.


I Ram–to book took
‘I took the book to Ram.’

d. *Jĩ waita (dative) safu yãka.


I to him book took
‘I took the book to him.’

e. Jĩ waita (dative) safu biya.


I to him book give
‘I give the book to him.’

f. Jĩ–ta (dative) cha ya.


to me you there is a liking
‘I like you.’

In Tinrin, a Melanesian language of New Caledonia, we find the same dichotomy. Motion to a
GOAL is usually expressed by the preposition pwere, whereas the RECIPIENT and
EXPERIENCER are regularly marked by the preposition ei (examples from Osumi 1995; 1SG = first
person singular; 3SG = third person singular; COMP = complementizer):

(24) a. mwairrù nrî–wâdrâ toni nrâ fi pwere numea (Page 92)


a while ago in the morning Tony 3SG go to Noumea
‘This morning Tony went to Noumea.’

b. nrâ nrorri nraasi ei gogo (Page 118)


3SG give rice to Gogo
‘He gave rice to Gogo.’

c. nrâ horro ei rò bee nrôsù nrî–wâdrâ mesi (Page 224)


3SG hard for 1SG COMP wake in the morning early
‘It is hard for me to wake up early in the morning.’

The [±POSITIONAL] dichotomy is also found in Indo–European. For example, in Russian, the
GOAL of motion is expressed with various prepositions, whereas the RECIPIENT and
Chapter One 11

EXPERIENCER are regularly expressed by the dative case alone (examples from Borras and
Christian 1971):

(25) a. Ljénin pojéxal na Kápri. (Page 340)


Lenin went to Capri
‘Lenin went to Capri.’

b. Ja dal knígu yç…ítjelju (dative). (Page 31)


I gave book teacher
‘I gave the book to the teacher.’

c. Ja vam (dative) nje mješáju? (Page 32)


I you not disturbing
‘I am not disturbing (to) you, am I?’

Similarly, in Ancient Greek, the GOAL of motion is expressed with prepositions, while the dative
marks the RECIPIENT and EXPERIENCER (examples from Smyth 1956):

(26) a. e. kselaúnei e. pí tòn potamón. (Page 379, §1689.3.a)


he marches to the river
‘He marches to the river.’

b. Kûros dídÇsin au. tô' (dative) misthón. (Page 340, §1469)


Cyrus gives him wages
‘Cyrus gives wages to him.’

c. toîs (dative) pléosin (dative) a* réskontés e. smen. (Page 339, §1461)


the majority pleasing we are
‘We are pleasing to the majority.’

Given the features we have proposed, we can say that themes which are [+POSITIONAL,
+CONJUNCTURAL] are marked in Newari with the locative case, in Tinrin with the preposition
pwere, and in Russian and Ancient Greek with various prepositions. Relations that are
[–POSITIONAL, +CONJUNCTURAL] are marked with the dative case in Newari, Russian and
Ancient Greek, and with the preposition ei in Tinrin. Such variation is typical across languages.
As we saw above, words like where, there, and here are only used for [+PST] expressions in
English.
Thematic relations are not always overtly marked by a case or a particle (preposition or
postposition), that is, in many languages, it is the meaning of the verb alone which determines the
appropriate relations for complements. We find this in English in examples like the following:
12 Chapter One

(27) [+DISJUNCTURAL, –CONJUNCTURAL].

a. He exited the building. (took himself OUT OF the building)


b. He exhumed the body. (took the body OUT OF the ground)
c. He uncorked the bottles. (took corks OUT OF the bottles)
d. He decontaminated the specimen. (took contamination OUT OF the specimen)
e. He bleached the fabric. (took color OUT OF the fabric)

(28) [–DISJUNCTURAL, +CONJUNCTURAL].

a. He entered the building. (put himself INTO the building)


b. He inhumed the body. (put the body INTO the ground)
c. He corked the bottles. (put corks INTO the bottles)
d. He contaminated the specimen. (put contamination INTO the specimen)
e. He dyed the fabric. (put color INTO the fabric)

In examples like the above, the thematic marker is “incorporated” (Gruber 1976) into the meaning
of the verb, sometimes as an affix, but in many instances without any overt morphological element
signifying the thematic relation involved. An adequate theory of thematic relations must account
for such incorporation since it occurs in widely divergent languages. For example, in Ayutla
Mixtec, an Oto–Manguean language of Mexico, we find pairs like the following (from Hills 1990:
14–15):

(29) a. t~sh§h i tutu ndah~h sih§h ah


give I paper hand mother her
‘I am giving the paper to her mother’

b. k§h§nh sih§h ah tutu ndah~h i


get mother her paper hand I
‘Her mother is receiving the paper from me.’

(30) a. shikoh chi nãnih nãuh ra


sell she corn face his
‘She will sell corn to him.’

b. satah chi nãnih nãuh ra


buy she corn face his
‘She will buy corn from him.’

Similarly, in Bemba, a Bantu language of northeastern Zambia, the verb itself carries distinctions
like GOAL and SOURCE. Consider the following examples adapted from Givon (1984: 110),
where LOC marks general location:
Chapter One 13

(31) a. a–à–ya ku–mushi


he–past–go to LOC–village
‘He went to the village.’

b. a–à–shya ku–mushi
he–past–go from LOC–village
‘He went from the village.’

c. a–à–isa ku–mushi
he–past–come to LOC–village
‘He came to the village.’

d. a–à–fuma ku–mushi
he–past–come from LOC–village
‘He came from the village.’

In Tagalog, an Austronesian language of the Philippines, the marker sa introduces a complement


which often corresponds to a preposition in languages like English, but one of very generalized
meaning. “The particular preposition used depends on the verb in the Tagalog sentence” (Schachter
and Otanes 1972: 77). The following illustrations are from Aspillera 1993:73, unless otherwise
noted:

(32) a. POSITIONAL GOAL.


Pupunta kami sa Tagaytay búkas.
go to we PREP Tagaytay tomorrow
‘We shall go to Tagaytay tomorrow.’

b. NONPOSITIONAL GOAL (RECIPIENT).


Ebibigay ko ito sa kanya.
give to I this PREP her
‘I shall give this to her.’

c. POSITIONAL SOURCE.
Galing kami sa Baguio.
come from we PREP Baguio
‘We came from Baguio.’

d. NONPOSITIONAL SOURCE (GIVER).


Bumibili sa amin ang bata. (example from Bowen 1965: 197)
buy from PREP us TOPIC child
‘The child buys from us.’
14 Chapter One

To summarize, the wide range of data in (14) through (32) indicates that a descriptively adequate
grammar must account for the following facts regarding thematic relations as they are expressed in
various languages:

(33) a. Languages often make a fundamental distinction between thematic relations that are
POSITIONAL ([+PST]) and those that are NONPOSITIONAL ([–PST]).

b. Languages often use the same marker (grammatical case, preposition, postposition)
to specify semantically similar thematic relations, sometimes even blurring the
distinction between [+PST] and [–PST] relations.

c. Languages often do not signal thematic relations with specific markers; rather, the
different thematic relations are incorporated directly into the meaning of predicates.

1.1.2 DESCRIPTIVE ADEQUACY IN DIACHRONIC ANALYSIS.

Turning from synchronic to diachronic analysis, we find that theories which analyze thematic
relations as atomic categories often fail to account for historical change and dialect divergence in
the expression of thematic relations. I have alluded to this above in my discussion of Ancient Greek.
The parent Indo–European language had separate grammatical cases for the expression of different
thematic relations. These uses are summarized in (34).

(34) a. Ablative: separative expressions.

b. Genitive:

(1) Possessive (alienable) expressions.


(2) Originative and partitive expressions.

c. Locative: expressions involving location in place and time.

d. Instrumental: instrumental and comitative expressions.

e. Dative:

(1) Possessive (inalienable) expressions.


(2) Experiencer, referential, and recipient expressions.

Some languages like Sanskrit and Avestan, in general, preserve these distinctions. However, in most
daughter languages, various mergers occur. For example, in Ancient Greek, the uses of the ablative
merge with the uses of the genitive, and the locative and instrumental merge with the dative. In
Latin, the separative uses of the ablative merge with the instrumental, and, in some instances, with
the locative. This regrouping of thematic relations is not haphazard, as we will see in Chapter Four.
Chapter One 15

Given a feature based approach to thematic relations, I will propose that the system in Greek
involves a redistribution of the feature [±DISJUNCTURAL]. In theories which describe thematic
relations as atomic categories, such an explanation is not possible, and there is no way to account
for either loss of case or mergers of case.

1.1.3 EXPLANATORY ADEQUACY.

The loss of descriptive adequacy in past theories of thematic relations leads to a loss of explanatory
adequacy as well. The emphasis in theoretical linguistics, due in large part to research in generative
grammar, is on the search for the most highly generalizable analyses. The study of thematic
relations involves one area of semantics. The descriptions used in this area must be relatable to
descriptions used in other areas of semantics and to the whole grammar in general. But a theory
such as Fillmore’s case grammar is not easily relatable to other work. To see this, consider the
following list of cases drawn from Fillmore 1968, 1971a:8

(35) a. AGENTIVE: the case of the typically animate perceived instigator of the action
identified in the verb. JOHN opened the door; The door was opened BY JOHN.

b. INSTRUMENTAL: the case of the inanimate force or object causally involved in


the action or state identified in the verb. A HAMMER broke the window; The
window was broken WITH A HAMMER; A HURRICANE destroyed the village.

c. OBJECTIVE: the semantically most neutral case, the case of anything representable
by a noun whose role in the action or state identified by the verb is identified by the
semantic interpretation of the verb itself (not to be confused with the notion direct
object). Someone opened THE DOOR; THE DOOR opened.

d. EXPERIENCER: the case of the animate being affected by the state or action
identified in the verb. John gave the book TO BILL; BILL received the book; The
movie appeals to HIM.

e. LOCATIVE: the case which identifies the location or spatial orientation of the state
or action identified in the verb. It happened IN ITALY; The book is ON THE TABLE.

f. GOAL: the case which identifies the direction of the state or action identified in the
verb. John flew TO ITALY; John ran INTO THE HOUSE.

g. SOURCE: the case which identifies the origin of the state or action identified in the
verb. John flew FROM ITALY; John ran OUT OF THE HOUSE.

Now consider the following semantic primitives proposed in Schank and Abelson 1977: 12–14:
16 Chapter One

(36) a. MOVE: the movement of a body part of an animal by that animal.

b. PROPEL: the application of a physical force to an object.

c. INGEST: the taking in of an object by an animal to the inside of that animal.

d. EXPEL: the expulsion of an object from the body of an animal into the physical
world.

e. GRASP: the grasping of an object by an actor.

f. PTRANS: the transfer of the physical location of an object.

g. ATRANS: the transfer of an abstract relationship such as possession, ownership or


control.

h. SPEAK: the action of producing sounds.

i. ATTEND: the action of attending or focusing a sense organ toward a stimulus.

j. MTRANS: the transfer of mental information between animals or within an animal.

k. MBUILD: the construction by an animal of new information from old information.

Although Fillmore’s objectives were different from those of Shank and Abelson, it is clear that the
two systems outlined above contain substantial overlap. For example, the primitive EXPEL, which
refers to the expulsion of an object from the body of an animal, is part of the meaning of verbs like
sweat, spit, and cry. The primitive INGEST, which refers to the taking in of an object, is part of the
meaning of verbs like eat, smoke, and breathe. Clearly, EXPEL is related to SOURCE and INGEST
is related to GOAL. But Fillmore’s theory and Schank’s theory are stated in such as way that this
relationship cannot be precisely specified. Thus, there is little transportability between these
systems, so that the valuable insights of each cannot be gathered into one framework. Yet, the
grammatical facts of natural language, in particular, the distribution of thematic markers, clearly
indicate that there must be a connection between thematic relations and semantics in general. That
is, the same feature which shows up in relations like SOURCE and CAUSE ([+DISJUNCTURAL],
e.g., from) should form part of the definition of words like aversion, deprive, empty, and so on; and,
that feature should also show up in the definition of a primitive like EXPEL if a theory contains such
a primitive. Similarly, the same feature that shows up in relations like GOAL and EXPERIENCER
([+CONJUNCTURAL], e.g., to) should form part of the definition of words like inclination, supply,
fill, and the like and show up in a putative primitive like INGEST.9

The feature based approach to thematic relations that I have suggested above provides an
explanation for why the same groupings of markers occur repeatedly in natural languages. There
is, of course, nothing particularly novel in this approach. Feature analysis has had long history in
Chapter One 17

generative grammar going back to the earliest work in the Standard Theory (Chomsky 1965;
Chomsky and Halle 1968; Katz and Fodor 1964; Weinreich 1966) where features have been
proposed for the same reason they are proposed here: to express cross–categorial generalizations.

In the remainder of this chapter, I will show that the semantic features which form complex semantic
categories like thematic relations are features that can be grounded in perception so that they specify
a connection between language and the nature of human beings. Any system which does not make
this connection will fail to attain explanatory adequacy in the sense of Chomsky 1965. Further, I
will argue that thematic relations that are [–POSITIONAL] are metaphors for those that are
[+POSITIONAL], so that the same features that distinguish and relate the latter group are employed
in distinguishing and relating the former.

1.2 POSITIONAL THEMATIC RELATIONS.

I began the discussion of thematic relations by making a distinction between expressions which
indicate positional relations like He ran from his office and those which do not like He died from
overexposure. To this, we must add a fundamental breakdown between those positional relations
which refer to position in time [+TEMPORAL] and those which refer to position in space
[–TEMPORAL].10 We can loosely define these features as follows:

(37) a. [+POSITIONAL] ([+PST, ±TMP]): having the primary focus on location,


orientation, or movement in space or time, e.g., He went FROM CALIFORNIA TO
NEW YORK, He remained FROM SUNRISE TO SUNSET.

b. [–POSITIONAL] ([–PST]): not having the primary focus on location, orientation,


or movement in space or time, e.g., FROM MY DESCRIPTION, he believes the
movie will appeal TO HIM.11

(38) a. [+TEMPORAL] ([+PST, +TMP]): focusing on time, e.g, He remained FROM


SUNRISE TO SUNSET.

b. [–TEMPORAL] ([+PST, –TMP]): focusing on place, e.g., He went FROM


CALIFORNIA TO NEW YORK

Given a perceptual apparatus (human or machine), these definitions can be made very precise. For
example, a computer equipped with a vision system and an internal clock can assign specific values
to each of these features: the definition of [+PST] relations involving movement can be equated
with changes in positional vectors over time; the definition of [+PST] relations not involving
movement can be equated with a lack of change in positional vectors over time; the definition of
[–PST] relations can be equated with the lack of a positional vector altogether; and so on. Thus, the
features can be used to bridge the gap between the concrete (measurable, literal) and the abstract
(metaphorical), a very important objective in semantic analysis.
18 Chapter One

The vector components for space include values of length, width and depth although spatial relations
do not always refer to all three components. For example, a region may be viewed as a surface in
examples like They are on the lawn, where the depth of the lawn is not relevant. On the other hand,
a region can also be viewed as an area of three dimensional space in examples like They are in the
lawn, where the depth is relevant. Compare also They are on the bed and They are in the bed; Look
at the smudge on the mirror and Look at your reflection in the mirror; The ants are on the floor and
The termites are in the floor.

1.3 SOME BASIC FEATURE DISTINCTIONS.

Within the compass of positional relations, languages make a fundamental distinction between
relations that involve three dimensions and those that do not, e.g., in English, the difference between
in and on. We will specify this distinction as first and second order positional arguments as
follows:12

(39) [±FIRST ORDER] ([±FST]).

a. [+FST]: Thematic relations which are [+PST, +FST] express relationships relative
to a point, line or surface. Depth is not involved so that “surface” refers to a region
with only length and width.

Examples: on the table, off the table, at the door; on Tuesday, at six o’clock.

b. [–FST] (SECOND ORDER): Thematic relations which are [+PST, –FST] express
relationships relative to volume. Depth is involved so that “area” refers to a region
with length, width, and height; compare He is on the field (surface) versus He is in
the field (area).

Examples: in the room, out of the office; in March, (He never sees students)out of
office hours.

Within each of these categories, natural languages have positional markers to indicate whether there
is contact or lack of contact between the object and the location. If the location is a container, e.g.,
a building, then part of the container includes its interior space; hence, anything within that interior
space is viewed as being in contact with a part of the container. This detail, which we will discuss
in Chapter Two, is crucial to understanding the possible meaning of sentences like The balloon
floated around in the smoke–filled room and She put the (porcelain) elephant into her purse. We
will express the feature of contact with the following opposition:
Chapter One 19

(40) [±PROXIMAL] ([±PRX]).

a. [+PRX]: involving contact between the object and the location.

Examples: on the floor, in the drawer; on Tuesday, in March.

b. [–PRX]: not involving contact between the object and the location.

Examples: at the door, near his office; around noon, near July 4.

The precise definition of expressions like near, close, by, etc. is complicated, involving both the size
and shape of the objects, their relative distance and other factors. Interestingly, propositions like
(41a) and (41b) can be more easily specified by representations like (42a) and (42b), respectively,
than a proposition like (43) which contains no overt comparison.

(41) a. X is nearer to Y than Z is.


b. X is further from Y than Z is.

(42) a. LESS (DISTANCE (x,y), DISTANCE (y,z))


b. GREATER (DISTANCE (x,y), DISTANCE (y,z))

(43) X is near Y.

On the other hand, it seems that (43) does contain a comparison to some established norm for a
given speaker. Accordingly, Miller and Johnson–Laird (1976: 392) offer the following conditions
to characterize “near”:

(44) NEAR (x,y): A referent x is “near” a relatum y if:

a. GREATER (NORM (DISTANCE (y)), DISTANCE (x,y))


b. SEPARATE (x,y)
c. not (IN (x,y) or IN (y,x))

where NORM (DISTANCE (y)) yields a norm, which is a distance that includes the region
of the relatum, that is, the area surrounding the relatum within which interactions with the
relatum are possible.

Essentially, then, X (a referent) is near Y (a relatum), if X and Y are not in contact (separate), if
neither is in the other, and if the distance of X from Y is within a norm. Thus, an arbitrary object
like a chair (a relatum in the above), given its size and shape, is surrounded by a space (region). If
some other arbitrary object like a lamp is within that space, it can be said to be near the chair.13
20 Chapter One

Thematic relations that are [+PST, ±FST, ±PRX] do not necessitate motion, although motion is
possible, e.g., He walked out of his office versus He is out of his office. Such an option is not
available with all positional markers. For example, positional uses of to typically involve movement
of some kind (cf. He has never been to Europe, where the use of to necessitates interpreting been
as gone). Positional uses of to without movement as in They stood back to back are less common.

Turning to expressions indicating GOAL, SOURCE, and LOCATION, there are four basic relations
to be described: motion to (She went into the office), motion away (She went out of the office),
location in (She is in the office), and location away (She is out of the office). Of the four, the last is
the most difficult to describe because it specifies a place both where some entity is not currently
located and where that same entity was either previously located or otherwise might be expected to
be located. Generally, one would say She is out of the office only to a person who expected her to
be in the office. Similarly, in This wine is from Italy, the wine is not in the locale in Italy where it
was made but at one time must have been; in All of the smoke is out of the house, we infer that the
smoke was in the house previously. Thus, expressions of location–away specify both a current
separation and some sort of prior connection so that some lapse of time must have occurred even
though no movement is expressly indicated.

Significantly, all expressions of motion also have both a separative and connective component
although in common usage only one is generally mentioned (She walked out of the office): it is
impossible to move away from some location without simultaneously moving to some other
location, and vice versa. Again, some time lapse has occurred between the two positions involved
in the movement. On the other hand, expressions of location–in (She is in the office) do not
necessarily involve any lapse of time or any movement or change in position. They are thus the least
complex of the four basic relations. Lastly, notice that thematic markers generally have both
motional and nonmotional uses, for example, from can be used with a motion verb (She moved from
Detroit) or a location verb (She is from Detroit), in can be used with a motion verb (She went in the
office) or a location verb (She is in the office), etc.

We can account for the above facts with two feature oppositions, CONJUNCTURAL ([±CNJ]) and
DISJUNCTURAL ([±DSJ]). DISJUNCTURAL relations ([+DSJ]) specify a place or places from
which one or more entities have moved (She went out of the office; They walked away from their
desks) or are somehow dislocated (She is out of the office; They are away from their desks).
NONDISJUNCTURAL relations ([–DSJ]) do not involve these situations; motion to a place (She
went in the office; They walked to their desks) and location in a place (She is in the office; They are
at their desks) are both [–DSJ]. Therefore, [+DSJ] relations are those which encode a separation
over time, either as the result of an expressed movement (She went out of the office) or an inferred
movement (She is out of the office).

CONJUNCTURAL relations ([+CNJ]) specify a place or places to which one or more entities have
moved (She went in the office; They walked to their desks) or where one or more entities were
formerly located or otherwise might be expected to be located (She is out of the office; They are
away from their desks). NONCONJUNCTURAL relations ([–CNJ]) do not involve these situations;
motion from a place (She went out of the office; They walked away from their desks) and location
Chapter One 21

in a place (She is in the office; They are at their desks) are both [–CNJ]. Therefore, [+CNJ] relations
are those which encode some sort of connection over time, either as the result of an expressed
movement (She went in the office) or an inferred movement (She is out of the office).

Given these definitions, from is a marker of [+DSJ] relations, while in is a marker of [–DSJ]
relations. Thus, these two interacting feature oppositions, [±CNJ] and [±DSJ], can be used to
account for the differences between movement and rest in space or time as follows:

(45) INVOLVING EXPRESSED MOVEMENT:

a. [–DSJ, +CNJ]: involving expressed movement toward one or more locations in space
or time, the SOURCE location being unspecified or not mentioned:

Examples: He went as far as/up to the river; He’ll be here until/up to Friday.

b. [+DSJ, –CNJ]: involving expressed movement away from one or more locations in
space or time, the GOAL being unspecified or not mentioned:

Examples: He left from Detroit; He’s been here since Easter.

(46) NOT INVOLVING EXPRESSED MOVEMENT:

a. [–DSJ, –CNJ]: not involving expressed movement and relating to one or more
locations, specifically the place(s) where some object(s) is/are located:

Examples: He is in Europe; The meeting is in June.

b. [+DSJ, +CNJ]: not involving expressed movement and relating to one or more
locations, specifically the place(s) where some object(s) is/are not located any
longer. Temporal examples like out of season are uncommon.14

Examples: He is away from his desk, out of the office.

More formally, we may view the features [±DSJ] and [±CNJ] as interacting in the following way.
A vision system takes a picture of two separate objects (O1,O2) at one time (Tk) and records a
positional feature vector for each object, V(O1,Tk) and V(O2,Tk) where the vector components
include values on the three coordinate axes (x,y,z) within the visual field. The same vision system
takes a picture at a second, later time (Tn) and records a second positional feature vector for each
object, V(O1,Tn) and V(O2,Tn).

Borrowing the terms from Miller and Johnson–Laird (1976) discussed above, for illustrative
purposes let us consider O1 the referent. Generally, this is an object which is capable of moving or
being moved. Let us also consider O2 the relatum. Given only one time reference, e.g., Tk or Tn, we
express the location of the entity as ["DSJ, "CNJ].15 A specification that is [–DSJ, –CNJ] indicates
22 Chapter One

where the referent is located (The president is in the country); a specification that is [+DSJ, +CNJ]
indicates where the referent is not located (The president is out of the country).

Given two temporal references, a wide variety of other conditions are possible. For our purposes,
the following four conditions are the most relevant:

(47) If V(O1,Tk) … V(O1,Tn) or V(O2,Tk) … V(O2,Tn), k<n, then movement has occurred, a
condition we express by the feature constellation ["DSJ, –"CNJ].

a. A decrease in the Euclidean distance between the referent and the relatum is
expressed by the feature constellation [–DSJ, +CNJ]. If V(O1,Tk) … V(O1,Tn) and
V(O2,Tk) = V(O2,Tn), then O1 has moved toward O2.

b. An increase in the Euclidean distance between the referent and the relatum is
expressed by the feature constellation [+DSJ, –CNJ]. If V(O1,Tk) … V(O1,Tn) and
V(O2,Tk) = V(O2,Tn), then O1 has moved away from O2.

(48) If V(O1,Tk) = V(O1,Tn) and V(O2,Tk) = V(O2,Tn), k<n, then no movement has occurred, a
condition we express by the feature constellation ["DSJ, "CNJ].16

a. If the relatum is used to specify the place where the referent is located, we have
[–DSJ, –CNJ], e.g., He is in the pool, He is near the pool.

b. If the relatum is used to specify the place where the referent is not located, we have
[+DSJ, +CNJ], e.g., He is out of the pool, He is away from the pool.

Notice that, for movement to occur, at least two locations are required. In ["DSJ, –"CNJ] relations,
only one location need be mentioned; the other is implied and could be mentioned (He departed
from the city (for the country)). However, in [+DSJ, +CNJ] cases, any second implied location
cannot be mentioned unless a coordinating conjunction or comma intonation is used between the
two, otherwise, the object appears to be in two places at once:

(49) a. *It is now off the wall on the table.


b. It is now off the wall and on the table.

The last feature opposition to be presented in this section is one needed to capture the distinction
between pinpointed and widespread positional expressions, e.g., on versus over, and in versus
throughout. We therefore add (50).
Chapter One 23

(50) [±EXTENSIONAL] ([±EXT])

a. [+EXT]: expressing extent in space or time.

Examples: over the floor, all around the house; over the weekend, all during
February.

b. [–EXT]: not expressing extent in space or time.

Examples: on the horse, in the box; on Monday, in July.

When [+EXT] and ["DSJ, "CNJ] co–occur in the specification of a thematic relation, it becomes
possible for that relation to be associated with motion verbs such as dance, wander, work, play, etc.
The feature set [–EXT, "DSJ, "CNJ] refers to one internal or external location (where an object is
or is not, e.g., He is in/out of town). On the other hand, [+EXT, "DSJ, "CNJ], which emphasizes
an extent of space, refers to many such internal or external locations, as in The children are sleeping
in the house. Since more than one location, i.e., many points in an expanse, is explicit in this
constellation of features, motion verbs can be used: The children are playing in the house.
Therefore, two possibilities exist.

First, when a relation is defined by the features ["DSJ, "CNJ, –EXT], it can only co–occur with
stative verbs. Second, when a relation is defined by the features ["DSJ, "CNJ, +EXT], it can
co–occur with either stative verbs used in an expanse (over versus on, around versus in, etc.) or
nonstative verbs:

(51) a. The food is on the floor.


ON is [–DSJ, –CNJ, –EXT]

b. The food is all over the floor. (The food covered the floor.)
OVER is [–DSJ, –CNJ, +EXT]

c. The children were playing all over the playground.


OVER is [–DSJ, –CNJ, +EXT]

Notice that we do not distinguish the use of over in (51b) and (51c); both are [–DSJ, –CNJ, +EXT]
since an expanse is covered and no specific direction or orientation is involved. The distinction
between the two examples derives from the verb: be is stative; play is nonstative.

In contrast to this, the co–occurrence of ["DSJ, –"CNJ] with either [+EXT] or [–EXT] always
indicates the actual performance, experience or avoidance of movement as we have seen. Therefore,
we can make the following basic distinctions:
24 Chapter One

(52) a. [+STATIVE] = ["DSJ, "CNJ, –EXT] (nonmotion)

b. [±STATIVE] = ["DSJ, "CNJ, +EXT] (nonmotion or motion without specific


orientation)

c. [–STATIVE] = ["DSJ, –"CNJ, $EXT] (motion with specific orientation)

Notice that, when movement occurs, the orientation of movement is specified by the values for
[±DSJ] and [±CNJ]. If they have the same value (52b), then there is no specific orientation; if the
values are different (52c), then there is specific orientation, namely, SOURCE orientation ([+DSJ,
–CNJ]) or GOAL orientation [(–DSJ, +CNJ]). These interacting features will allow us to generalize
the uses of thematic markers when they spread over both stative and nonstative relations in
semantically very complex prepositions like over, which I will discuss in the Section 1.14.

As a further illustration of the above differences, consider German prepositions like an, auf, hinter,
in, etc., which can be used with both the dative and the accusative. There are difficulties with
characterizing the two uses in terms of a simple location versus motion analysis. Haider (1985)
characterizes the dichotomy as local (for the dative) versus directional (for the accusative). He
provides (Page 82) examples like the following:

(53) a. Sie tanzten in diesem Saal.


they danced in the–dative ballroom
‘They danced in this ballroom.’

b. Sie tanzten in den Saal.


they danced into the–accusative ballroom
‘They danced into this ballroom.’

(54) a. Sie schwammen nur an diesem Ufer.


they swam only at this–dative bank
‘They only swam at this bank.’

b. Sie schwammen an dieses Ufer.


they swam to that–accusative bank
‘They swam to that bank.’

Smith (1993) also argues against the traditional location versus motion analysis offering other
examples like the following:

(55) a. Wir wanderten in den Bergen.


we wandered in the–dative mountains
‘We wandered (around) in the mountains.’
Chapter One 25

b. Wir wanderten in die Berge.


we wandered in the–accusative mountains
‘We wandered into the mountains.’

Making use of the distinctions described above, we can accommodate the German data by saying
that the accusative is used prototypically for [–DSJ, +CNJ, $EXT] (nonstative) relations, and the
dative is used prototypically for [–DSJ, –CNJ, $EXT] (stative or nonstative) relations. The former
feature cluster expresses ILLATIVE and ALLATIVE relations; the latter, LOCATIVE and
ADESSIVE relations. Thus, the prepositions an, auf, hinter, in, etc., express [–DSJ, "CNJ, $EXT]
relations. Further, these relations may or may not involve contact ([±PRX]) and confinement
([±FST]).

A summary of examples of the positional, non–temporal thematic relations is given in Figures One
and Two, which contain new category labels to represent finer distinctions than those generally
available in the literature (e.g., ILLATIVE and ALLATIVE instead of GOAL; ELATIVE and
ABLATIVE instead of SOURCE). Most of the names for these relations derive from the case
designations used in grammars of languages like Finnish. Consider the following examples adapted
from Eliot (1890: 131–162) and Olli (1958: 129–149):17

(56) a. LOCATIVE (Finnish inessive case; Eliot 1890: 139).


Mies istuu tuvassa.
man sits in the hut
‘The man sits in the hut.’

b. ABSENTIVE (no corresponding case in Finnish).

c. ILLATIVE (Finnish illative case; Eliot 1890: 145).


Merimies putosi veteen.
sailor fell into the water
‘The sailor fell into the water.’

d. ELATIVE (Finnish elative case; Eliot 1980: 144)


Mies lähti tuvasta
man went out of the hut
‘The man went out of the hut.’

e. ADESSIVE (Finnish adessive case; Olli 1958: 145)


Tyttö oli kaivolla
girl was at the well
‘The girl was at the well.’
26 Chapter One

f. ABESSIVE (Finnish abessive expresses nonpositional relations; Olli 1958: 149).


Olen rahatta
I am without money
‘I have no money.’

g. ALLATIVE (Finnish allative case; Olli 1958: 147)


Menen kaivolle
I go to the well
‘I am going to the well.’

h. ABLATIVE (Finnish illative case; Eliot 1890: 145).


Merimies putosi laivalta.
sailor fell from the ship
‘The sailor fell from the ship.’

Figure One contains examples of relations that are [+PST, –TMP, +PRX]; Figure Two contains
those that are [+PST, –TMP, –PRX]. In both figures, notice that English frequently neutralizes
features so that the same preposition is used throughout a row. This is, in fact, one of the
motivations behind the feature system proposed here. One needs to be able to both pinpoint and
generalize prepositional usage as we noted in the Introduction. In some instances, there are fine
distinctions available: in, on, over, throughout, etc. In others, the same preposition marks a wide
range of themes, e.g., from and to. Notice, in particular in Figure Two, that the sentence The planes
flew away from the clouds has two distinct meanings. As an example of ABESSIVE4, the planes
are maintaining their flight pattern so that they are away from the clouds, whereas the same sentence
as ABLATIVE4 means that the planes are flying in a direction away from the clouds. As we will
see throughout this discussion, different languages instantiate the features in different ways. Further,
it is doubtful that any one language will have a different marker for each of the thirty–two cells in
Figures One and Two, particularly when the temporal dimension is included. Still, the present
system does not appear to be overly specified, since it is possible to find many examples of the
individual thematic relations we have discussed across a wide variety of the world’s languages.
Chapter One 27

FIGURE ONE: PROXIMAL POSITIONAL THEMATIC RELATIONS ([+PST, –TMP, +PRX])

–EXT +EXT

+FST –FST +FST –FST

–DSJ LOCATIVE1 (LOC1) LOCATIVE2 (LOC2) LOCATIVE3 (LOC3) LOCATIVE4 (LOC4)


–CNJ on, on top of in, within over, on in, through(out)
He was on the horse. He was in the pool. The hay was over the There was smoke
field. throughout the house.

+DSJ ABSENTIVE1 (ABS1) ABSENTIVE2 (ABS2) ABSENTIVE3 (ABS3) ABSENTIVE4 (ABS4)


+CNJ off, off of out of off, off of out of
He was off the horse. He was out of the pool. The hay was off the The smoke was out of
field. the house.

–DSJ ILLATIVE1(ILL1) ILLATIVE2 (ILL2) ILLATIVE3 (ILL3) ILLATIVE4 (ILL4)


+CNJ on, onto into, in over, on into, through(out)
He got on the horse. He jumped into the He put hay over the He got smoke
pool. field. throughout the house.

+DSJ ELATIVE1 (ELA1) ELATIVE2 (ELA2) ELATIVE3 (ELA3) ELATIVE4 (ELA4)


–CNJ off, off of, from out of, from off, off of, from out of, from
He got off the horse. He jumped out of the He took the hay off the He got the smoke out
pool. field. of the house.

FIGURE TWO: NONPROXIMAL POSITIONAL THEMATIC RELATIONS ([+PST, –TMP, –PRX])

–EXT +EXT

+FST –FST +FST –FST

–DSJ ADESSIVE1 (ADE1) ADESSIVE2 (ADE2) ADESSIVE3 (ADE3) ADESSIVE4 (ADE4)


–CNJ near, at near, at along, near, at among, amid
He was near the horse. The balloon was near The signs were along The planes were/flew
the ceiling. the road. amid the clouds.

+DSJ ABESSIVE1 (ABE1) ABESSIVE2 (ABE2) ABESSIVE3 (ABE3) ABESSIVE4 (ABE4)


+CNJ away from, from away from, from away from, from away from, from
He was away from the The balloon was away The signs were away The planes were/flew
horse. from the ceiling. from the road. away from the clouds.

–DSJ ALLATIVE1 (ALL1) ALLATIVE2 (ALL2) ALLATIVE3 (ALL3) ALLATIVE4 (ALL4)


+CNJ to, toward to, toward along, near among, amid
He walked toward the The balloon floated He put the signs along The planes flew
horse. toward the ceiling. the road. toward the clouds.

+DSJ ABLATIVE1 (ABL1) ABLATIVE2 (ABL2) ABLATIVE3 (ABL3) ABLATIVE4 (ABL4)


–CNJ away from, from away from, from away from, from away from, from
He walked away from The balloon floated He put the signs away The planes flew away
the horse. away from the ceiling. from the road. from the clouds.
28 Chapter One

1.4 MOVEMENT AND NONMOVEMENT.

Given the interacting features described above, we have a simple and elegant definition of
movement and nonmovement: movement or nonstativity is represented by the cluster (57a);
nonmovement or stativity by (57b).18

(57) a. ["DSJ, –"CNJ] (MOVEMENT; NONSTATIVE RELATIONS)

b. ["DSJ, "CNJ] (NONMOVEMENT; STATIVE RELATIONS)

In addition, the relationship between movement and nonmovement can be expressed in the formula
(58), where the arrow denotes entailment, that is, the feature cluster on the left of the arrow entails
or reduces to the feature cluster on the right.

(58) ["DSJ, –"CNJ, $PRX] | ["DSJ, "CNJ, $PRX]

This equation, which I will call NONSTATIVE REDUCTION (NSR), generalizes the following:

|
|
(59) a. [+PST, –DSJ, +CNJ, +PRX] [+PST, –DSJ, –CNJ, +PRX]
ILLATIVE LOCATIVE

|
|
b. [+PST, +DSJ, –CNJ, +PRX] [+PST, +DSJ, +CNJ, +PRX]
ELATIVE ABSENTIVE

|
|
c. [+PST, –DSJ, +CNJ, –PRX] [+PST, –DSJ, –CNJ, –PRX]
ALLATIVE ADESSIVE

|
|
d. [+PST, +DSJ, –CNJ, –PRX] [+PST, +DSJ, +CNJ, –PRX]
ABLATIVE ABESSIVE

Thus, a sentence like He went into the building yesterday entails that He was in the building
yesterday; one like He went out of the building yesterday entails that He was out of the building
yesterday. Similarly, as we will see, a sentence such as He entered the building yesterday entails
that He was in the building yesterday while He exited/left the building yesterday entails that He was
out of the building yesterday. Such entailments are crucial to the appropriate understanding of
discourse even in simple examples like The police entered the building and found the victim in the
bathroom, where one knows that the bathroom is in the building and that the police went into the
bathroom.

Further, given the above feature space, we can distinguish the meanings of a marker like from in (60)
by their feature specifications given respectively in (61).
Chapter One 29

(60) a. He ran FROM his office.


b. He is FROM New York.
c. He worked FROM dawn until dusk.
d. He died FROM overexposure.

(61) a. [+PST, +DSJ, –CNJ, –TMP] (SOURCE OF MOVEMENT)


b. [+PST, +DSJ, +CNJ, –TMP] (SOURCE AT REST)
c. [+PST, +DSJ, –CNJ, +TMP] (TEMPORAL SOURCE)
d. [–PST, +DSJ, –CNJ] (CAUSE)

One can see from (61) that the preposition from in English has the primary feature specification
[+DSJ] whether the relation is concrete ([+PST]) or abstract ([–PST]). In fact, I am not aware of any
uses of from which are not [+DSJ]. This might, of course, be considered an accident if the only
data available were the examples in (60). However, as before, we find similar groupings of thematic
relations expressed by the same marker in many languages. In short, the feature system we have
proposed is highly predictive. In moving from language to language, say from Sanskrit to Finnish,
one expects that thematic markers will not be distributed haphazardly, that individual grammatical
cases, for example, will mark relations that have a semantic commonality. As we saw at the
beginning of this chapter, the ablative is the from–case in those Indo–European languages which
have an ablative. Thus, one finds that the ablative marks similar semantic relations in the various
daughter languages which retain the ablative, and, when a particular language has lost the ablative
as a result of syncretism (Kury»owicz 1964: Chapter VIII), there is order to the manner in which
those relations are distributed over the remaining grammatical cases.

In English, from is the unmarked preposition for [+DSJ] relations, that is, from introduces all [+DSJ]
expressions unless the grammar contains a specific statement to the contrary. Although all uses of
from in English are [+DSJ], notice that the reverse is not true, that is, that all [+DSJ] relations in
English are always and only introduced by from. In this regard, English is typical. Certain
constructions in individual languages are often introduced by specialized markers. For example,
although AGENT is a [+DSJ] relation, being the source of an activity, the AGENT phrase is
signaled in the passive in English with the preposition by as in He was killed by a dog. We
characterize this use of by as “marked” since the expected [+DSJ] preposition from is not used. In
Italian, on the other hand, the AGENT in the passive is signaled by the same preposition that is used
for other [+DSJ] relations; hence, the use is “unmarked.” Consider the following (dal = da + il
‘from the’):

(62) a. Il meccanico ha riparato la macchina.


the mechanic has repaired the car
‘The mechanic has repaired the car.’

b. La macchina è stata riparata dal meccanico (AGENT).


the car has been repaired by the mechanic
‘The car has been repaired by the mechanic.’
30 Chapter One

(63) a. Giovanni èsce dal negozio (SOURCE).


Giovanni comes from the store
‘Giovanni is coming from the store’

b. Giovanni trema dal freddo (CAUSE).


Giovanni trembles from the cold
‘Giovanni is trembling from the cold’

Since the feature [+DSJ] is common to all the English examples in (60), we can now understand how
one preposition can be used to express different thematic relations. We do not have to list from in
the lexicon with verbs like free, depart, prevent, steal, etc. or adjectives like free, absent, distinct,
etc. or nouns like freedom, separation, absence, etc. The lexicon specifies that all these words have
a [+DSJ] meaning so the unmarked disjunctural preposition from introduces their complements. As
we will see in the next chapter, we will be able to predict when of shows up instead of from, e.g.,
The dictator stripped/deprived/robbed the people of their rights. Similarly, if a [+DSJ] relation is
also [+FST] or [–FST], we will be able to predict that off and out of occur as alternatives to from,
e.g., It fell off/from the table and He took the money out of/from the safe.

Further, we can use feature oppositions like [±DSJ] to organize the lexicon into synonyms and
antonyms. For example, in English we have adjectives like apart, detached, different, distinct,
isolated, removed, separate, etc., all of which are [+DSJ] and take complements introduced by from.
Their opposites, akin, attached, close, comparable, identical, related, similar, etc. are [–DSJ] and
take complements introduced by to. This is an important achievement descriptively since it accounts
for the concerns of predictability and expectation raised at the beginning of this chapter. The fact
is that speakers can make very good guesses about the meaning of an unknown lexical item from
the prepositions it constructs with.

There are also syntactic consequences of the above characterization. If a verbal occurs as the
complement of a [+DSJ] predicate, then the verbal must be the gerund and not the infinitive since
the bare verb cannot follow prepositions other than to in English (I will discuss examples like He
will do anything except sing in Chapter Seven, Page 477 ff.). Compare the following:

(64) a. We discouraged him from going.


b. *We discouraged him from (to) go.

(65) a. He died from smoking.


b. *He died from (to) smoke.

(66) a. We encouraged him to go.


b. *We encouraged him to going.

(67) a. He is dying to smoke.


b. *He is dying to smoking.
Chapter One 31

Figures One and Two reveal an important advantage to having two interacting features ([±DSJ] and
[±CNJ]) with two values (plus and minus) to account for positional relations; specifically, it affords
us a simple way of accounting for the many markers that spread over both STATIVE and
NONSTATIVE relations. For example, from is either [+DSJ, +CNJ], that is, stative, as in He is from
Detroit, or [+DSJ, –CNJ], that is, nonstative, as in He moved from Detroit. Using "–notation, we
can generalize this as [+DSJ, "CNJ].

A possible system which begins with primitive categories (or features) like STATIVE or MOTION
and then attempts to categorize predicates in terms of these primitives cannot be generalized to cover
the range of markers found with those predicates without adding essentially redundant categories
(or features) to separate SOURCE and GOAL. A marker like from is essentially separative, i.e.,
[+DSJ], however one wishes to label this; it is not essentially either a marker of motion or a marker
of nonmotion. Thus, English from is [+DSJ, "CNJ]. Interestingly, English to is not essentially
[+CNJ]; rather, its basic feature is [–DSJ]. There are LOCATIVE uses (It is stuck to the wall, They
are cheek to cheek) and ADESSIVE uses (His back is to the wall, They stood to one side, It lies to
the north), i.e., to is [–DSJ, "CNJ]. We find similar data in other languages. In French, for
example, en is also used for [–DSJ, "CNJ] expressions: aller en France (‘go to France’), entrer en
ville (‘go into town’), vivre en Angleterre (‘live in England’).

Nonetheless, MOTION is often assumed to be a semantic primitive. For example, Jackendoff (1976,
1983, 1993) analyzes motional predicates in terms of the primitive semantic function GO, and Miller
and Johnson–Laird (1976) posit the primitive predicate TRAVEL. In his arguments for not reducing
GO to the inchoative of BE, Jackendoff (1993: 94) has this to say: “The third argument for the
nonreducibility of GO to INCH BE is that motion must be a primitive in spatial cognition anyway
– we can perceive an object as in continuous motion without knowing anything about the endpoints
of its motion” [italics mine]. But this observation does not compel us to treat MOTION or GO as
a primitive; in fact, the notation used here, ["DSJ, –"CNJ], is intended to mean exactly what
Jackendoff observes, namely, motion with unspecified direction.19

In general, thematic markers in the world’s languages have both stative and nonstative uses, and are
not primarily associated with either motion or nonmotion though this certainly does occur.
Crucially, even when this does occur, the relations are still best expressed along the lines of Figures
One and Two, that is, in terms of contrasting features [±DSJ, ±CNJ]. For example, as we have seen,
many German prepositions (an, auf, hinter, in, etc.) are used with the accusative case for nonstative
relations and the dative case for either stative or nonstative relations. As we have seen, this means
that the accusative is associated with [–DSJ, +CNJ, $EXT] and the dative with [–DSJ, –CNJ,
$EXT]. Generalized, these prepositions express [–DSJ, "CNJ, $EXT] relations.

It is not difficult to find similar data supporting our hypothesis in languages very different from
English typologically. For example, Japanese uses the postposition ni for LOCATIVE,
ADESSIVE, ILLATIVE, and ALLATIVE relations (data from Yukari Mori, a native speaker;
personal communication):
32 Chapter One

(68) a. Hon–ga tsukue–ni aru. LOCATIVE


book desk be
‘The book is on the desk.’

b. kyaku–ga genkan–ni iru. ADESSIVE


guest door be
‘The guest is at the door.’

c. Mary–wa ie–ni kakekonda. ILLATIVE


Mary house ran
‘Mary ran into the house.’

d. Mary–wa Tokyo–ni itta. ALLATIVE


Mary Tokyo went
‘Mary went to Tokyo.’

In the present feature system, these uses are generalized by the feature constellation [+PST, –DSJ,
"CNJ, $PRX]. The same group of thematic relations are expressed in Newari by one grammatical
case, the locative. Consider the following:

(69) a. Safu tebal–e du LOCATIVE


book table is
‘The book is on the table.’

b. Jĩ lukha–e dan~ ADESSIVE


I door stood
‘I stood at the door.’

c. Jĩ sima–e gay~ ILLATIVE


I tree climbed
‘I climbed (into) the tree.’

d. Jĩ Nepal–e wana. ALLATIVE


I Nepal went
‘I went to Nepal.’

In both Japanese and Newari, finer distinctions can be made with the use or addition of other
markers with more circumscribed feature distinctions. For example, in Newari, one can stress the
ILLATIVE relation by saying ‘to the inside of’ (dune ‘inside’); one can stress LOCATIVE by saying
‘to the top of’ (dyane ‘top’). In Finnish and Estonian, as we have noted, there is a separate
grammatical case for LOCATIVE, ADESSIVE, ILLATIVE, ALLATIVE, ELATIVE, and
ABLATIVE relations; correspondingly, these languages have fewer prepositions than a language
like English or German.
Chapter One 33

What we do not find in natural language are examples where markers are confined to motion or
nonmotion and within each category have both DISJUNCTURAL and CONJUNCTURAL
meanings, that is, a marker that means either ‘motion to’ or ‘motion from,’ or one that means either
‘rest in’ or ‘rest out of.’ For these reasons, concepts like STATIVE are derivative, not primitive,
in the system described here.

1.5 NEGATION AND CAUSATION.

Observe that most positional markers do not have absolute opposites in negation. A pair such as
on/off or in/out of is atypical: if something is not on something else, then it is off it; if something
is not in something else, then it is out of it. For example, This vase was not on the table this morning
means ‘This vase was off the table this morning.’ The exact location of the vase is unimportant;
whether it was near the table, away from the table, or in the closet, it was still off the table.
Conversely, This vase was not off the table this morning means that it was on it.

The same complete antithesis is not found in other apparent opposites, e.g., into/out of, or to/from,
or onto/off of. Thus, This vase was not put onto the table does not mean that the vase was taken off
the table; John did not go to New York does not mean that John went from New York. Despite this,
pairs like to/from are considered opposites in some sense which must be made clear.

Given that positional markers like on/off represent feature clusters, their relationship can be encoded
into the following simple equation:

(70) not ["DSJ, "CNJ] = [–"DSJ, –"CNJ]

This equation is realized in examples like the following:20

(71) a. (It is) not on the table. = (It is) off the table.
b. (It is) not off the table. = (It is) on the table.

The existence of (70) suggests that a language might dispense with specific markers for either
[–DSJ, –CNJ] or [+DSJ, +CNJ] relations. Since each group is the negative of the other, a language
with a negator like not could get along with only one. Rather than saying off, for example, one
would say not on. In fact, that is correct. Newari does not have any grammatical case distinctively
representing [+DSJ, +CNJ] relations; such relations are generally expressed by [–DSJ, –CNJ] (the
locative case) and a negative element. Stative uses of English off and from are generally expressed
in Japanese as negatives of the postposition ni ‘in, to.’ Even in English, temporal examples with off
or out of are very hard to think up; they are generally expressed by negatives of on and in, e.g., he
was not here on Monday/in March.

Turning to nonstative positional relations, one would expect to find (72).


34 Chapter One

(72) not ["DSJ, –"CNJ] = [–"DSJ, "CNJ]

But (72) is wrong because it asserts that the “a” and “b” examples in the following should be
synonyms:

(73) a. He did not go into the building.


b. He went out of the building.

(74) a. He did not exit the building.


b. He entered the building.

The explanation of this apparent contradiction derives from NSR (58). Nonstative positional
relations like ILLATIVE and their corresponding predicates like enter entail relations like
LOCATIVE and predicates like be in. In other words, ILLATIVE is the causative of LOCATIVE,
and enter is the causative of be in. The negatives of nonstative relations and predicates negate the
causation itself, not the particular type of transition (into versus out of). Thus, he did not enter the
building means ‘he did not cause himself to be in the building’ not ‘he caused himself to be out of
the building.’ The negative of (58) is therefore (75).21

(75) not ["DSJ, –"CNJ, $PRX] | not ["DSJ, "CNJ, $PRX]

Specifically, we have reductions like (76) and (77).

(76) not [+PST, –DSJ, +CNJ, +PRX] | not [+PST, –DSJ, –CNJ, +PRX]
not ILLATIVE not LOCATIVE
not enter not be in

(77) not [+PST, +DSJ, –CNJ, +PRX] | not [+PST, +DSJ, +CNJ, +PRX]
not ELATIVE not ABSENTIVE
not exit not be out

Thus, He did not go into the building yesterday and He did not enter the building yesterday both
entail that He was not in the building yesterday; He did not go out of the building yesterday and He
did not exit/leave the building yesterday both entail that He was not out of the building yesterday.

Alternatively, (75) can be stated as (78).

(78) not ["DSJ, –"CNJ, $PRX] | [–"DSJ, –"CNJ, $PRX]

Note that the negativity on the right side of the arrow is now accounted for by reversing the feature
values for [±DSJ] and [±CNJ]. Thus, (76) and (77) become (79) and (80), respectively.
Chapter One 35

(79) not [+PST, –DSJ, +CNJ, +PRX] | [+PST, +DSJ, +CNJ, +PRX]
not ILLATIVE ABSENTIVE
not enter be out of

(80) not [+PST, +DSJ, –CNJ, +PRX] | [+PST, –DSJ, –CNJ, +PRX]
not ELATIVE LOCATIVE
not exit be in

Given (75) or (78), there can be no nonstative counterpart of (70), i.e., (72) does not exist. Only
(75) and (78) are relevant in formal semantic descriptions of thematic relations.

1.6 NONPOSITIONAL THEMATIC RELATIONS.

The most obvious positional features that have nonpositional correlates are the four DSJ/CNJ pairs
of Figures One and Two. Certain nonpositional thematic relations are viewed by speakers as
involving a conjunction (to and into), others a disjunction (from and out of), and still others a
combination of disjunction and conjunction (off and away) or lack of both (on and in). Accordingly,
the same prepositions that occur in the positional relations show up in the nonpositional ones. We
have very clear–cut examples like (81) though (84).

(81) a. He turned the car into an alley. [+PST]


b. He turned the car into a collector’s item. [–PST]

(82) a. He leaned against them. [+PST]


b. He fought against them. [–PST]

(83) a. They roamed about the city. [+PST]


b. They talked about the city. [–PST]

(84) a. They live by water. [+PST] or [–PST]


b. They travel by water. [+PST] of [–PST]

1.7 GENERAL HYPOTHESIS.

Suppose we adopt the hypothesis that nonpositional thematic relations are metaphors for their
positional counterparts. That is, a [+PST, +DSJ] theme expresses literal (measurable) separation,
whereas a [–PST, +DSJ] theme expresses figurative separation. A theme like SOURCE is [+PST,
+DSJ]; one like CAUSE is [–PST, +DSJ]. Similarly, a [+PST, –DSJ] theme expresses literal
(measurable) union, whereas a [–PST, –DSJ] theme expresses figurative union. Thus, GOAL is
[+PST, –DSJ]; EXPERIENCER is [–PST, –DSJ].
36 Chapter One

In addition, suppose we hypothesize that causation is a metaphor for movement, the former
expressed as (85a), the latter as (85b).

(85) a. [–PST, "DSJ, –"CNJ] (causation)


b. [+PST, "DSJ, –"CNJ] (movement)

These hypotheses require that we examine metaphor at the level of the proposed features, since the
categories themselves are nothing more than abbreviations for features. Before we can do this,
however, there are a number of semantic distinctions involving possession that must be considered.
The importance of possession to any analysis of thematic relations will become clear as we proceed.
Basically, it can be summarized as follows: the central relation in [+PST] themes is LOCATION.
The [–PST] counterpart of this is POSSESSION. In short, possession is a metaphor for location, just
as causation is a metaphor for movement. For this reason, a verb like have or give can sometimes
be used in the answer to a question about location. Compare (86) and (87).22

(86) a. Where are the keys?


b. They are on the table./I put them on the table.

(87) a. Where are the keys?


b. Mary has them./I gave them to Mary.

1.8 EXPRESSIONS OF POSSESSION.

As we saw above (see Page 33), stative positional predicates are subject to the equation (70),
repeated here as (88) with the examples (89).

(88) not ["DSJ, "CNJ] = [–"DSJ, –"CNJ]

(89) a. It is not on the table. = It is off the table.


b. It is not off the table. = It is on the table.

Equation (88) states that stative relations are absolute opposites. The examples in (89) are of stative
positional relations. The same equation (88) also holds for stative nonpositional relations, at the
crux of which are all of the expressions which indicate possession such as the following:

(90) The POSSESSIVE/NONPOSSESSIVE NONPOSITIONAL relation.

a. POSSESSION OF SOMETHING

He is a man with ambition.


He has ambition. (=He doesn’t lack ambition.)
He is ambitious.
Chapter One 37

b. POSSESSION OF THE LACK OF SOMETHING

He is a man without ambition/with no ambition.


He has no ambition.
He is unambitious.

c. NONPOSSESSION OF SOMETHING

He is not a man with ambition.


He does not have ambition. (=He lacks ambition.)
He is not ambitious.

d. NONPOSSESSION OF THE LACK OF SOMETHING

He is not a man without ambition/with no ambition.


He doesn’t have no ambition.
He is not unambitious.

Expressions of possession occur in a variety of forms in the world’s languages, and there are many
idiosyncrasies. Nonetheless, possessive systems generally involve two distinctions: alienable
versus inalienable possession and possession versus nonpossession.

1.8.1 INALIENABLE AND ALIENABLE POSSESSION.

The first distinction concerns the type of object possessed. Inalienable possession is the possession
of relatively permanent, intrinsic objects or attributes (e.g., one’s children, one’s blue eyes, one’s
ambition); whereas, alienable possession refers to the possession of relatively transient and extrinsic
objects or attributes (e.g., one’s home, one’s money).

A discussion of this distinction for linguistic purposes requires establishing a frame of reference; in
particular, to understand how alienable versus inalienable objects and attributes are treated in the
world’s languages, we must suspend such modern wonders as cosmetic surgery, artificial
insemination, genetic engineering, and the like. In general, we must view objects such as children
and attributes such as blue eyes as relatively permanent and intrinsic (natural) “possessions.” This,
despite the fact that sentences like (91) are certainly possible.

(91) a. I sometimes have a son. (= ‘Actually, I always have a son, but only on occasion does
he behave as I think a son should’ or ‘Actually, I don’t have a son, but there is a male
who sometimes behaves in such a way that I seem to have a son’).

b. I often have blue eyes (when I remember to put in my colored contact lenses).
38 Chapter One

Given a world where examples like (91) are understood as requiring special circumstances, we can
proceed.

Although inalienable possessions tend to be intrinsically and permanently acquired, their most
important feature is that they are not reciprocally transferable, that is, their acquisition does not
require a corresponding loss from the giver. To see this, compare the following:

(92) a. Bob sold the book to Joe.


entails: Joe has the book, and Bob does not have the book.

b. Joe bought the book from Bob.


entails: Joe has the book, and Bob does not have the book.

(93) a. Joe taught French to Bob.


entails: Bob knows French, and Joe knows French.

b. Bob learned French from Joe.


entails: Bob knows French, and Joe knows French.

The difference between (92) and (93) is that the examples in (92), in their literal uses, involve
reciprocal transfer, which we define as “the physical relocation of an object from one entity to
another, so that the recipient or place of destination gains what the giver or place of origin loses”
(cf. Schank’s PTRANS in (36f)). On the other hand, the examples in (93) do not involve the
transference of an object from one location to another. In teaching someone French, one helps
another to know French, but in the process one does not lose one’s own knowledge of the language.
Thus, in nonreciprocal transfer, the entity which is the SOURCE of the transfer (Joe in (93)) does
not lose what the entity which is the GOAL of the transfer (Bob in (93)) gains. This distinction
between reciprocal and nonreciprocal transfer arises directly out of the alienable/inalienable
distinction.

In general, one can possess objects or attributes either inalienably or alienably, as follows:23

(94) a. INALIENABLE: Generally animate objects like next of kin, body parts, etc.;
intrinsic characteristics like eye color, skin color, nose shape, language, etc.
Included here also are certain gradable and complementary variations. For example,
a rubber band has the inalienable characteristic of elasticity which means it can, as
part of its intrinsic nature, have more than one shape.

b. ALIENABLE: Generally inanimate objects like books, cars, money, etc.;


non–intrinsic characteristics like being penniless, drugged, etc.

Of these types of “possessions,” the only ones that are reciprocally transferred are alienable objects.
Consider the following:
Chapter One 39

(95) a. Sue gave Joe a five dollar bill.


b. Sue gave Joe a bloody nose/a black eye/a headache.
c. Sue gave Joe her baby for adoption.

The giver (Sue) becomes dispossessed of an object or attribute only in (95a). In (95b), the giver
does not transfer something from herself, but does cause it to arise in the recipient. In (95c), the
giver does not cease to be the baby’s natural mother, only the baby’s custodial parent.

1.8.2 POSSESSION AND NONPOSSESSION.

The second distinction that is important in any discussion of possession is the distinction between
actual possession and nonpossession, despite the fact that the same markers are usually used for both
in the world’s languages (English preposition of, Japanese postposition no, Latin genitive case, etc.).
Discourse involves understanding that a statement like John lacks ambition is a remark about
something that John does not possess; similarly, that a statement like John sold the car to Mary,
reveals that John no longer possesses the car. The stative pair have/lack are absolute opposites; the
nonstative pair buy/sell are not.

Possession and nonpossession are categorized as stative nonpositional relations and follow (88).
In short, both positional and nonpositional stative relations behave in the same way with regard to
negation: they form absolute opposite pairs and follow (88). We have positional pairs like be on/be
off and nonpositional pairs like have/lack and remember/forget.

Nonstative relations do not behave in this manner, as we have seen. The generalization in positional
themes discussed in Section 1.5 (Page 33) extends to nonpositional themes. Just as the pairs in (73)
and (74) are not synonyms, the following are not synonyms:24

(96) a. He didn’t sell the car.


b. He bought the car.

The reason the sentences in (96) are not synonymous is the same as before: there is no nonstative
counterpart to (88). Rather, sentences like those in (96) must be related via NSR.

Part of the meaning of the verb own is expressed in the feature cluster [–DSJ, –CNJ]; own is like
have, be in/with, and Latin inesse (see Endnote 20). Sell is ["DSJ, –"CNJ]; its subject, the
SOURCE of the transaction [+DSJ, –CNJ], reduces to the NONPOSSESSOR [+DSJ, +CNJ]. If one
negates sell, as in (96a), the reverse reduction occurs, i.e., the SOURCE remains the POSSESSOR
[–DSJ, –CNJ]. Buy is also ["DSJ, –"CNJ]. However, its subject is the GOAL of a transaction
[–DSJ, +CNJ], so that it becomes the POSSESSOR [–DSJ, –CNJ] as a result of the transaction.
Given these remarks, both transactions in (96) reduce to the same state: he has possession of the car.
In short, the themes that express possession and transference of possession parallel the positional
relations.
40 Chapter One

1.9 THE METAPHORICAL USES OF THE FEATURES.

I have argued above that the nonpositional thematic relations are metaphors for their positional
counterparts. To repeat, a [+PST, +DSJ] theme expresses literal (measurable) separation, whereas
a [–PST, +DSJ] theme expresses figurative separation. A theme like SOURCE is [+PST, +DSJ];
one like CAUSE is [–PST, +DSJ]. Similarly, a [+PST, –DSJ] theme expresses literal (measurable)
union, whereas a [–PST, –DSJ] theme expresses figurative union. Thus, GOAL is [+PST, –DSJ];
EXPERIENCER is [–PST, –DSJ].

Since themes are nothing more than abbreviations for feature constellations, we must ground
metaphorical uses in the features themselves. Generally speaking, it is not difficult to imagine how
a connection can be made by speakers between, say, a positional GOAL like he turned the car into
an alley and a nonpositional GOAL like he turned the car into a collector’s item. However, we
would like to be more specific about the connection to strengthen the argument. This is the subject
of the next four subsections.

1.9.1 THE METAPHORICAL USE OF [±PROXIMAL].

Among positional relations, the feature opposition [±PRX] separates those themes that involve
contact from those that do not. Given the preceding discussion of possession, suppose we equate
inalienable possession with [–PST, +PRX] and alienable possession with [–PST, –PRX].
Inalienably possessed objects and attributes are not reciprocally transferrable; they remain
permanently “attached” to the possessor. On the other hand, alienably possessed objects and
attributes are reciprocally transferrable; their attachment to the possessor is not necessarily
permanent. Thus, the metaphorical extension of proximal is based on some perceived similarity
between actual physical proximity between two objects, as in the book is on the desk/the book is
near the lamp, and figurative proximity, as in she has brown eyes/she has brown shoes.

1.9.2 THE METAPHORICAL USE OF [±DISJUNCTURAL]/[±CONJUNCTURAL].

Turning to the features [±DSJ] and [±CNJ], recall that their positional definitions can be verified by
a perceptual system (man or machine). For example, a robotic eye can take a picture of two objects
at two different times. If the distance between the two changes, then one of the situations in (47)
has occurred. If the distance remains unchanged, then either of the situations in (48) obtains.

The metaphorical uses of these features cannot involve simple visual verification. An expression
like He died from emphysema cannot be comprehended with simple visual inspection. Still,
emphysema must somehow be viewed as the SOURCE of death. As we have noted, if we do not
connect CAUSE with SOURCE then we have no explanation for why the same marker is used for
the two relations: the prepositions from in English, da in Italian, and aus in German; the ablative
case in Latin, Sanskrit, and Turkish; the nasal case ending in Newari (see Chapter Four, Page 299
ff.); the postposition kara in Japanese; etc. In language after language, we see the nonpositional
Chapter One 41

(metaphorical) themes expressed by the same markers used to express their positional (literal)
counterparts. Our proposal, therefore, is that a theme like CAUSE is an abbreviation for [–PST,
+DSJ, –CNJ,...], meaning that it involves a disjunction but one that is metaphorical ([–PST]) rather
than literal ([+PST]).

The distribution of thematic markers in a wide variety of languages supports the hypothesis that
languages dichotomize nonpositional themes into two main groups that parallel positional themes.
Basically, the division separates SOURCES and GOALS. We see this dichotomy in the sharp
division between the uses of the ablative versus the dative cases in Sanskrit, the prepositions from,
out of and by versus to, into and for in English, the postpositions kara versus ni in Japanese, as well
as the uses of cases in languages as diverse as Finnish and Newari. Before we turn to the specific
evidence, let us consider the thematic relations involved. First, given the distribution of thematic
markers in a variety of languages, the metaphorical disjunctions or SOURCES which we propose
include the following:25

(97) EFFECTIVE (EFC): The animate being, missile, or force typically perceived as bringing
about the action identified in the predicate (variously called AGENTIVE, AGENT, and
FORCE).

BILL killed the bug./The bug was killed BY BILL.


THE BOULDER totaled the car./The car was totaled BY THE BOULDER.
THE TORNADO destroyed the crops./The crops were destroyed BY THE TORNADO.

(98) COMPOSITIONAL (CPS): The entity, materials, or condition out of which something is
composed; related to INALIENABLE POSSESSION, that is, the properties gained or the
materials used become intrinsic and relatively permanent possessions or attributes.

They crafted the vase OUT OF/FROM SILVER.


The cabinets are made OF/FROM WOOD.
The oak grew OUT OF/FROM AN ACORN.

(99) EXPEDIENTIAL (EXP): The means by which something is done.

We went BY CAR.
BY COUNTING TO TEN, she manages not to abuse the kids.

(100) CAUSAL (CAU): The entity which expresses the cause of the action or state identified in
the predicate.

He died FROM SMOKING./He died OF CANCER.


He collapsed FROM THE HEAT.
He acted OUT OF/FROM GUILT.
42 Chapter One

(101) EFFERENTIAL (EFR): The quasi–positional entity from which an action emanates.
Often called SOURCE by others.

John received/bought the car FROM BILL.


BILL gave/sold the car to John.

(102) ORIGINATIVE (ORG): The entity, materials, or condition out of which something is
transformed; related to ALIENABLE POSSESSION, that is, the properties gained or the
materials used tend to involve relatively transient and extrinsic possessions or attributes.26

He got himself OUT OF DEBT.


He detoxed FROM HEROIN.
He made a showplace OUT OF HIS HOUSE.

(103) DIFFERENTIAL (DIF): The degree of difference expressed in a contrast.

He won BY A MILE.
They are distinguished BY MANY CHARACTERISTICS.

(104) DELIMITIVE (DEL): Delimitive themes specify the condition(s) from which something
results; hence, they are classified as [+DISJUNCTURAL].27 Most delimitive expressions
in English are clauses introduced by if.

His sister will care for his children, IF HE DIES.


IN THE EVENT OF HIS DEATH, his sister will care for his children.
He works well UNDER PRESSURE./He works well IF HE IS PRESSURED.

The markers for the above DISJUNCTURAL relations in a variety of languages are often strikingly
consistent, and this fact is the primary motivation for placing all of the above relations in the same
group ([+DSJ, –CNJ]). Languages with case systems frequently express both literal and
metaphorical disjunctions with the same case, a fact that we will examine in detail in Chapter Four.
We saw some examples at the beginning of this Chapter with the Indo–European ablative case.
Considering a broader spectrum of uses, in Latin, we will see that all of the above DISJUNCTURAL
themes are marked by the ablative (specific examples are discussed below in Chapter Four, Page 293
ff.). This generalization must be accounted for by an adequate theory of grammar, particularly since
it extends to languages that are not historically related. For example, in Newari, all but one of the
above DISJUNCTURAL relations are marked by a nasal case ending (see Chapter Four, Page 299
ff.). In Finnish (Eliot 1890; Olli 1958) and Estonian (Oinas 1966), all SOURCES, both metaphorical
and literal, are marked by the elative and ablative cases. In Japanese, the principal marker for
DISJUNCTURAL relations is the postposition kara (see Chapter Four, Page 300 ff.). In English,
which separates DISJUNCTURAL relations into several subclasses, the markers are the prepositions
from, out of, and by.
Chapter One 43

The metaphorical conjunctions or GOALS which we propose include the following:

(105) AFFECTIVE (AFC): The animate or inanimate entity directly affected by the state or
action identified in the predicate. Variously called EXPERIENCER or DATIVE by others.

John is nice/mean/helpful to SUE.


JOHN feels that Bill will win.
John killed BILL./BILL died.
John melted THE ICE./ THE ICE melted.
He put the money IN HIS POCKET.

(106) RESULTATIVE (RES): The entity or condition into which something is transformed;
related to INALIENABLE POSSESSION, that is, the properties gained or the materials
used become intrinsic and relatively permanent possessions or attributes.

The wove the straw INTO BASKETS.


THE BASKETS were made out of straw.
She baked (the ingredients into) A CAKE.
The acorn grew INTO AN OAK.
He invented THE TELEPHONE.
John became A TEACHER.

(107) REFERENTIAL (REF): The person or thing in reference or relation to which something
occurs.

John will always be a hero TO BILL (AS FAR AS BILL IS CONCERNED).


A term paper is optional FOR UNDERGRADUATES.
He is smart FOR HIS AGE.
Bill is a stickler FOR DETAILS.

(108) CONSECUTIVE (CNS): The result or consequences of an action or state.

He became too sick TO/FOR WORK.


He became so sick THAT HE COULDN’T WORK.
It’s too early FOR DINNER.
He has enough qualifications/qualifies FOR THE JOB.

(109) AFFERENTIAL (AFR): The quasi–positional entity to which an action is directed. Often
called GOAL by others.

Bill sold the car TO JOHN./Bill sold JOHN the car.


JOHN received/bought the car from Bill.
He gave a new coat of paint TO THE HOUSE./He gave THE HOUSE a new coat of paint.
44 Chapter One

(110) TERMINATIVE (TRM): The entity or condition into which something is transformed;
related to ALIENABLE POSSESSION, that is, the properties gained or the materials used
tend to involve relatively transient and extrinsic possessions or attributes.

He came INTO A FORTUNE./He became WEALTHY.


He got himself INTO DEBT.
He turned his house INTO A SHOWPLACE.
He washed his car CLEAN.

(111) BENEFACTIVE (BEN): The entity, usually animate, for whose benefit or on whose
behalf the action or state identified in the predicate occurs (see below, Endnote 32).

Bill bought a gift FOR JOAN/bought JOAN a gift.


JOAN was bought a gift by Bill.

(112) PURPOSIVE (PUR): The entity which specifies the reason or purpose for the action or
state identified in the predicate.

They trained him FOR THE JOB/TO DO THE JOB.


He entered the competition FOR THE MONEY/TO GET MONEY.
They dug a hole FOR WATER/TO GET WATER.
She jumped FOR JOY.
They rewarded him FOR HIS RESEARCH.

Paralleling the DISJUNCTURAL relations, languages mark the above CONJUNCTURAL relations
with a distinct marker or set of markers. In languages with a case system, metaphorical GOALS are
most often marked by the same case. This is true generally of the dative case in Indo–European (for
examples in Latin, see Allen and Greenough 1930: 224–239; for Sanskrit, see Whitney 1955:
386–387), as well as the dative in Turkish (Lewis 1967: 36–37 and 87–89) and the illative and
allative in Finnish (Eliot 1890: 145–149 and 155–156 ). In English, the most common prepositions
marking [–PST, –DSJ, +CNJ] relations are to (AFFECTIVE and AFFERENTIAL), into
(RESULTATIVE and TERMINATIVE) and for (REFERENTIAL, CONSECUTIVE,
BENEFACTIVE and PURPOSIVE). In Japanese, as we have seen, the postposition ni is used for
[+PST, –DSJ, +CNJ] relations; it also has many [–PST, –DSJ, +CNJ] uses, such as the following
(examples from Yukari Mori, personal communication, and Yasutake 1995):28

(113) John–ni tennis–ga tanoshii. AFFECTIVE


John tennis enjoyable
‘To John, tennis is enjoyable./John enjoys tennis.’

(114) John–wa Mary–ni hon–o yatta. AFFERENTIAL


John Mary book gave
‘John gave the book to Mary.’
Chapter One 45

(115) John–wa sensei–ni natta. RESULTATIVE


John teacher became
‘John became a teacher.’

John–ga musuko–o isha–ni sita. RESULTATIVE


John son doctor made
‘John made his son a doctor.’

(116) Sono eiga–wa dai–hyooban–ni natta. TERMINATIVE


that movie big–popularity became
‘That movie became very popular.’

John–ga kuruma–o kirei–ni aratta. TERMINATIVE


John car clean washed
“John washed his car clean.’

(117) Mary–ni eigo–ga hanas–eru. REFERENTIAL


Mary English speak–can
‘Mary can speak English.’

(118) John–wa Mary–ni hon–o katteyatta. BENEFACTIVE


John Mary book bought
‘John bought the book for Mary.’

(119) Mary–wa America–ni benkyoo–ni iku. PURPOSIVE


Mary America studying goes
‘Mary is going to America for studying.’

Data such as that presented above, which we will investigate in more detail as we proceed, strongly
suggest that languages, in general, dichotomize SOURCES and GOALS into two distinct groups
each indicated by a distinct marker or set of markers. Further, languages spread these markers over
both POSITIONAL (literal) and NONPOSITIONAL (metaphorical) themes. Given that, we are able
to generalize the groups as follows:

(120) LANGUAGE MARKER TYPE SOURCES GOALS

Latin case ablative dative


Finnish case ablative and elative allative and illative
English preposition from, out of, and by to, into and for
Japanese postposition kara ni

Note that Finnish and English regularly encode the [±PROXIMAL] distinction: the ablative and
allative cases in Finnish and the prepositions from and to in English are [–PROXIMAL], whereas
the elative and illative cases and the prepositions out of and into are [+PROXIMAL]. Latin and
46 Chapter One

Japanese, on the other hand, do not regularly encode the [±PROXIMAL] distinction, though that is
certainly possible in both languages. For example, in Latin, a POSITIONAL GOAL which is
[–PROXIMAL] can be expressed with the preposition ad ‘to’; one that is [+PROXIMAL] can be
expressed with the preposition in ‘into.’

There are, of course, deviations from the above generalizations which we will examine in due
course. For example, English marks EFFECTIVE and EXPEDIENTIAL themes with the
preposition by and REFERENTIAL, CONSECUTIVE, BENEFACTIVE, and PURPOSIVE themes
with for, specializations which we will account for in terms of features in Section 1.10.

Also, it appears that ancient Indo–European represents an interesting departure from the prevailing
tendencies in the way CONJUNCTURAL relations are marked. In Sanskrit, the accusative is the
case for the grammatical direct object, but it is also frequently found with verbs of going and
coming, both transitive and intransitive (Kurylowicz 1964; Whitney 1955); the dative, on the other
hand, is the case for the indirect object and the person affected, uses that are well documented in the
world’s languages (Van Belle and Van Langendonck 1996). Sanskrit has no real prepositions in the
modern sense (Whitney 1955: 414). Thus, there may have been a fundamental split between [+PST,
–DSJ, +CNJ] and [–PST, –DSJ, +CNJ] inherent in the parent language not unlike the distinction
between the locative and the dative cases in Newari discussed above (23).

In Latin, following the regular Indo–European model, the accusative is the case for the grammatical
direct object. The GOAL of motion is regularly expressed by prepositional phrases, the accusative
instances confined to place names only. The most frequent uses of the Latin dative parallel Sanskrit:
indirect object and person affected. However, there are uses of the dative as GOAL of motion,
particularly in poetry (cf. the oft–quoted example from Vergil, it clamor caelo (dative), ‘the shout
goes to heaven’). What I am suggesting is that the Latin positional dative (GOAL) may be a usage
derived from the inherited Indo–European nonpositional uses, a curious reversal of the prevailing
tendencies as I have described them here (for an excellent discussion and hundreds of examples of
the dative in Early Latin, see Bennett 1910). Ancient Greek parallels Latin. GOAL is regularly
expressed by prepositional constructions, the accusative used primarily as the case for the
grammatical direct object. But there are also uses of the dative as GOAL, again mainly confined
to poetry (Smyth 1956, Page 341, § 1475).

These departures do not conflict with the general hypothesis presented here, namely, that languages
frequently use the same markers for semantically similar positional and nonpositional relations. As
I have indicated at several points, an adequate theory of thematic relations must allow for specificity
as well as generality in the use of markers. The above comments regarding the dative in Latin and
Greek simply indicate a reversal of the analogies generally made. Usually, it is from positional to
nonpositional; however, in some instances, we seem to have the reverse.

To summarize, our central argument is as follows: if we do not say that the above two groups of
thematic relations share some kind of feature(s) in common, then we are forced to conclude that it
is an accident that the same marker or sets of markers (prepositions, postpositions, or grammatical
cases) show up repeatedly in the world’s languages to specify them. We propose that all SOURCES,
Chapter One 47

both metaphorical and literal share the features [+DSJ, –CNJ], and that all GOALS, both
metaphorical and literal, share the features [–DSJ, +CNJ]. The metaphorical uses are [–PST]; the
literal ones, [+PST].

1.9.3 THE METAPHORICAL USE OF [±EXTENSIONAL].

Among positional relations, extensional themes ([+PST, +EXT]) express widespread location in
space or time, while nonextensional themes ([+PST, –EXT]) do not. The metaphorical use of this
feature opposition finds expression in the division between themes that have widespread application
in sentence grammar ([–PST, +EXT]) and those with much more restricted application ([–PST,
–EXT]). The former have very free distribution and can generally be used in conjunction with
almost any predicate while the latter tend to be localized to specific predicates and to occupy
argument positions in syntax (subject, direct object, indirect object, etc.). For example, of the
themes mentioned in the preceding subsection, many regularly participate in subcategorization:

(121) a. John (EFFECTIVE) killed the bug (AFFECTIVE).


b. Harry (EFFERENTIAL) sold the car to Helen (AFFERENTIAL).

The verb kill, which involves the nonreciprocal transference of an inalienable attribute (death), is
subcategorized for EFFECTIVE (the SOURCE of the killing) and AFFECTIVE (the GOAL of the
killing).29 The verb sell, on the other hand, which involves the reciprocal transference of some
alienable object (the car in (121b)), is subcategorized for EFFERENTIAL and AFFERENTIAL.
As we will see in the chapters that follow, the choice between EFFECTIVE/AFFECTIVE themes
as opposed to EFFERENTIAL/AFFERENTIAL themes can be predicted from the nature of the
object transferred: inalienable in the former, alienable in the latter.

Other themes regularly do not participate in subcategorization; rather, they can be modifiers of
almost all predicates. Almost any action can have a purpose, cause, result, expedience, etc. Hence,
PURPOSIVE, CAUSAL, CONSECUTIVE, EXPEDIENTIAL, etc. themes are all [–PST, +EXT]
and generally serve as modifiers:

(122) John went to New York with Sue (COMITATIVE)/by car (EXPEDIENTIAL)/with great
expectations (CIRCUMSTANTIAL)/for a better job (PURPOSIVE)...

Notice that this reflects tendencies, not absolutes. Some predicates do subcategorize for extensional
themes. For example, verbs like meet allow COMITATIVE subjects: John and Bill met. However,
this use of the COMITATIVE theme is quite exceptional; generally, it is a predicate modifier. The
correct generalization appears to be that [–EXT] themes are always involved in verbal
subcategorization and therefore occur only in argument positions (subject, object, indirect object),
whereas [+EXT] themes can occupy either argument or modifier positions.
48 Chapter One

1.9.4 THE METAPHORICAL USE OF [±FIRST ORDER].

A summary of the nonpositional thematic relations discussed above is given in Figures Three and
Four, which contain the new category labels. These figures, together with Figures One and Two
above include all the thematic relations discussed thus far.

Notice that the positional relations in Figures One and Two that are [+PST, ±FST] refer to the
endpoints in any change of location, whether those endpoints terminate or originate in a point, line,
or surface ([+PST, +FST]) or within an area or volume ([+PST, –FST]). Phrases that specify [+PST,
+FST] relations are generally marked by prepositions like on, onto, off and off of when contact is
involved, and to, toward, from, and away from when contact is not involved. Such relations include
examples like He put the book on the table (ILLATIVE1; [–DSJ, +CNJ]), He took the book off the
table (ELATIVE1; [+DSJ, –CNJ]), He walked to/toward her (ALLATIVE1; [–DSJ, +CNJ]), and
He walked (away) from her (ABLATIVE1; [+DSJ, –CNJ]). Phrases that specify [+PST, –FST]
relations are generally marked by the prepositions into and out of when contact is involved, and, as
before, by the prepositions to, toward, from, and away from when contact is not involved. Such
relations include examples like He walked into the room (ILLATIVE2; [–DSJ, +CNJ]), He walked
out of the room (ELATIVE2; [+DSJ, –CNJ]), He moved toward the rear of the auditorium
(ALLATIVE2; [–DSJ, +CNJ]), and He moved away from the rear of the auditorium (ABLATIVE2;
[+DSJ, –CNJ]).

The metaphorical uses of these features, specified in the nonpositional themes in Figures Three and
Four, preserve this dichotomy. Relations that are [–PST, ±FST] mark the endpoints in a transfer of
possession whether those endpoints terminate or originate in a point, line, or surface ([–PST, +FST]
or in an area or volume ([–PST, –FST]). Examples involving [–PST, +FST] include to her
(AFFERENTIAL; [–DSJ, +CNJ]) in He gave the book to her and from her (EFFERENTIAL; [+DSJ,
–CNJ]) in He received the book from her. Examples involving [–PST, –FST] include He pounded
the facts into her and He wormed the facts out of her. Thus, the same set of markers used in various
[+PST, ±FST] relations are used in the corresponding [–PST, ±FST] relations.

Verbs of giving and receiving do not seem to occur with [–PST, –FST] markers like into and out of.
When the GOAL or SOURCE is a person or organization, verbs of giving like give, sell, grant,
present, donate, etc. cannot govern complements introduced by into, and verbs of receiving like
receive, buy, purchase, acquire, obtain, etc. cannot govern complements introduced by out of. There
are no sentences like *I gave the presents into them or *I received the presents out of them, most
probably because such statements suggest that the objects are entering and exiting the persons’
bodies (cf. the above examples He pounded the facts into her and He wormed the facts out of her).
On the other hand, verbs of transferring do allow [–FST] markers as in I deposited the money into
the bank and I withdrew the money out of the bank. But such examples are [+PST]: I deposited the
money right there into that bank where you told me to deposit it (cf. *I donated the money right
there to the city of Detroit where you told me to donate it).

The above discussion reveals that the endpoints in both [+PST] and [–PST] themes can involve
themes that are either [+FST] (toward the table, away from the table, to her, from her, etc.) or
Chapter One 49

[–FST] (into the room, out of the room, into the bank, out of the bank, into her, out of her, etc.). In
any change of location, [+PST, ±FST] relations refer to the endpoints of movement, with the
SOURCE and the GOAL marking the places of departure and destination, respectively. The
metaphorical uses of these features preserve this dichotomy. Relations that are [–PST, ±FST] refer
to the endpoints in any transfer of possession, with the SOURCE and the GOAL marking the giver
and the receiver, respectively.

Crucially, whether or not the phrases only express position, they entail that the entity that “moves”
between the SOURCE and the GOAL is at various times possessed by or contained in both. Thus,
in any kind of transfer, either location or possession, relations that are [±PST, +DSJ, ±FST] refer
to the SOURCE and those that are [±PST, –DSJ, ±FST] refer to the GOAL. Relations that are
[–PST, –FST] refer to the entity that undergoes the change in location or possession, that is, the
thing that “moves” from the SOURCE to the GOAL. In marking the endpoints in any transfer, the
extension to [–PST] relations seems most natural in the transference of alienable possessions. For
example, in He sold the book to her, the book (an instance of the ASSOCIATIVE theme expressing
an alienable possession; [–PST, –FST]) “moves” from his possession to her possession, that is,
between the two endpoints SOURCE and GOAL. As we will see in Chapter Two, this distinction
forms the basis of a typology of predicates that makes possible the reduction of all predicates to one
basic schema.

1.10 HOW MANY THEMATIC RELATIONS ARE THERE?

In both Figure Three and Figure Four, notice that the first two rows of the first column refer to the
possessor (POS), and that the first two rows of the second column refer to the possession. Thus, two
themes occur in a sentence like He is black: he is the inalienable possessor of the attribute black,
the inalienable possession. Similarly, in He has money, he is the alienable possessor of the money,
an alienable possession. In English, the possessor is generally the grammatical subject, and the
possession is generally the predicate complement (She is rich) or the direct object (She has money).
But, other constructions do occur: The money is hers, There’s a coat of Mary’s in the closet, That
is her wallet, etc.

In ancient Indo–European, the possessor was frequently put in the dative case, as in the Latin Liber
est mihi ‘the book is mine’ or literally ‘the book is to me.’ This is the same dative that shows up as
the indirect object of verbs of giving: Dabit librum mihi ‘he will give the book to me.’ Thus, there
is a direct connection between the receiver and possessor, on the one hand, and the giver and
nonpossessor, on the other. In this regard, in Figures Three and Four, notice that the first column
(all [–EXT, +FST] relations) are the endpoints of possession. These are themes that signify the
possessor, nonpossessor, receiver, or giver (causer). In Chapter Two, we will extend
NONSTATIVE REDUCTION (58) to nonpositional examples, accounting for the fact that He gave
the book to me entails or reduces to I have the book.30
50 Chapter One

FIGURE THREE: PROXIMAL NONPOSITIONAL THEMATIC RELATIONS ([–PST, +PRX])

–EXT +EXT

+FST –FST +FST –FST

–DSJ INALIENABLE ATTRIBUTIVE COMPARATIVE CIRCUMSTANTIAL


–CNJ POSSESSOR (ATT) with, of, in (CPR) like, with, to (CIR) with
(IPS) Ø Ed is a man with/of many He is similar to me. He does everything with
Ed knows the fears./Ed is fearful. He is like me. haste.
explanation.

+DSJ INALIENABLE NONATTRIBUTIVE NONCOMPARATIVE NONCIRCUMSTANTIAL


+CNJ NONPOSSESSOR (NATT) without, out of, (NCPR) unlike, from (NCIR) without
(NIPS) Ø from He differs from me. He does everything without
Ed doesn’t know the Ed is a man without any He is unlike me. haste.
explanation. fears./Ed is fearless.

–DSJ AFFECTIVE RESULTATIVE REFERENTIAL CONSECUTIVE


+CNJ (AFC) to (RES) into (REF) for (CNS) for
It was explained to Ed. Al fashioned the gold into For her, the price is He’s too ill for work.
a bracelet. right.

+DSJ EFFECTIVE COMPOSITIONAL EXPEDIENTIAL CAUSAL


–CNJ (EFC) by, from (CPS) out of, from (EXP) by (CAU) of, from
It was explained by Al. Al fashioned a bracelet out He got there by plane. He died of/from a
(explanations from Al) of the gold. mysterious disease.

FIGURE FOUR: NONPROXIMAL NONPOSITIONAL THEMATIC RELATIONS ([–PST, –PRX])

–EXT +EXT

+FST –FST +FST –FST

–DSJ ALIENABLE ASSOCIATIVE COMITATIVE INSTRUMENTAL


–CNJ POSSESSOR (ASC) in, with, of (COM) with (INS) with
(APS) Ø Ed is in debt. He’s a man He made the dinner with He built the fort with
Ed has a Volvo. with/of many debts. her. tools.

+DSJ ALIENABLE NONASSOCIATIVE NONCOMITATIVE NONINSTRUMENTAL


+CNJ NONPOSSESSOR (NASC) out of, without, (NCOM) without (NINS) without
(NAPS) Ø from He made the dinner He built the fort without
Al doesn’t have a Volvo. Ed is out of debt. He’s a without her. tools.
man without debts.

–DSJ AFFERENTIAL TERMINATIVE BENEFACTIVE PURPOSIVE


+CNJ (AFR) to (TRM) into (BEN) for (PUR) for
Al sold his Volvo to Ed. Al got Ed into debt. He did it for her. He learned Italian for fun.
He did it for laughs.

+DSJ EFFERENTIAL ORIGINATIVE DIFFERENTIAL DELIMITIVE


–CNJ (EFR) from (ORG) out of, from (DIF) by (DEL) under, if
Ed bought his Volvo Al got Ed out of debt. He won by a mile. He works well under
from Al. pressure.
Chapter One 51
Since the same marker is often used for different thematic relations across languages, one might
argue that, in fact, we are not dealing with separate themes at all and that the present system is
overly specified. But this is incorrect. Any particular constellation of relations that is expressed in
one language by one marker, may be distinguished by more than one marker in another language,
as we have seen. For example, while English uses to to mark the GOAL (of motion), the
RECIPIENT, and the EXPERIENCER, Newari marks GOAL with one case (locative) and
RECIPIENT and EXPERIENCER with another (dative). Similarly, although Japanese uses –ni to
mark GOAL, EXPERIENCER, RECIPIENT and BENEFACTIVE themes, English marks the first
three with to and the last with for. These overlaps and distinctions are the principal reason for
proposing a feature system like the one suggested here. For example, we can say that the unmarked
prepositions for all [+DSJ, –CNJ] relations in English are from ([–PROXIMAL]) and out of
([+PROXIMAL]); the use of by to indicate EFFECTIVE and EXPEDIENTIAL themes is a
idiosyncratic specialization for the features [–PST, +DSJ, –CNJ, +PRX, +FST]. Similarly, we can
say that the unmarked prepositions for [–DSJ, +CNJ] relations in English are to ([–PROXIMAL])
and into ([+PROXIMAL]); the use of for to indicate REFERENTIAL, CONSECUTIVE,
BENEFACTIVE, and PURPOSIVE themes is an idiosyncratic specialization for the features [–PST,
–DSJ, +CNJ, +EXT].

Hale and Keyser (1993: 65) ask why there are so few thematic roles; they observe that most
proposals include only AGENT, EXPERIENCER, GOAL, SOURCE, LOCATION, THEME and
perhaps a few others. The answer to their question seems to be that most studies fail to compare the
breadth and variability of thematic relations across languages in the manner that we have done
above. Thus, the number only appears small. For example, given a system that contains
EXPERIENCER and GOAL but does not contain AFFERENTIAL (RECIPIENT) and
BENEFACTIVE, there is no way to account for the abovementioned data from English, Newari, and
Japanese without broadening and/or restricting the definitions of EXPERIENCER and GOAL as one
moves from language to language.

To be more specific, if there is no universal theme AFFERENTIAL to cover the to–phrase in an


English sentence like I gave the book to Bill, then presumably that phrase must be subsumed
somewhere under the putative list of universal themes. Let us say first that it is subsumed under the
thematic category GOAL, in which case a GOAL is defined as a place (I drove the car to New York)
or person (I gave the car to Bill) to which the action proceeds. But such a definition is inappropriate
for Newari as we have seen: motion to a place is always in the locative; motion to a person is
always in the dative. Even in English some kind of distinction is necessary to account for the fact
that we have He drove the car there but not *He gave the car there, and He gave Bill the book but
not *He drove New York the car. Thus, some other dimension for GOAL is necessary such as the
opposition [±POSITIONAL] that we have suggested. In short, we must distinguish [+PST] goals
and [–PST] goals since a uniform category GOAL by itself is insufficient.

Alternatively, suppose we say that AFFERENTIAL themes are subsumed under the category
AFFECTIVE, forming a universal supercategory AFFERENTIAL–AFFECTIVE, which we now
define as the person or thing internally or externally affected by the action in the verb. While this
might seem appropriate for many of the languages we have considered (see examples (14) – (22)),
52 Chapter One
such a conflation of categories is sometimes inappropriate. For example, there are several
prepositions in Danish and Swedish that mark a GOAL of various kinds, e.g., mod and til in Danish
and mot and till in Swedish. However, mod/mot do not have the same uses as til/till. The former
pair is generally used for the AFFECTIVE (internally affected) theme after adjective and participles:
ond mod and grym mot ‘cruel to,’ sød mod and trevlig mot ‘nice to,’ etc., while the latter pair is used
for the indirect object (AFFERENTIAL or externally affected theme):

(123) a. Hun skrev et brev til mig. (example from Allan et al. 1995: 422)
‘She wrote a letter to me.’
b. Skriv (ett brev) till mig. (example from Holmes and Hincliffe 1994: 397)
‘Write (a letter) to me.’

In short, without adding other dimensions or features to the small set of themes mentioned by Hale
and Keyser, we cannot account for the variations that exist across languages. Accordingly, a system
with a small number of atomic themes is forced to vary the definition of those themes in different
languages. Such variation runs counter to the spirit of work on the universal components of
language: categories cannot be universal if their definition varies from language to language.

As we have noted, the difficulty with most systems of thematic relations discussed in the literature
is that the categories are atomic. We should not expect any particular thematic relation in one
language to be defined by precisely the same feature values used in another, any more than we
expect such uniformity in syntax or phonology. For example, as we will see in Chapter Three,
determiners in English are [+PREHEAD, –POSTHEAD], meaning that they occur before and not
after the head noun. In Thai, determiners are [–PREHEAD, +POSTHEAD], signifying the reverse.
Thus, in the two languages, the syntactic category DETERMINER is not defined by the same values
for all features, though their function is the same, to specify a noun. Similarly, in semantics, it is
entirely possible that the precise feature specification for a thematic relation and its associated
thematic marker(s) will vary from language to language both synchronically and diachronically.
Our proposal is that the definition for each feature is constant (universal), but the organization of
the features into categories specified by individual or collective markers is not.

To take another related example, consider the use of the preposition for in English in examples like
the following where it marks both the BENEFACTIVE (for his dogs) and PURPOSIVE (for his
retirement) themes:31

(124) a. Bill built a house for his dogs (BENEFACTIVE).


b. Bill built a house for his retirement (PURPOSIVE).

A distinction between the two for–phrases above must be made somehow since only
BENEFACTIVE themes appear in the double object construction (Levin 1993: 45–49):

(125) a. Bill built his dogs (BENEFACTIVE) a house.


b. *Bill built his retirement (PURPOSIVE) a house.
Chapter One 53
Still, there is such a close connection between BENEFACTIVE and PURPOSIVE themes in so
many languages that it might seem appropriate to collapse them into one theme distinguished by
differences in the kind of complements they govern. For example, the complements of
BENEFACTIVE themes are generally animate, and the complements of PURPOSIVE themes are
generally inanimate. However, this distinction often breaks down: a sentence like (124a) can have
a PURPOSIVE reading such as He built a house to put his dogs in (cf. He built a shed for his tools).
Crucially, the PURPOSIVE reading is not possible in a double object construction like He built his
dogs a house, and we do not have *He built his tools a shed. Thus, we must make a distinction
between BENEFACTIVE and PURPOSIVE themes in English even though they are marked by the
same preposition.

Looking at the matter from a different perspective, we see that the double object construction is
possible for AFFERENTIAL themes as well as BENEFACTIVE themes:

(126) a. He gave the treats to his dogs (AFFERENTIAL).


He gave his dogs the treats.

b. He built the house for his dogs (BENEFACTIVE).


He built his dogs the house.

Levin 1993: 45–49 distinguishes the alternations in (126a) and (126b) probably because there are
two different prepositions involved. She labels the former the Dative Alternation and the latter the
Benefactive Alternation. However, despite the fact that there are two different themes, an adequate
feature system can collapse these themes into one category with the features [–PST, –DSJ, +CNJ,
–PRX, +FST] (see Figure Four). Thus, for some purposes (the double object construction) we are
dealing with a supercategory AFFERENTIAL–BENEFACTIVE, while for other purposes (the
choice of markers to versus for), we are dealing with separate categories.32

We find similar issues in the distinction between COMITATIVE and INSTRUMENTAL themes.
In many historically unrelated languages, e.g., Finnish (Olli 1958: 148) and Tocharian (Beekes
1995:92), these two themes are specified by separate markers. In English, however, they are both
marked by the preposition with. Again, one might point to a distinction in the types of complements:
the complements of COMITATIVE themes are generally animate while those of INSTRUMENTAL
themes are generally inanimate suggesting that they too might be collapsed into one theme. But
again, this distinction breaks down in examples like the following:

(127) He broke into the vault with an accomplice.

a. He and an accomplice broke into the vault (COMITATIVE).


b. He used an accomplice to break into the vault (INSTRUMENTAL).

Again, there are syntactic consequences of the distinction between COMITATIVE and
INSTRUMENTAL themes which indicate that we are dealing with two separate themes even when
they are specified by the same marker. Thus, although (127) is ambiguous, the following questions,
54 Chapter One
which can both receive the answer with an accomplice, are not:

(128) a. Who did he break into the vault with? (COMITATIVE)


b. How did he break into the vault? (INSTRUMENTAL)

Consider also the following where the with–phrases, though thematically ambiguous, are intended
to represent the themes indicated (see Levin 1993: 64):

(129) a. John entered the vault with Mary (COMITATIVE).


b. John entered the vault with the nail file (INSTRUMENTAL).

(130) a. John and Mary entered the vault (together).


b. *John and the nail file entered the vault (together).

The above examples indicate that it is not possible to speak of a universal thematic category like
GOAL or EXPERIENCER or INSTRUMENT that always has the same definition and subsumes
the same set of expressions in all languages. Some other dimension is necessary to account for the
variations which exist; hence, the feature system we have proposed which distinguishes many more
possible thematic relations than the number usually mentioned.

As we saw in Figures One and Two, thematic relations like ILLATIVE and ALLATIVE are actually
categorial labels for constellations of semantic features. This is extended in Figures Three and Four.
For example, the commonality in ALLATIVE, AFFECTIVE, etc. is the feature [–DSJ]:

(131) a. He got to campus. ILLATIVE [+PST, –DSJ, +CNJ, +PRX]


b. He ran to the dog. ALLATIVE [+PST, –DSJ, +CNJ, –PRX]
c. The drug is harmful to children. AFFECTIVE [–PST, –DSJ, +CNJ, +PRX]
d. He gave the book to her. AFFERENTIAL [–PST, –DSJ, +CNJ, –PRX]

The commonality in ABLATIVE, EFFECTIVE (AGENT), etc. is [+DSJ]:

(132) a. He left from campus. ELATIVE [+PST, +DSJ, –CNJ, +PRX]


b. He ran from the dog. ABLATIVE [+PST, +DSJ, –CNJ, –PRX]
c. He learned it from John. EFFECTIVE [–PST, +DSJ, –CNJ, +PRX]
d. He took the book from her. EFFERENTIAL [–PST, +DSJ, –CNJ, –PRX]

Therefore, the use of one thematic marker (preposition, postposition, grammatical case, etc.) for a
variety of thematic relations can be attributed to the presence of some identical feature(s) in those
relations: the unmarked [–DSJ] preposition in English is to; the unmarked [+DSJ] preposition is
from. In the next chapter, we will see that this characterization accounts for the kinds of
prepositions which “surface” in alternative constructions like He presented it to them, He presented
them with it, He stripped it from them, He stripped them of it, etc.
Chapter One 55
1.11 THEMATIC AND ATHEMATIC ASPECTS OF PERCEPTION.

The semantic features we have discussed are based on visual data. It is clear that a complete
semantic system must also include information about other characteristics of objects, activities, and
events that humans can perceive such as auditory and olfactory characteristics. Even in the sphere
of vision, no mention has been made of color, shape, size, and many other visually verifiable
characteristics.33 Interestingly, none of these additional characteristics, which all normal humans
can perceive, seem to be encoded into thematic relations in the world’s languages. To see this,
consider the following variations on movement verbs:

(133) a. VELOCITY: rush, dash, ricochet, etc.


b. MEDIUM OF MOVEMENT: fly, soar, etc. (air); swim, wade, etc. (water); skip,
hop, etc. (land); tunnel, burrow, etc. (underground).
c. MECHANISM OF MOVEMENT: walk (on legs), crawl (on hands and knees), drive
(in vehicle), beam up (by a transporter), etc.
d. DIRECTNESS: mosey, roam, amble, etc.
e. RESISTANCE: plod, trudge, wade, etc.
f. AXIS OF ORIENTATION: climb, descend, lower, precede, follow, etc.

None of the parameters in (133) seem to be encoded into separate thematic relations in natural
languages. We do not find languages containing separate grammatical cases, say, for direct objects
of verbs of fast, unimpeded motion as opposed to verbs of slow, plodding motion. Even when a
language such as English does contain specific words to indicate parameters like the axis of
orientation (up, down, above, below, behind, before, etc.), such parameters are expressible
periphrastically in terms of the basic distinctions we have made, e.g., TO a higher position, IN a
lower position, FROM the front of, IN the back of, etc. Further, as we have seen, there are many
languages which make distinctions in features like [±PROXIMAL], e.g., ILLATIVE (into) and
ALLATIVE (to), but there do not seem to be any languages that express parameters like verticality
in separate grammatical cases.34 An interesting (though hardly scientific) fact is that grammars of
scores of unrelated languages contain descriptions of specialized constructions for expressions
denoting place whence, time when, purpose, agency, and the other thematic relations we have
considered. The same cannot be said of expressions denoting, say, motion upward in air as opposed
to motion downward in water. Such distinctions are generally expressed in the verb itself, e.g., soar,
dive, submerge, etc.

These remarks do not preclude the existence of a human language which might encode some of these
parameters, e.g., axis of orientation, into its set of thematic relations. There are certain phonological
features that are very common in the world’s languages like [±CONSONANTAL], [±VOICED], and
[±NASAL]. Other features are rarer, such as features of release and suction (see Chomsky and Halle
1968, Chapter Seven). In short, there is reason to believe that some semantic features will be
widespread in natural languages, others more language specific. The seven semantic feature
oppositions that we have proposed, [±POSITIONAL, ±TEMPORAL, ±DISJUNCTURAL,
±CONJUNCTURAL, ±PROXIMAL, ±FIRST ORDER, ±EXTENSIONAL], seem to be relevant to
define the thematic relations in a variety of languages. Whether or not features need to be added to
56 Chapter One
or removed from this inventory is entirely an empirical matter (in fact, in Chapter Five, I will
propose an eighth feature opposition, [±DIMENSIONAL]).

These facts suggest that we might formally distinguish between perceptible characteristics of
objects, activities, and events which are encoded in thematic relations (thematic characteristics), and
those which are not (athematic characteristics). Thematic characteristics are represented here by
primitive semantic features which define the possible thematic relations that occur in natural
language. Characteristics involving sound, color, size, shape, verticality and the like are athematic.
Of course, there are verbs that incorporate such athematic characteristics: blare, sing, blacken,
blush, increase, elongate, square, climb, fall, and so on. But these athematic characteristics are not
organized into thematic relations, at least not in English or any of the languages we have
investigated here.35 To implement the expression of such athematic characteristics, we now turn our
attention briefly to the topic of semantic networks.

1.12 A PREVIEW OF SEMANTIC NETWORKS.

Although I will not discuss semantic networks in detail until Chapter Five, it is necessary at this
point to describe their basic purpose and structure. A semantic network is a database for storing and
retrieving information. As we noted in the last section, an adequate semantic theory must account
for distinctions in subcategorization that go beyond those represented by the thematic features we
have proposed. For example, there are predicates in English which are subcategorized for
distinctions relating to the axis of orientation: motion upward (rise), downward (drop), across
(transport), behind (follow), before (precede), above (hover), below (tunnel), etc.

The grammar which underlies the Langtech Parser mentioned in the Preface accounts for such
distinctions with a semantic network consisting of nodes which specify language independent “word
senses” or actual words and links which specify the relationship between nodes. In this book, word
senses are indicated by English words in uppercase type followed by a numerical suffix. Consider,
for example, the following simple network:36

(134) NODE ONE LINK NODE TWO

a. BIRD–1 ––IPS ––> BILL–1


b. BIRD–1 ––IPS ––> WING–1
c. BIRD–1 ––APS ––> NEST–1
d. BIRD–1 ––EFC ––> FLY–1
e. BIRD–1 ––EFC ––> LAY_EGGS–1
f. AIR–1 ––LOC2 ––> FLY–1
g. WING–1 ––INS ––> FLY–1

The above network encodes the fact that the language independent word sense BIRD–1, which
denotes the familiar animal (‘a member of the class Aves’), is the inalienable possessor (IPS) of
BILL–1 and WING–1 and the alienable possessor of NEST–1. Further, the network expresses the
Chapter One 57
information that BIRD–1 is an agent (EFC) of FLY–1 and LAY_EGGS–1, that AIR–1 is the place
(LOC2) in which FLY–1 occurs, and that a WING–1 is used in FLY–1. Thus, each link specifies
the thematic relationship that the node on the left has in relation to the node on the right. Specific
words like bird, nest, and air from specific languages are connected to one or more of the language
independent word senses. Thus, the English word bill is linked to BILL–1 in (134) ‘the jaws of a
bird,’ BILL–2 ‘a piece of paper money,’ BILL–3 ‘an itemized statement,’ and so on; the word fly
is linked to FLY–1 ‘to move through the air,’ FLY–2 ‘an insect,’ FLY–3 ‘a zipper,’ etc.

The links are “bidirectional” in the sense that the network can be traversed in both directions. For
example, (134a) expresses the fact that BIRD–1 is the inalienable possessor of BILL–1, as well as
the reverse, namely, that BILL–1 is inalienably possessed by BIRD–1.

The names for the word senses are arbitrary, resembling English words or phrases only for
expository purposes. Moreover, my choice of word senses tends to be nontechnical, e.g.,
LAY_EGGS–1 instead of OVIPOSIT–1 or OVIPARATE–1, even though the network does contain
technical information like the fact that birds are OVIPAROUS–1 (‘egg laying’). The definitions for
word senses, often given here enclosed in single quotes or in paraphrased form, are actually not used
in determining what a sentence means. In paraphrasing what a link means, I will often use ordinary
words, e.g., A bird is capable of flight rather than A BIRD–1 can effect FLY–1 since the latter is
cumbersome and unnecessarily cryptic. Technically, a word sense represents a conceptualization
of experience and denotes no more than the sum of all the links it has in the network; thus, a member
of the class BIRD–1 is, among other things specified in a complete network, something that has a
bill and a nest and is capable of flight and laying eggs. However, the system is not circular since,
it is assumed, many individual word senses will ultimately be connected to real world referents, e.g.,
an actual bird, a drawing or picture of a bird, and so on.

Notice that the theory of thematic relations we are developing affords us a way of grounding the
links in a semantic network to real word referents since all links are specified by thematic relations
which are nothing more than abbreviations for visually verifiable features. There is a direct path
from features like [+PST, –TMP, –DSJ, –CNJ, +PRX, –FST, –EXT] to categories like LOCATIVE2
to links like those in (134f).

Further, the thematic relations we have proposed offer a richer way of encoding information than
the links which are found in many semantic networks described in the literature or available on–line.
For example, WordNet (Miller 1990, Miller and Fellbaum 1992) is basically driven by only a few
semantic relationships such as hyponymy/hypernymy (member/class links or ISA links) and
meronymy/holonymy (part/whole links or HASA links) like the following:37

(135) a. BIRD–1 ––ISA ––> ANIMAL–1


b. BIRD–1 ––HASA ––> WING–1

If one queries WordNet for a word such as bird one is given much useful information about what
a bird is (an animal, an organism, an entity, etc.), about the parts of a bird (feather, wing, bill, etc.),
and the like. Much of the information, though scientifically accurate, has little to do with the way
58 Chapter One
people categorize things. For example, discourse rarely involves mention of the fact that any
particular bird is a cuculiform bird because it has zygodactylic feet. On the other hand, a network
like (134) encodes information in the way people do. For example, it indicates what birds can do
and where. Additional links express what birds can experience (AFFECTIVE) and use
(INSTRUMENTAL), where they are found, what they eat, what color and size each specific bird
is, and so on. The availability of thematic links like AFFECTIVE and INSTRUMENTAL increases
the specificity of the connections in the network thereby constraining any particular search of the
network such as one that would be required to answer a question like How does a bird fly? A
network consisting of only ISA and HASA links lacks this advantage.

Searching the network to find appropriate relationships is a complex task. If a network is limited
to ISA and HASA links, then special classes have to be invented like THINGS_THAT_FLY and
THINGS_THAT_SWIM. When many such classes are included, it becomes difficult to constrain
a search along appropriate parallel links. Suppose, to take an illustrative example, one wished to
solve an analogy like the following by tracing parallel links in a semantic network:

(136) bird : fly :: fish :

If all the links are ISA and HASA links, the search algorithm has few “guidelines” to use. On the
other hand, a network like (134) makes parallel connections more apparent. Consider, for example,
an expanded network like the following, where TYP (for TYPOLOGICAL) is the name we will use
for ISA links):

(137) a. BIRD–1 ––TYP ––> ANIMAL–1


b. BIRD–1 ––IPS ––> WING–1
c. BIRD–1 ––EFC ––> FLY–1
d. AIR–1 ––LOC2 ––> FLY–1
e. WING–1 ––INS ––> FLY–1
f. FLY–1 ––TYP ––> LOCOMOTE–1
g. ANIMAL–1 ––EFC ––> LOCOMOTE–1

(138) a. FISH–1 ––TYP ––> ANIMAL–1


b. FISH–1 ––IPS ––> FIN–1
c. FISH–1 ––EFC ––> SWIM–1
d. BODY_OF_WATER–1 ––LOC2 ––> SWIM–1
e. FIN–1 ––INS ––> SWIM–1
f. SWIM–1 ––TYP ––> LOCOMOTE–1

The specificity of the above connections, stated in terms of a variety of thematic relations, facilitates
both the inclusion of information into a network and the retrieval of such information during a
search. In solving the illustrative analogy in (136), the system first finds the connection between
all the word senses attached to the word bird and all those attached to the word fish which point to
a common higher class. In the present instance, the word senses are BIRD–1 and FISH–1 which
point to the higher class ANIMAL–1. In the second step, the system finds all the word senses for
Chapter One 59
fly and ascertains which of these have a link to BIRD–1. In the present instance, it is FLY–1, as
opposed to FLY–2 or FLY–3 mentioned above, and the connection between BIRD–1 and FLY–1
is EFC. Next, the system searches for a similar connection to FISH–1, in particular, an EFC link
from FISH–1 to some word sense which, in turn, points to a common higher class to which FLY–1
also points. In the present instance, that is SWIM–1, which, together with FLY–1, points to
LOCOMOTE–1. Lastly, the system checks for an EFC connection between the two higher classes,
ANIMAL–1 and LOCOMOTE–1, and finding one, namely (137g), it concludes that the answer to
the analogy is SWIM–1, that is, the word swim.

Naturally, a full semantic network is considerably more complex that the simple one we have
described here, and we will return to these matters in greater detail in Chapter Five. For the present
purposes, given a full semantic network along the line of (134), (137), and (138), we can account
for athematic characteristics of verbal subcategorization with word senses like the following:

(139) a. SUPERIOR–1: at or toward a higher position on the vertical axis


b. INFERIOR–1: at or toward a lower position on the vertical axis

(140) a. ANTERIOR–1: at or toward a forward position on the horizontal axis


b. POSTERIOR–1: at or toward a rearward position on the horizontal axis

(141) a. INTERIOR–1: at or toward the center


b. EXTERIOR–1: at or toward the periphery

(142) a. RECTILINEAR–1: characterized by straight lines


b. CURVILINEAR–1: characterized by curved lines

(143) a. CONTINUOUS–1: characterized by unbroken succession


b. CIRCUITOUS–1: characterized by a meandering course

The English verb rise (‘ascend to a higher position’) has a link to RISE–1 which is further linked
to SUPERIOR–1; drop (‘descend to a lower position’) has a link to DROP–1 which is further linked
to INFERIOR–1; roam (‘wander about aimlessly’) is linked to ROAM–1 which is further linked to
CIRCUITOUS–1; and so on. Further, RISE–1 is linked to the thematic features [+PST, –DSJ,
+CNJ] indicating that RISE–1 is a motion verb with GOAL ORIENTATION. Thus, the actual
meaning of the word sense RISE–1 is nothing more than the sum of the links which RISE–1 has to
other nodes in the network. From these links, we derive the meaning of the word sense RISE–1:
it denotes upward motion toward a GOAL.

1.13 GENERALIZING MEANING: MOTION OVER AN EXPANSE.

In the feature system we have described, there is one important deviation from other recent work on
verbal semantics (Taylor, J. 1993; Jackendoff 1983, 1993; Blake, B. 1994). Specifically, the notion
PATH is not considered a primitive here, but rather a derived relation like MOTION and
60 Chapter One
CAUSATION. To see how this is achieved, let us consider Jackendoff’s description of PATH. In
Semantics and Cognition (1985, Pages 161–170), Jackendoff asserts that PATH may focus on
boundary, direction, or route and that each of these three parameters interacts with three other
parameters involving traversal, extension or orientation, for a total of nine combinations. His
definitions are given in (144) and (145).

(144) From Jackendoff (1983: 165).

a. Boundary: “the reference object or place is an endpoint of the path.”

b. Direction: “the reference object or place does not fall on the path, but would if
the path were extended some unspecified distance.”

c. Route: “the reference object or place is related to some point in the interior
of the path.”

(145) From Jackendoff (1983: 168).

a. Traversal: [THING] traverses [PATH].

b. Extension: [THING] extends over [PATH]; “the subject of the sentence is not
understood as being in motion.”

c. Orientation: [THING] is oriented along [PATH]; “the subject, if in motion, is


understood to be adopting an orientation, not traversing the path.”.

Given these definitions, Jackendoff (1983: 168) provides the following examples:

(146) Boundary:
a. Traversal: John ran into the house.
b. Extension: The highway extends from Denver to Indianapolis.
c. Orientation: The sign points to Philadelphia.

(147) Direction:
a. Traversal: The mouse skittered toward the clock.
b. Extension: The flagpole reaches (up) toward the sky.
c. Orientation: The house faces away from the mountains.

(148) Route:
a. Traversal: The train rambled along the river.
b. Extension: The sidewalk goes around the tree.
c. Orientation: The cannons aim through the tunnel.
Chapter One 61
Of these nine possibilities, Jackendoff’s three broad types (bounded, directional, route) seem to be
directly related to features described here. The difference between bounded paths and directional
paths is encoded in the distinction between [+PROXIMAL] and [–PROXIMAL], respectively.
Route type paths, which necessarily involve an expanse of space, are expressed by the feature
[+EXTENSIONAL]. Beyond this, it is not possible to associate Jackendoff’s description directly
with any one feature described here. The reason for that, I believe, is that notions like traversal,
extension and orientation are not primitive notions but complex, derived notions. In Chapters Two
and Four, I will show that all expressions of motion must be analyzed as involving both a SOURCE
and a GOAL implicitly even when not stated explicitly. In (146a) for example, John must be outside
of the house to begin with. Similarly, in John ran through the tunnel, a beginning point (SOURCE)
and an endpoint (GOAL) are both unspecified; in particular, John went from one end of the tunnel
to the other. Thus, PATH is implicit in every motion.

The difference between Jackendoff’s traversal and extension is that the former involves movement
at each point of the path while the latter does not, a distinction specified by the feature clusters in
(52). The oppositions are illustrated in the following:

(149) a. The boy ran from Troy [+DSJ, –CNJ, +PRX] to Detroit [–DSJ, +CNJ, +PRX].
b. The road extends from Troy [+DSJ, +CNJ, +PRX] to Detroit [–DSJ, –CNJ, +PRX].

Thus, traversal and extension do not need to be analyzed as primitive concepts; rather, they can be
derived from specific clusters of features described in the present system. This is important because
many verbs can express either traversal (movement over an expanse) or extension (nonmotion over
an expanse) as we saw in Endnote 19:

(150) a. The campers went (all the way) out of the city. go is [+DSJ, –CNJ, +EXT]
b. The road now goes (all the way) out of the city. go is [+DSJ, –CNJ,
+EXT]

(151) a. The campers went (all the way) into the country. go is [–DSJ, +CNJ, +EXT]
b. The road now goes (all the way) into the country. go is [–DSJ, +CNJ, +EXT]

We can express the uses of go in (150) and (151) with the feature cluster ["DSJ, $CNJ, +EXT], that
is, with only three primitives.

Orientation, mentioned briefly in connection with (52), will be described fully in Chapters Two and
Four, where a formal distinction is made between GOAL orientation ([–DSJ, +CNJ]) and SOURCE
orientation ([+DSJ, –CNJ]). Beyond this, we should note here that a thorough account of all the
possibilities is actually more complicated than the examples Jackendoff offers. Consider the
following where I make use of the finer distinctions in orientation described in the previous section:

(152) a. The house faces (toward) a cemetery. ANTERIOR–1


b. The seats in the stadium face (toward) the playing field. INTERIOR–1
c. The telescopes face (toward) the sky. SUPERIOR–1
62 Chapter One
Thus, the verb face can involve a variety of orientations derivable from the relative positions of the
objects involved, not the verb face itself. In (152a), the direction is toward something in the front
(ANTERIOR–1) since houses and cemeteries are oriented along the horizontal axis relative to each
other. In (152b), it is toward something in the center (INTERIOR–1) since the seats in a stadium
generally surround the playing field. In (152c), it is toward something above (SUPERIOR–1) given
the location of the sky relative to the earth.

To summarize, the feature system described here views all the following notions as derivative:
REST (NONMOTION), MOTION, POSSESSION, CAUSATION, PATH, TRAVERSAL,
EXTENSION (in Jackendoff’s sense), and ORIENTATION. The interactions of these distinctions
are illustrated in the next section which contains a partial specification for the very complex
preposition over.

1.14 LEXICAL SPECIFICATION OF MEANING.

The actual number of thematic markers (prepositions, postpositions, case endings, etc.) that occur
in any language is relatively small compared to, say, the number of nouns, verbs, adjectives, and
adverbs. Necessarily, this entails that the same marker will be used to express a large number of
relations. In English, prepositions like over and with are associated with many different themes.
The same can be said of the Japanese postpositions like –ni and –kara and of the individual cases
in Newari. We, therefore, need a way of generalizing the meanings, and the feature system we have
proposed accomplishes this. For example, the positional uses of the preposition over can be
described by the following generalized feature cluster:

(153) [+PST, –DSJ, "CNJ, +FST, ßEXT, (PRX]

In addition to the features specified in (153), it might appear that we must make use of concepts like
superiority to fully characterize the word over. This is correct, and discussions of over have
generally involved issues of verticality (Lakoff 1987: 418 ff.; Taylor, J. 1993: 167 ff.) However,
it is not necessary to say that grammars must therefore contain a primitive feature opposition like
[±SUPERIOR]. Indeed, we have argued that this approach is incorrect since putative feature
oppositions like [±SUPERIOR] are not encoded into thematic relations in the world’s languages.
In languages with elaborate case systems, we do not find different cases being used for motion that
is upward, downward, rearward, forward, inward, outward, etc.

In most of the examples we have considered, the orientation has been along the horizontal axis, e.g.,
They walked into the ocean ([+PRX]) versus They walked toward the ocean ([–PRX]). It is possible,
however, to switch the orientation of a feature like PROXIMAL to the vertical axis, e.g., They
jumped up into the loft ([+PRX]) versus They jumped up toward the ceiling ([–PRX]). Significantly,
the orientation of a word like into or toward is assumed to be basically horizontal unless some other
particle is added, and, when that other particle is added, it cannot stand directly before the object NP:
we have up into and up toward, but not *into up or *toward up. The primacy of the horizontal axis
is supported by the fact that, among languages with elaborate case systems, there do not appear to
Chapter One 63
be any (morphological) cases which are specific to the vertical axis. This gap may be a matter of
physics more than anything else. Motion is involved in most expressions involving the vertical axis,
since it is impossible for an object to exist in mid air at rest. The chandelier is above the table
implies that it is being held in place from above. At ground level, objects are freely in motion or
at rest.

These facts suggest that a feature like PROXIMAL is basic in a way that a putative feature like
SUPERIOR is not. As we have seen, there are morphological case distinctions specifically related
to the feature PROXIMAL (illative and allative in Finnish). Further, the facts suggest that we can
simply view over as a preposition specifically oriented along the vertical axis in many uses (it has
a link to SUPERIOR–1 described in Section 1.12 above), the primary feature opposition still being
[±PRX], e.g., The cars are driving over the field ([+PRX]) versus The planes are flying over the field
([–PRX]) or He climbed over the wall ([+PRX]) versus He jumped over the wall ([–PRX]).38

For the above reasons, I have not included any mention of the vertical axis in the following
description of over. Furthermore, I will ignore several other factors that are important in
understanding the use of over, such as the capabilities of the entity that is the subject of the sentence
and the physical characteristics of the object of over (for discussion, see Lakoff 1987: 419–425;
Taylor, J. 1993, 1995: Section 6.3; Sandra and Rice 1995). Still, we can recognize ten individual
senses using the thematic features from Figures One and Two. Five of these, the examples in (154)
and (155), involve contact; they are all [+PROXIMAL]. The remaining five, the examples in (156)
and (157), do not involve contact; they are all [–PROXIMAL].

(154) LOCATIVE [+PST, –DSJ, –CNJ, +PRX]; involving contact between entity and place; not
emphasizing direction forward or toward.

a. [–EXT]; over = on the other side of; not emphasizing extent of space, i.e., coverage;
not involving motion: They are over the bridge. (They are on the other side of the
bridge.)

b. [+EXT]; over = from one side to the other and in between; emphasizing extent of
space, i.e., coverage.
1. Not involving motion: The leaves lay (all) over the ground. (cf. The leaves
blanketed the ground.)
2. Involving motion: The bugs are crawling all over the table.

(155) ILLATIVE [+PST, –DSJ, +CNJ, +PRX]; involving contact between entity and place;
emphasizing direction forward or toward; involving motion.

a. [–EXT]; over = from one side to on the other side; not emphasizing extent of space,
i.e., coverage: The bookcase fell over.

b. [+EXT]; over = from one side to the other and in between; emphasizing extent of
space, i.e., coverage: They threw the blanket over the patient.
64 Chapter One

(156) ADESSIVE [+PST, –DSJ, –CNJ, –PRX]; not involving contact between entity and place;
not emphasizing direction forward or toward.

a. [–EXT]; over = on the other side of; specifically, above; not emphasizing extent of
space, i.e., coverage; not involving motion: The chandelier is over the table. (cf.
hang above)

b. [+EXT]; over = on the other side of; specifically, above, but covering an area
between; emphasizing extent of space, i.e., coverage.
1. Not involving motion: The bridge is over the river. (cf. The bridge spans the
river.)
2. Involving motion: The helicopters hovered over the field.

(157) ALLATIVE [+PST, –DSJ, +CNJ, –PRX]; not involving contact between entity and place;
emphasizing direction forward or toward; involving motion.

a. [–EXT]; over = from one side to the other; not emphasizing extent of space, i.e.,
coverage: The boy jumped over the puddle.

b. [+EXT]; over = from one side to the other and in between; emphasizing extent of
space, i.e., coverage: The planes flew over the city.
Chapter One 65

ENDNOTES TO CHAPTER ONE

1. Hereafter, I will use the label “MA” as a cover term to embrace a model of language which
allows syntactic movement rules as described in various works by Noam Chomsky. This includes
the earliest work in TG (Chomsky 1955, 1957), the Standard Theory of TG (Chomsky 1965),
Government and Binding Theory and the Principles–and–Parameters Model (Chomsky 1981;
Culicover 1997), and the Minimalist Program (Chomsky 1995).

2. Terminology varies from author to author. In some discussions, e.g., Fillmore (1968), a category
like AGENT was referred to as a case, and the model was called case grammar. Later work calls
a category like AGENT a thematic relation or theme. Proposals within the framework of
Government and Binding Theory or the Minimalist Program commonly refer to thematic relations
as theta–roles (›–roles).

In the present study, I will try to avoid the term ‘case’ because of the ambiguity between
morphological case, which involves inflectional variations such as the differences between he, him,
and his; syntactic case, which involves variations due to syntactic function such as the use of the
nominative to indicate subject; and semantic case, which involves the role a noun phrase has in a
clause. Generally, I will use “thematic relation” or “theme” to mean semantic case only. To avoid
ambiguity, I will give thematic relations in upper case type, e.g., DATIVE, and grammatical case
in lower case type, e.g., dative.

The number and definition of the various thematic relations also varies from author to author.
Within the framework of generative grammar, the theta–roles identified are essentially those
originally proposed by Fillmore, e.g., AGENT, INSTRUMENT, EXPERIENCER, SOURCE,
GOAL, etc. Thus, the discussion which immediately follows will focus on Fillmore’s system.

The reader is referred to two summary sections that appear as appendices to this book: An Outline
of Technical Terms (Page 607 ff.) and A Glossary of Terms and Abbreviations (Page 615 ff.).

3. Sanskrit has many external and internal sandhi rules which govern the combination of adjacent
sounds (Whitney 1955: Chapter Three, 34–87). Without external sandhi rules, the examples in (10)
are as follows (note that the ablative marker is regularly –~3 t; on the irregular declension of path–,
see Whitney 1955: 160–161, §433):

(i) té sédhanti pathó vË;kam.


té sédhanti pathás (ablative) vË;kam
they drive away path wolf
‘They drive away the wolf from the path.’
66 Chapter One
(ii) n~4 sm~d gan; áç chidyát‘.
ná asm~3 t (ablative) gan; ás chidyát‘
not him people cut off
‘The people are not cut off from him.’

(iii) sá ‘v~ínam; varun; ap~ç~3 n muñcáti.


sás ‘vá enam varun; ap~ç~3 t (ablative) muñcáti
he even him Varuna–snare release
‘He releases even him from Varuna’s snare.’

Generally, I will quote Sanskrit examples as they occur in the original source, usually with the
sandhi rules having applied, since we are not concerned here with a detailed morphological analysis
of case endings.

4. In Latin, the goal of motion is also expressed by prepositions like ad ‘to’ and in ‘into’ with an
accusative complement. We will discuss the difference between dative and prepositional
complements in detail in Chapter Four.

5. I would like to thank Carlo Coppola for help with the Hindi examples.

6. In earlier versions of the present work the terms “conjunctive” and “disjunctive” were used for
“conjunctural” and “disjunctural,” respectively. The original terms turned out to be too confusing
because of their use in logic; hence, the change in terminology. Unfortunately, there seem to be no
other ordinary words which do not carry some similar potential for confusion, e.g., join and union,
so it seemed prudent to simply invent new words. Though unwieldy, the new terms have the virtue
of offering the same abbreviation (CNJ and DSJ) as the previous terms.

7. I am indebted to Jyoti Tuladhar for these data and all discussions involving examples from
Newari, which is Professor Tuladhar’s native language.

8. As I mentioned in Endnote Two, the number and definition of the various thematic relations
currently used in various models of grammar are essentially those of Fillmore 1968. Thus, the
present discussion uses Fillmore’s system as a point of comparison despite the fact that Fillmore’s
work was done over thirty years ago. Other systems, e.g., Cook 1979 and Croft 1991, are like
Fillmore’s in an essential way, specifically, thematic relations are viewed as atomic categories.

9. As we will see below, this generality is essential to account for the manner in which meaning is
distributed between a predicate and its associated themes. Predicates themselves must be defined
as [±DISJUNCTURAL], [±CONJUNCTURAL], etc., to account for the themes that they construct
with. Often, a disjunction or conjunction is expressed both in the meaning of the predicate itself and
in an associated theme. For example, exit is a disjunctural verb, the disjunction incorporated into
the verb itself by the prefix ex; thus, we can say he exited the room. However, it is also possible to
say he exited from the room, that is, to express the disjunction both in the verb and in the thematic
Chapter One 67
marker (from). All predicates do not work in this way. For example, enter is a conjunctural verb
which does not always permit the conjunction to be expressed in a thematic marker: he entered the
building, *he entered into the building, he entered into the debate, he entered the figures into the
table. What is important here is the particular prepositions that are used with the verbs. Notice that
there is an unspecified missing complement in a sentence like He entered from stage right, namely,
a phrase indicating the place he entered (into). The [+CONJUNCTURAL] meaning of the verb
enter requires this. Similarly, it is not accidental that we do not find examples like *He inserted the
key out of the lock.

10. As Miller and Johnson–Laird 1976: 411 note “many expressions of temporal relations borrow
directly from spatial language.” We have examples like during the weekend, all through July, up
to Labor Day, right into March, towards Christmas, etc.

11. Since [–PST] relations are defined here as those which have no positional vector in either
space or time, relations that are [–PST, ±TMP] are not possible. The situation is analogous to a
phonological feature opposition like [±SIBILANT] which applies to sound that are
[+CONSONANTAL] and never to those that are [–CONSONANTAL].

12. The definitions given below are stated in terms that can be verified visually. I include
temporal examples for comparison to show how the system can relate spatial expressions (on the
table) and temporal expressions (on Tuesday). Examples like on Tuesday and out of office hours,
of course, cannot be defined visually. They require, among other things, reference to temporal
boundaries rather than spatial boundaries. Definitions would also have to be modified to account
for language in the blind or in machine systems without access to visual input. I will not explore
these variations here.

13. There are many other factors involved in the use of near. As Miller and Johnson–Laird (1976:
392) point out: “People are likely to describe any referent within the region of the relatum (but not
touching it) as near the relatum, but they are also likely to describe more distant referents as near
the relatum...People seem to have sets of norms for geographical distances, for distances with
respect to buildings, persons, vehicles, domestic interiors, tabletops, and so on.” I will not pursue
these complexities here.

Talmy (1978) discusses near in terms of the Gestalt notions Figure and Ground, which are roughly
equivalent to Miller and Johnson–Laird’s referent and relatum, respectively. Further, Talmy argues
for representations which relate positional and nonpositional uses, though his terms are “physical”
and “non–physical.” For example, he provides a description, similar to the one we will propose,
which would relate the following:

(i) She is near him. (positional/physical)


(ii) She resembles him. (nonpositional/non–physical)

For a more recent discussion of near in terms of Figure and Ground, see Herskovitz 1986: 35–38.
68 Chapter One
14. In [+DSJ, +CNJ] relations, there is a further implication that the location which the object is
not at is relatively close to some other location where the object, in fact, is; furthermore, the former
location of the object is what is mentioned. Observe that expressions like X is out of Y are
constrained by the distance between X and Y, that is, the further away X is, the larger Y must be.
For example, if the president of the United States is in Europe, a telephone operator at the White
House would not ordinarily tell a caller either (i), (ii) or (iii).

(i) He is out of the Oval Office right now.


(ii) He is out of the building right now.
(iii) He is out of Washington right now.

The appropriate response is something like (iv).

(iv) He is out of the country right now.

If, on the other hand, the president is not in the White House but somewhere else close by in
Washington D.C., the operator might respond with (ii). These remarks apply even in those instances
where the object has never been at, in or on the location as in the following:

(v) In that campground, the toilets are off the campsites.

In this example, I believe that it would generally be assumed that the toilets are somewhere in the
vicinity of the campsites. Further, a sentence like (v) seems most appropriate in situations where
someone expects the toilets to be on the campsites.

As we will see below, a fully specified semantic feature space will be able to relate (v) to (vi).

(vi) In that campground, the toilets are not on the campsites.

Further, in our discussion of nonpositional relations, we will extend the analysis to cover contrasts
like He didn’t go with her and He went without her.

15. My use of Greek letters throughout this book parallels their use in phonology: each Greek
letter can be interpreted as a “+” or a “–”; however, the value given to any one Greek letter is
constant as follows:

(i) ["HIGH, –"LOW] includes [+HIGH, –LOW] and [–HIGH, +LOW]

(ii) ["DSJ, –"CNJ] includes [+DSJ, –CNJ] and [–DSJ, +CNJ]

16. Of course, other possibilities exist. For example, the referent might have moved and returned
to its exact original location. However, in the scenario being described, the vision system has only
two pictures of the objects at two separate times so it is unaware of any intermediate movement.
Chapter One 69
17. Oinas 1966: 110 provides the following paradigm for an Estonian noun (the basic
correspondences with the system presented here are in the last column; as before, upper case
indicates a thematic relation and lower case indicates a grammatical case):

Nominative kohvik coffee house (nominative; accusative)


Genitive kohviku of the coffee house (genitive)
Partitive kohvikut coffee house (accusative)
Illative kohvikussee into the coffee house (ILLATIVE)
Inessive kohvikus in the coffee house (LOCATIVE)
Elative kohvikust out of the coffee house (ELATIVE)
Allative kohvikule to the coffee house (ALLATIVE)
Adessive kohvikul by the coffee house (ADESSIVE)
Ablative kohvikult from the coffee house (ABLATIVE)
Translative kohvikuks for (as) the coffee house (TERMINATIVE)
Essive kohvikuna as the coffee house (COMPARATIVE)
Terminative kohvikuni as far as the coffee house (ALLATIVE)
Comitative kohvikuga with the coffee house (COMITATIVE)
Abessive kohvikuta without the coffee house (NONCOMITATIVE)

18. As is well known, the distinction between ["DSJ, "CNJ] and ["DSJ, –"CNJ] forms the basis
of many variations. Nonstative predicates can occur with do, are found in the progressive, freely
admit expressions of manner, etc. (see Lakoff 1970 for discussion):

(i) a. What John did was have a party.


b. John is having a party.
c. John had a party eagerly.

d. *What John did was have a new car.


e. *John is having a new car.
f. *John had a new car eagerly.

(ii) a. What John did was go out of town.


b. John is going out of town.
c. John went out of town eagerly.

d. *What John did was be out of town.


e. *John is being out of town.
f. *John is out of town eagerly.

19. Jackendoff’s other two arguments against reducing GO to INCH BE are problematic. His first
argument is that travel, in a sentence like The train traveled through the tunnel, cannot be described
as movement that comes to be at a place. Yet, we certainly can say The train is through the tunnel
and would only say it if, in fact, the train had gone all the way through the tunnel; thus, travel
through would seem to reduce to come to be through or simply be through.
70 Chapter One
His second argument is that GO–verbs can appear in expressions of extent as in The fence goes
along the river. But this is not a motional use of the verb go. There are many such nonmotional
uses of generally motional verbs, e.g., This blouse goes with that skirt, where go (with) means
‘match.’ It is only motional uses of go and other motion verbs that should reduce to INCH BE or
BE. Indeed, many positional verbs are very general. For example, lead has motional uses involving
both SOURCE (John lead the troop out of the city) and GOAL (John lead the troop into the city)
as well as nonmotional uses involving both SOURCE (The road leads out of the city) and GOAL
(The road leads into the city). Thus, lead is ["DSJ, $CNJ].

20. English does not have a simple predicate that means ‘be in’ or ‘be on,’ e.g., *The money ins
my pocket (cf. They upped the price). Other languages have such verbs. For example, consider the
Latin sentence in (i).

(i) Nummi in marsupio infuerunt


money in purse in–be
‘The money was in the purse.’

The compound verb inesse itself means ‘be in.’ In addition, the example (i) contains a LOCATIVE
theme introduced by the LOCATIVE marker in. Thus, the feature cluster [–DSJ, –CNJ] forms part
of the meaning of inesse itself. Because of this, the verb constructs with themes that are [–DSJ,
–CNJ]. The important point to keep in mind in the discussion here is that the proposed features are
intended to define both the meaning of verbs and the meaning of associated themes.

Since features lie both with the verb and its associated themes, the system affords us a descriptive
mechanism that can account for many of the primitive relations expressed in child speech. For
example, at the two word stage of language acquisition (Stage I; Brown, R. 1975) children utter
sentences like (ii), from de Villiers and de Villiers (1985 44).

(ii) a. Red car.


b. Daddy pipe.
c. Adam ball.
d. Cup table.

In these examples, no predicate occurs; yet, children clearly are encoding their understanding of
thematic relationships between the words (Adam is an agent in (i–c), and ball is an object acted
upon). Therefore, at this stage of acquisition, we can say that children are expressing the observed
thematic relationships but have not yet linked them with any specific predicate that is subcategorized
for those relationships. The semantic features distinguishing the themes are part of the thematic
phrases themselves (I will discuss structural representations in Chapter Three). At a later stage of
development, children master the link between a predicate and its subcategorized themes, saying
such things as Adam throw ball.

21. A full treatment of negation is beyond the scope of this book; however, one point must be
clarified. A proposition consists of a predicate (P) and one or more arguments (A), as follows:
Chapter One 71
(i) (P A1 A2...An)

The negative of such a proposition can be represented as (ii).

(ii) (NEG (P A1 A2...An))

In any actual sentence, the NEG of (ii) might show up either in the predicate or in a theme. Consider
(iii) and its possible negatives in (iv):

(iii) Everyone has ambition.

(iv) a. Everyone lacks ambition.


b. Everyone is without ambition.
c. No one has ambition.

In (iv–a), the negative is incorporated into the meaning of the verb (lack); in (iv–b), the negative is
part of the complement theme; and in (iv–c), the negative is part of the subject theme.

In addition to the three possible negatives given in (iv), we have (v) which has the two readings in
(vi).

(v) Everyone doesn’t have ambition.

(vi) a. No one has ambition.


b. Not everyone has ambition.

As these examples indicate, stative relations can have absolute opposites of each other, and those
oppositions can show up in a variety of places within the clause, as a negative element in the verb
or in one of its associated themes. The notion of loss in examples like those in (iv), can be expressed
by the distinction [+DSJ], which is part of the meaning of the verb lack in (iv–a), the preposition
without in (iv–b), and the element no in (iv–c). This is not to say that the sentences in (iv) and other
related sentences are equivalent. Indeed, they must be treated differently as the following examples
of make clear:

(v) a. He has ambition, doesn’t/*does he?


b. He lacks ambition, doesn’t/*does he?
c. He doesn’t have any ambition, *doesn’t/does he?
d. He is ambitious, isn’t/*is he?
e. He is unambitious, isn’t/*is he?
f. He is not ambitious, *isn’t/is he?

(vi) a. He has ambition, and so/*neither does she.


b. He lacks ambition, and so/*neither does she.
72 Chapter One
c. He doesn’t have any ambition, and *so/neither does she.
d. He is ambitious, and so/*neither is she.
e. He is unambitious, and so/*neither is she.
f. He is not ambitions, and *so/neither is she.

My concern in this book is with the relationship between a verb like have in (iii), on the one hand,
and a verb like lack in (iv–a) and a preposition like without in (iv–b), on the other. Further, my
focus here in not on the precise meanings of expressions, e.g., the differences in (iv); rather, I am
concerned with providing a representation for expressing the stative results of actions (nonstative
predicates), for example, expressing the relationship between buy, sell, and own.

In positional predicates, the focus is the same; I am concerned with a representation that will reduce
enter the building and go into the building to states (vis–à–vis the building) that are the opposite of
exit the building and go out of the building, and to states that are the same as not exit the building
and not go out of the building. These reductions are essential to any further consideration of precise
meaning differences. We will return to these matters at several points below.

22. To these examples we can add pairs like the following where the locative phrase alternates
with a possessive:

(i) a. Mary pinched John on the nose. (Fillmore 1968: 68 ff.)


b. Mary pinched John’s nose.

(ii) a. The horse kicked Penny in the shin. (Levin 1993: 71)
b. The horse kicked Penny’s shin.

(iii) a. Alison poked Daisy in the ribs. (Levin 1993: 72)


b. Alison poked Daisy’s ribs.

(iv) a. I admired the honesty in him. (Levin 1993: 74)


b. I admired his honesty.

(v) a. The meat fell in price. (Levin 1993: 77)


b. The price of the meat fell.

23. The distinction is crucial since many languages, including English, have different
constructions for inalienable and alienable possession (Fillmore 1968).

(i) a. He has a missing tooth.


b. *He has a missing five–dollar bill.

(ii) a. Ich wasche mir die Hände.


I wash to me the hands
‘I wash my hands.’
Chapter One 73
b. *Ich wasche mir das Auto.
I wash to me the car
‘I wash my car.’

24. We have observed that oppositional meaning can be expressed in the verb itself (have versus
lack) or in the theme markers (with versus without). Further, the focus here is not on expressing all
the differences in meaning in the examples cited; rather, it is on providing a system for representing
the stative results of actions (nonstative predicates). The focus in examples like those in (i) is that
they both entail certain states (vis–à–vis the transaction) that are the opposite of those in (ii).

|
|
(i) a. He did not sell it. He (still) owns it.
b. He bought it. He (now) owns it.

|
|
(ii) a. He did not buy it. He does not (now) own it.
b. He sold it. He does not (any longer) own it.

A full discussion of examples like these must take many other factors into consideration. For
example, consider the following:

(iii) The real estate agent did not sell John’s house quickly.

In this sentence, the subject of sell is the real estate agent; the owner of the house is John; and, the
negative applies to quickly, not to sell. Thus, an adequate (logical) representation must establish the
ownership of the transferred object; one cannot simply assume that the seller is the owner. Further,
one must establish what a negator negates. My concern in (i) is the situation in which the seller is
also the owner and in which there is no sale. This seems to me the simplest or core situation. I will
return to these matters in Section 2.8 (Page 98) after presenting a typology of predicates.

25. The literature on thematic relations contains references to many different themes. Some
authors make distinctions which others do not. This is true even in the earliest work done in the
framework of case grammar; for some discussion of alternatives see Fillmore 1977 and Cook, W.
1979. The number of themes distinguished in the present system is considerably larger than most.
Whether or not this represents an overspecificity remains to be seen. However, since the themes
described here are not atomic categories, the real issue is the number of features the system
distinguishes. The point is that people talk about a variety of things, and languages encode those
thoughts in different kinds of expressions. Some themes participate in verbal subcategorization
(Cook’s ‘nuclear’ themes, Cook 1979: 19); others do not. This distinction is important and we will
specify it in terms of features below; however, the basis for calling something a category cannot
simply be how frequent or central it is in discourse. Again, my point is to develop a system that can
encode all the relationships people talk about, and do so in a way that allows both for wide
generality and great specificity.

I have invented new names for many themes, e.g., AFFECTIVE, to avoid confusion with labels like
EXPERIENCER which have been used in many different ways in the literature. In the present
74 Chapter One
system, AFFECTIVE refers to the animate or inanimate entity that is directly affected by the state
or action identified in the predicate. Thus, AFFECTIVE appears in both of the following although
only (i) and not (ii) is generally regarded as EXPERIENCER in other systems:

(i) He melted THE ICE. (The physical state of ICE is affected.)


(ii) He put the money IN HIS POCKET. (The interior space of POCKET is affected.)

The reasons for the new labels will become clear as we proceed. Since the new terminology places
a considerable burden on the reader, I will repeat the labels with examples frequently throughout the
book. There is a summary list of terms and abbreviations beginning on Page 615. For a discussion
of one set of themes commonly used, see Spencer 1991, Section 6.1.3. For a more elaborate system,
which distinguishes twenty different thematic relations, see Croft 1991.

26. Note that a material like silver is an alienable possession in a sentence like the following:

(i) Bob sold the silver to Joe.

In (i), the silver is reciprocally transferred from Bob to Joe, that is, Joe acquires the silver which Bob
loses. Reciprocal transfer is also entailed in an example like the following:

(ii) They made the vase out of silver.

In (ii), the silver must have come from some source before it was fashioned into the vase. Note that
we have examples like (iii).

(iii) They made the vase out of silver from a local jewelry store.

However, (iii) involves more that the reciprocal transfer of the silver. Specifically, the silver
becomes an intrinsic property of the vase, what the vase is composed of (COMPOSITIONAL
theme). Sentences like (ii) and (iii) are therefore related to (iv) via NSR, and not (v).

(iv) The vase is silver.


(v) The vase is not silver.

The above examples contrast with those containing an ORIGINITIVE theme like (vi), which entails
(vii) because the sentence deals with the reciprocal transfer of an alienable possession, the debt:

(vi) They got the man out of debt.


(vii) The man is out of debt. (=The man is not in debt/indebted)

I will provide a full analysis of such complex examples in Chapter Two. For the moment, note that
silver in (ii) becomes an intrinsic property of the vase, making it an inalienable attribute.
Chapter One 75
27. I have chosen the label DELIMITIVE to express the conditional thematic relation to avoid
confusion with CONDITIONAL which we will use in later chapters for the conditional mood, as
is customary.

DELIMITIVE themes must be distinguished from TEMPORAL, CIRCUMSTANTIAL, CAUSAL,


and INSTRUMENTAL themes. Prepositional phrases introduced by in, with and under are often
used in English for expressions that are very similar in content to a conditional clause:

(i) You should not attempt to go sailing

a. in inclement weather/when the weather is inclement/if the weather is inclement.


b. with the skies so cloudy/since the skies are so cloudy/if the skies are so cloudy.
c. under such cloudy skies/when the skies are so cloudy/if the skies are so cloudy.

The exact classification and possible paraphrases of the prepositional phrases in (i) is itself cloudy.
Certainly, the particular prepositions used (in, with, and under) suggest that we have examples of
TEMPORAL or CIRCUMSTANTIAL or CAUSAL themes, and perhaps we should classify them
as such and restrict DELIMITIVE themes only to expressions that clearly state a condition. On the
other hand, the prepositional phrases in (i) do seem to have a conditional import.

We have a very similar situation in Latin with the ablative absolute construction, which is often
paraphrasable by a conditional (DELIMITIVE) clause:

(ii) Occurrebat ei mancam et debilem praeturam futuram suam consule Milone


it occurred to him maimed and feeble praetorship would be his consul Milo
‘It occurred to him that his praetorship would be maimed and feeble, if Milo were consul.’
(Cicero, Oratio pro Milone, 25)

(iii) Tranquillo ut aiunt quilibet gubernator est.


tranquil as they say anyone pilot is
‘If the weather is tranquil, as they say, any man is a pilot.’
(Seneca, Epistulae, 85, 34)

In (ii), the ablative absolute consule Milone is equivalent to a conditional clause si Milo consul esset
‘if Milo were consul’ (Allen and Greenough 1931: 265). Similarly, in (iii), the ablative of the
adjective tranquillus means ‘if the weather is tranquil.’ As we have seen, the Latin ablative is used
for relations that are [+DISJUNCTURAL].

On the other hand, the Latin ablative also marks TEMPORAL, CIRCUMSTANTIAL, CAUSAL and
INSTRUMENTAL themes, so my description of the ablative absolute as being DELIMITIVE is too
narrow. Note that we can translate consule Milone in (ii) as ‘with Milo being consul’ and tranquillo
in (iii) as ‘under a tranquil sky’ or ‘with the weather being tranquil.’ Thus, perhaps we should say
that the Latin ablative absolute expresses any of the aforementioned themes. This conclusion is the
one favored by classical grammarians (for discussion, see Woodcock 1959: 34–35). Allen and
76 Chapter One
Greenough 1931: 263 offer the following comment: “The Ablative Absolute is perhaps of
instrumental origin. It is, however, sometimes explained as an outgrowth of the locative, and in any
event certain locative constructions (of place and time) must have contributed to its development.”
Thus, we may say that the ablative absolute either expresses a LOCATIVE relation ([+PST, ±TMP])
or a relation that is [–PST, ±DSJ, –CNJ, ±PRX, –FST, +EXT], that is, either CIRCUMSTANTIAL,
CAUSAL, INSTRUMENTAL or DELIMITIVE.

In Ancient Greek, absolute constructions like the above are in the genitive case (Smyth 1956: 459
ff.), as expected since the language has no ablative case and the Greek genitive expresses the
functions of Indo–European relations that are [+DISJUNCTURAL]. Interestingly, there is no dative
absolute in Ancient Greek, only a genitive absolute, suggesting that the absolute construction in
Ancient Greek is [+DISJUNCTURAL], a reflex of the Indo–European ablative, not the
Indo–European locative or sociative/instrumental.

28. The one theme missing from the list of Japanese examples of the uses of ni is the
CONSECUTIVE theme, which expresses the consequences of an action or state. I am informed by
Professor Seigo Nakao that is not possible to literally translate an English sentence like Mary is too
sick for work or Mary is so tired that she cannot study into Japanese. Rather, such sentences would
normally be rephrased to express cause, e.g., Mary cannot work/study because she is too (overly)
sick/tired.

29. Notice that verbs involving inalienable transfer incorporate the transferred attribute into their
meaning. We will elaborate on this below.

30. In comparing the prepositional uses, it is important to look at the cells in both Figure Three
and Figure Four with the features in mind, that is, if the same preposition shows up in two or more
cells, the features involved may be grouped according to rows only, columns only, or both rows and
columns. For example, notice that the principal uses of English for (REFERENTIAL,
CONSECUTIVE, BENEFACTIVE and PURPOSIVE) are abbreviated by the feature cluster [–PST,
–DSJ, +CNJ, +EXT]. RESULTATIVE and TERMINATIVE expressions are primarily introduced
by into and abbreviated by the features [–PST, –DSJ, +CNJ, –EXT, –FST], while their opposites,
COMPOSITIONAL and ORIGINATIVE expressions are primarily introduced by either out of or
from and abbreviated by the features [–PST, +DSJ, –CNJ, –EXT, –FST].

31. The meaning difference in the use of English for often becomes apparent when one attempts
to translate the expressions it introduces into other languages. German für is often appropriate, but
sometimes um or zu is required (Durrell 1983: Chapter 20). Similarly, Spanish para and por cannot
be used interchangeably wherever English for is used (Butt and Benjamin 1988: Chapter 34). Such
differences come as no surprise to a person who knows more than one language. Accounting for
such differences in the framework of a theory of thematic relations as we are attempting to do here
is, of course, an entirely a different story.
Chapter One 77
32. The distinction between the choice of markers can be related to the immediacy of the activity:
BENEFACTIVE themes, which are marked with for, are intended recipients, whereas
AFFERENTIAL themes, which are marked with to, are actual, not intended, recipients:

(i) a. Sue bought Fido (BENEFACTIVE) a bone but forgot to give it to him.
b. *Sue gave Fido (AFFERENTIAL) a bone but forgot to give it to him.

Generally, BENEFACTIVE themes can be interpreted in two ways, either as the entity for whose
sake or benefit something is done (the SAKE–BENEFACTIVE), or as the entity in whose stead or
on whose behalf something is done (the STEAD–BENEFACTIVE). Further, for–phrases can often
be interpreted as PURPOSIVE themes even when they contain an animate complement. Thus, we
frequently have a three–way ambiguity; however, it is only the SAKE–BENEFACTIVE theme that
marks an intended recipient, and, accordingly, only the SAKE–BENEFACTIVE theme that occurs
in the double object variant:

(ii) Bill built the house for the children.

a. SAKE–BENEFACTIVE: the children are the intended recipients of the house. (= Bill
built the children the house.)
b. STEAD–BENEFACTIVE: the children couldn’t build the house for some reason, so
Bill did it for them. (=/Bill built the children the house.)
c. PURPOSIVE: Bill built a house to keep the children in. (=/Bill built the children the
house; cf. Bill built a shed for his tools/*Bill built his tools a shed.)

The three way ambiguity occurs even when the verb is intransitive and no double object construction
is possible at all:

(iii) Bill went to Italy for his father.

a. SAKE–BENEFACTIVE: Bill went to Italy for his father’s benefit, i.e., Bill’s father
reaped the benefit of Bill’s going to Italy.
b. STEAD–BENEFACTIVE: Bill went to Italy in his father’s stead, i.e., Bill went
because his father couldn’t or wouldn’t go.
c. PURPOSIVE: Bill went to Italy to get his father.

In short, in the double object construction, the first noun phrase must be interpreted as the actual
(AFFERENTIAL) or intended (SAKE–BENEFACTIVE) recipient, and that recipient is almost
always animate.

33. For a formal statement of such characteristics, see Miller and Johnson–Laird 1976: Chapter
Two, especially Pages 113–115.

34. Of course, any given language might have an system of some kind for expressing such
distinctions. In fact, Tinrin has a set of verbal suffixes which express such distinctions as motion
78 Chapter One
upwards, motion downwards, motion on the same level, motion around, etc. (Osumi 1995:
133–134):

(i) si–roa (go or pass–up or away) ‘to go out’


(ii) si–rù (go or pass–higher or hither) ‘to return, come up the river’
(iii) si–rùa (go or pass–away or down) ‘to go out, go down’
(iv) si–ro (go or pass–corner) ‘to pass, curved’

These suffixes modify the meaning of verbs, not unlike the semi–productive English prefixes up–
and down– found in (nonverbal) pairs like uphill/downhill, upscale/downscale, upstate/downstate,
upstairs/downstairs, upstream/downstream, uptown/downtown, and so on. Notice that affixation
itself does not alter the thematic relations of the complements in the few verbal pairs that exist in
English:

(v) a. He upshifted/downshifted/shifted into (ILLATIVE) third gear.


b. He upshifted/downshifted/shifted out of (ELATIVE) third gear.
c. They upgraded/downgraded/graded their employees (ASSOCIATIVE).

35. These same features used to specify the thematic structure of verbs will show up in the
definitions of other parts of speech such as nouns, including not only deverbative concrete nouns
like entrance and abstract nouns like freedom, but also root common nouns. For example, there are
nouns like mirror and paper which are generally [+FST] (a smudge on the mirror) but can also, in
some instances, be [–FST] (a reflection in the mirror). Some nouns are generally [+EXT] such as
meadow and farm. A noun such as point, which is [+FST, –EXT], has a literal meaning in the point
of the pencil, but a figurative one in the point of the lecture; the former is visually verifiable, the
latter metaphorical. Crucially, this particular difference has nothing to do with the word point itself;
rather, it is the concrete nature of pencil and the abstract nature of lecture that determines the degree
of literalness of point.

36. For an illustrative fragment of a network , see Appendix C, Page 623 ff. The various types
of links included in Appendix C will be discussed in the following chapters.

37. WordNet 1.5 (Copyright 1995 by Princeton University) is available by anonymous ftp from
clarity.princeton.edu/pub/wordnet. The program is free of charge in accordance with a licensing
agreement. I will discuss ISA and HASA links in Chapter Five.

38. I will make this characterization much more precise in Chapter Five and Six in connection
with a more detailed discussion of semantic networks. Specifically, in Chapter Six, I will suggest
a possible network for a verb like climb which expresses the fact that the verb has vertical
orientation (see example (115) on Page 418).
Chapter One 79
CHAPTER TWO

2.1 THE NEED FOR A TYPOLOGY OF PREDICATES.

An examination of the full range of predicate types in English reveals that many sets of sentences
must be treated in an ad hoc way if semantic analysis does not contain a comprehensive theory of
thematic relations. In particular, accounting for the prepositions that mark specific themes is often
very difficult. There are many idiosyncratic uses, and it is not obvious how these should be
distinguished from underlying systematic uses. Consider, for example, the uses of with illustrated
in (1).

(1) a. I met a person with blue eyes. (ATTRIBUTIVE)


b. I met a person with many debts. (ASSOCIATIVE)
c. She compared the boys with the girls. (COMPARATIVE)
d. He did it with enthusiasm. (CIRCUMSTANTIAL)
e. The child went with his parents. (COMITATIVE)
f. He made it with tools. (INSTRUMENTAL)

An adequate analysis must be able to justify the theme assignments in parentheses in (1). In these
particular instances, justification is fairly straightforward. Paraphrases like the following are helpful
in identifying themes:

(2) a. I met a person who has blue eyes.


b. I met a person who has many debts.
c. She compared the boys to the girls.
She compared the boys and the girls.
d. He did it enthusiastically.
e. The child and his parents went together.
f. He used tools to make it.

These paraphrases are possible because of the following generalizations:

(3) a. ATTRIBUTIVE themes indicate inalienable possessions or characteristics; they can


generally be paraphrased with have or be.
b. ASSOCIATIVE themes indicate alienable possessions or characteristics; they can
generally be paraphrased with have or be.
c. COMPARATIVE themes can usually be paraphrased with to or like; conjunction
between themes compared also occurs.
d. CIRCUMSTANTIAL themes can usually be paraphrased with a manner adverb.
e. COMITATIVE themes can usually be conjoined with the subject.
f. INSTRUMENTAL themes can usually be paraphrased with the verb use.
82 Chapter Two
Given the themes identified in parentheses in (1) and examining their feature composition in Figures
Three and Four, we can generalize the relationships: the preposition with is the unmarked
preposition for most [–PST, –DSJ, –CNJ] themes. Similarly, except for the COMPARATIVE, the
unmarked preposition for the negative counterparts of the themes in (1), specifically, those that are
[–PST, +DSJ, +CNJ], is without:

(4) a. I met a person (born) without eyelashes.


I met a person who has no eyelashes.

b. I met a person without debts.


I met a person who has no debts.

c. The boys are unlike (*without) the girls.


The boys are not like the girls.

d. He did it without enthusiasm.


He did it unenthusiastically.

e. The child went without his parents.


The child did not go with his parents.

f. He made it without tools.


He did not use tools to make it.

In terms of these data, the feature system we have proposed allows us to reach a high level of
generality in describing the relationships that exist among themes. In particular, the positive and
negative counterparts are related by (70) in Chapter One, repeated here for convenience as (5):

(5) not ["DSJ, "CNJ] = [–"DSJ, –"CNJ]

From (5), we derive the following:

(6) a. not with = without


b. not have = lack
c. not like = unlike

d. not without = with


e. not lack = have
f. not unlike = like

Despite this high level of generality, we have other sets of examples that are not so easy to identify
and generalize:
Chapter Two 83
(7) [NP1 – to NP2] versus [NP2 – with NP1].

a. He presented/supplied/furnished it to them.
b. He presented/supplied/furnished them with it.

c. He gave/sold/taught it to them.
d. *He gave/sold/taught them with it.

e. *He equipped/filled/inculcated it to them.


f. He equipped/filled/inculcated them with it.

Our task with regard to these data is to identify the specific theme that with expresses. Further, our
description must relate (7) to (8), since the two sets of examples contain pairs that are often used as
opposites, e.g., buy/sell, give/take, etc., as well as pairs that have roughly the same meaning but quite
different prepositional markers, e.g., teach to/inculcate with.

(8) [NP1 – from NP2] versus [NP2 – of NP1].

a. He robbed/stripped/drained it from them.


b. He robbed/stripped/drained them of it.

c. *He deprived/disabused/relieved it from them.


d. He deprived/disabused/relieved them of it.

e. He took/bought/extracted it from them.


f. *He took/bought/extracted them of it.

Lastly, both (7) and (8) must be related to (9). The verbs in (7) have a conjunctural meaning,
whereas those in (8) and (9) have a disjunctural meaning. Still, the prepositional markers in (9) look
in part like those of (7) since to shows up, and in part like those of (8), since from shows up.

(9) [NP1 – to NP2] versus [NP2 – from NP1].

a. He barred it to them./He closed it off to them.


b. He barred them from it./He closed them off from it.

c. He denied/begrudged/refused it to them.
d. *He denied/begrudged/refused them from it.

e. *He banned/excluded/discouraged it to them.


f. He banned/excluded/discouraged them from it.
84 Chapter Two
What is needed to account for the above data in a systematic way is a typology of predicates. This
typology must account for the thematic relations that appear with various predicates as well as for
the prepositions which mark those relations. In this Chapter, we will supply such a typology.

2.2 POSITIONAL VERSUS NONPOSITIONAL PREDICATES.

The features specified in the preceding sections will allow us to make very generalized statements
about the structure and meaning of all predicates and, accordingly, arrive at a coherent typological
classification. At the core of this classification, the present system reveals that there are two basic
semantic classes of predicates in language: positional ([+PST]) predicates, which have to do with
the location of objects in space or time, such as go, enter, exit, insert and extract; and nonpositional
([–PST]) predicates, which have to do with possession, such as have, give, receive, buy and sell. As
common usage attests, possession is a metaphor for location: he entered the data into the table
reduces to the table has the data in it, the table’s data, etc. Therefore, nonpositional predicates are
really systematic or conventionalized metaphors for positional predicates, meaning that the usage
of the former group primarily concerns situations that have many of the characteristics of the latter
but do not involve position per se.1

Even though this distinction is often blurred and many verbs have both positional and nonpositional
uses, there are several reasons for asserting that predicates are basically either positional or
nonpositional.

First, positional predicates typically take complements that are places, such as Detroit, desert, and
building. This attribute, like most semantic attributes is a matter of degree, since almost anything
can be viewed as a place: there is a fly in my soup, he has a pimple on his nose, etc. When speakers
are asked what a desert or a building is, however, they generally respond with a definition that
includes “it is a place where...” Concepts like soup and nose, on the other hand, are not ordinarily
defined as places. Of course, nonpositional predicates can have complements that are places, e.g.,
he donated it to Detroit, but such a locution is about recipiency, not destination of movement.

Second, the complements of positional predicates can be filled with positional quantifiers like here,
there, nowhere, somewhere, downhill, downstairs, downstream, overseas, yonder, etc.; for example,
he went there, they traveled east, she fell overboard, etc. These positional expressions do occur with
nonpositional predicates; however, they generally do not occur in a complement slot, e.g., they spoke
to each other about it downstairs.

Third, positional predicates freely occur with phrases containing a distance measurement, e.g., miles,
feet, fathoms, knots, etc.: they drove for six miles, it sunk 20 fathoms, etc. A sentence like you have
been talking for 50 miles straight is acceptable only when the talking is accompanying movement.

Fourth, positional predicates freely admit positional question phrases like where, how far, in which
direction, etc. We have how far did he go (travel, insert the key, throw the ball, etc.), but not *how
far did he wait (speak, buy the car, wash the dishes, etc.). At a very basic level, all grammars must
Chapter Two 85
distinguish usages like He turned into an alley from He turned into a prince. The former is clearly
positional: only it can be a response to a question like Where did he turn (into)?2

Fifth, positional predicates enter into construction with a larger range of prepositions than
nonpositional predicates even when orientation (GOAL or SOURCE) is fixed. Indeed, orientation
itself tends to be much more specific in nonpositional predicates so that prepositional construction
is often characterized as idiomatic. For example, the GOAL directed positional verb place
constructs with in, into, onto, upon, behind, underneath, etc., whereas nonpositional give, which is
also GOAL directed, is entirely restricted to construction with to. We have neither *I gave it into
him nor *I gave it toward him, though both are interpretable. It is easy to think of positional
predicates that are as specifically oriented as give, e.g., insert, interpose, extract, etc., but difficult
to think of nonpositional predicates as general in orientation as place or move.

Despite these tendencies, positional predicates do have occasional (versus systematic) metaphorical
uses: he went nuts, the baby fell to sleep, she entered puberty at an early age, etc.3 And,
nonpositional predicates can have quasi–positional uses: he received mail from all over the world.

2.3 SEMANTIC DISTINCTIONS AMONG PREDICATES.

In classifying predicates, five other global distinctions are can be expressed using the feature space
we have described.

First, predicates are either nonstative (INGRESSIVE or IGR; ["DSJ, –"CNJ]) or stative
(CONGRESSIVE or CGR; ["DSJ, "CNJ]). Further, there is a formal relationship between IGR
predicates and CGR predicates, namely NSR (see Page 28), repeated here for convenience:

(10) ["DSJ, –"CNJ, $PRX] | ["DSJ, "CNJ, $PRX]

For example, enter reduces to be in, exit reduces to be out, give reduces to have, show reduces to see,
kill reduces to die, etc.

Second, all predicates involve at least one triplet of thematic relations consisting of a SOURCE, a
GOAL, and an entity that I will refer to as the SCT, that is, the entity that is Specified, Changed, or
Transferred in the shift of location or possession.4 The general form for such triplets, each indicated
by a feature specification, is the following, which I will call a “spectrum specification”:

(11) a. ( SOURCE SCT GOAL )


b. ( [+DSJ, ±FST] [–PST, –FST] [–DSJ, ±FST] )

Each of the three slots in this spectrum must be filled by a theme that has the features specified in
the slot. For example, the verb fall in a sentence like (12a) is associated with the spectrum
specification (12b) instantiated in (12c).
86 Chapter Two
(12) a. He fell out of the tree (and) onto the ground.5
b. (ELATIVE ASSOCIATIVE ILLATIVE)
c. (tree he ground)

Similarly, pour in a sentence like (13a) is associated with the spectrum specification (13b)
instantiated in (13c):

(13) a. The man poured the water from the bottle into the glass.
b. (ELATIVE ASSOCIATIVE ILLATIVE)
c. (bottle water glass)

As we will see, some of the slots in the spectrum specification may contain an unspecified phrase
(symbolized as “U”) or an abstract phrase. The former condition occurs in a sentence like he fell,
where some SOURCE and GOAL are left unspecified; the latter, in a sentence like he shelved the
books, which would receive a specification equivalent to he put the books on the shelf. The full
range of possibilities for each of the three slots is charted in Figure Five below.6

Third, all predicates involve either the transference or the location/possession of either alienable
(nonintrinsic) objects, such as a book, or inalienable (intrinsic) objects, such as knowledge. A
combination of the two is possible as in a verb like wax, where one transfers both an alienable
substance, the wax, and an inalienable attribute, the shine. Predicates involving alienable
relationships are characterized by reciprocal transfer: what the GOAL gets the SOURCE loses. For
example, he gave the book to her means she has just that book which he no longer has. Predicates
involving inalienable objects are characterized by nonreciprocal transfer: what arises in a GOAL
or disappears from a SOURCE is not reciprocally lost or gained by another entity. For example,
when one begets children, that is, gives them life, one does not give up one’s own life (despite some
rather convincing arguments to the contrary by some parents). Alienable themes are [–PRX];
inalienable themes are [+PRX].

Fourth, predicates fall into two groups: main verbs, which are associated with a theme list specifying
the thematic relations that the verb is subcategorized for, and non–main verbs, which are not
associated with a theme list and include the verbal auxiliaries (AUX). Each thematic relation has
a specific grammatical function. All main verbs have at least a SUBJECT argument, that is, a
thematic role that fills the grammatical function of subject. Generally, main verbs also have a
primary complement (PCOMP), which fills the function of direct object or predicate nominative.
Some main verbs have additional secondary complements (SCOMP1, SCOMP2,...SCOMPn) and
also allow specific modifiers (MOD1, MOD2,...MODn) as arguments. I will refer to those positions
in syntax containing the MAIN VERB, AUX, SUBJECT, PCOMP, SCOMP, and MOD as “base
positions.” Essentially, the base positions specify the basic elements of simple declarative
sentences:

(14) a. SUBJECT + AUX + MAIN VERB + PCOMP + SCOMP + MOD


b. the man will pour the water into the glass slowly
Chapter Two 87
The present feature space captures the distinction between complement themes and modifier themes:
PCOMP themes are generally [–EXT], SCOMP themes are [±EXT]; MOD themes are usually
[+EXT]. Below, by convention, we will specify the order of arguments in the theme list in the base
(active) form: SUBJECT, PCOMP, SCOMP, MOD, e.g., she sold the book to him for ten dollars,
though, in Chapter Five, we will see that the instantiation of themes into arguments can be predicted
and, therefore, the theme list is unordered.

FIGURE FIVE: SPECTRUM SPECIFICATIONS

[+DSJ, ±FST] [–PST, –FST] [–DSJ, ±FST]

SOURCE, ORIGIN, SCT GOAL, LOCATION,


NONPOSSESSOR, or U POSSESSOR, or U

[+PST]

IGR: ELA_ABL ASC_NASC ILL_ALL

CGR: ABS_ABE ASC_NASC LOC_ADE

[–PST]

IGR: IPS EFC_CPS ATT_NATT AFC_RES


APS EFR ASC_NASC_TRM_ORG AFR

CGR: IPS NIPS ATT_NATT IPS


APS NAPS ASC_NASC APS

ABE = ABESSIVE ELA = ELATIVE


ABL = ABLATIVE IGR = INGRESSIVE (NONSTATIVE)
ABS = ABSENTIVE ILL = ILLATIVE
ADE = ADESSIVE IPS = INALIENABLE POSSESSOR
AFC = AFFECTIVE LOC = LOCATIVE
AFR = AFFERENTIAL NAPS = ALIENABLE NONPOSSESSOR
ALL = ALLATIVE NASC = NONASSOCIATIVE
APS = ALIENABLE POSSESSOR NATT = NONATTRIBUTIVE
ASC = ASSOCIATIVE NIPS = INALIENABLE NONPOSSESSOR
ATT = ATTRIBUTIVE ORG = ORIGINITIVE
CGR = CONGRESSIVE (STATIVE) RES = RESULTATIVE
CPS = COMPOSITIONAL TRM = TERMINATIVE
EFC = EFFECTIVE U = unspecified
EFR = EFFERENTIAL

Fifth, predicates generally have either GOAL ORIENTATION (they specify or designate a GOAL
in their theme list, e.g., enter, give, etc.) or SOURCE ORIENTATION (they specify or designate
a SOURCE in their theme list, e.g., exit, receive, etc.). Typically, the designated theme is one that
occupies one of the two COMP slots of the theme list (PCOMP or SCOMP). But some verbs are
88 Chapter Two
unspecified (go, have, etc.). GOAL ORIENTATION is associated with themes that are [–DSJ];
SOURCE ORIENTATION, with themes that are [+DSJ].

2.4 INGRESSIVE (IGR) PREDICATES.

All positional IGR predicates have at least two spectrum specifications as part of their semantic
structure. One triplet is associated with an SCT that is some alienable object or attribute, the other,
with an SCT that is some inalienable object or attribute. For example, the specification of pour in
(13) is incomplete, showing only the alienable spectrum. In addition, pour involves an inalienable
spectrum deriving from the fact that all positional IGR predicates, whether designating GOAL or
SOURCE in their theme list, involve a change of some inalienable attribute of that GOAL or
SOURCE. When an object is moved from one place to another, the object itself is not the primary
thing effected; rather, the GOAL and SOURCE are affected. Consider the following:

(15) a. He poured the water from the bottle into the glass.
b. He put the cake into the oven.

Strictly speaking, neither the water nor the cake is affected by the action of pouring or putting. Of
course, other conditions might cause these objects to be affected:

(16) a. He poured the water into the frozen glass.


b. He put the cake into the hot oven.

However, again strictly speaking, physical relocation of an object itself does not affect the object.
What is affected in the examples of (15) is the bottle, the glass and the oven. Bottles, glasses and
ovens are containers, and the interior space of these containers is one of their distinguishing
characteristics. Without such space, they would not be the objects we name them. In the
transference of the water, for example, the glass’s empty interior space decreases by exactly the
same amount that the bottle’s empty interior space increases (ignoring spillage). Hence the change
is reciprocal. Moreover, the change is recoverable. The water can always be poured back into the
bottle. We label this inalienable aspect of an object its FORM–1.7

Generally, changes in an object’s spatial characteristics are recoverable (reversible) even though
such changes affect inalienable characteristics. We see that in the examples already cited as well
as other examples like He switched on the light switch and He opened the book. In every positional
IGR predicate, the FORM–1 of both GOAL and SOURCE is affected; however, predicates usually
designate only one of these as primary (cf. put in (16b)), that is, they have a specific
ORIENTATION. Again, strictly speaking, both GOAL and SOURCE must be involved and the
FORM–1 of both must be affected.

This aspect of form contrasts with the FORM–2 of an object, which is ‘the internal composition of
an object’; for example, a bottle might be made of plastic or glass. Changes in FORM–2 are also
changes in inalienable attributes; however, such changes are nonreciprocal. When they arise in a
Chapter Two 89
GOAL, for example, they are not accompanied by a concomitant loss from a SOURCE: a murderer
does not die in the process of killing someone; when ice melts, nothing happens to the agent that
caused the melting. We will distinguish two types of FORM–2 changes: those that are largely
permanent such as death as opposed to those that are dynamic such as melt; the former are generally
not recoverable or reversible, the latter are.8

Generally, we can equate FORM–1 changes with the changes that occur in change–of–position verbs
like go, move, enter, exit, insert, and extract, as well as verbs like give, take, and sell. FORM–2
changes can be equated with the changes that occur in change–of–state verbs including
physiological changes (kill), mental changes (teach), compositional changes (melt), and the like.
The most important difference between FORM–1 and FORM–2 concerns RECIPROCITY. Changes
in FORM–1 are reciprocal; changes in FORM–2 are nonreciprocal.

Under a given set of circumstances, the FORM–2 of a GOAL or SOURCE could be affected in the
transference:

(17) He poured the molten lead into the plastic cup.

The FORM–2 of the cup will clearly be affected under this set of circumstances; but, strictly
speaking, that has nothing to do with the act of pouring. One must keep examples like (16) and (17)
in mind when trying to determine what is affected in a transference. In simple cases of relocation,
it is the GOAL and SOURCE that are affected, not the object that moves. Such careful
consideration is essential in the analysis of all predicates, otherwise more opaque cases like (18)
cannot be understood.

(18) He boiled the water.

In this example, water is the GOAL (AFFECTIVE, specifically) of the action, and its FORM–2 or
composition is affected by boiling. What is transferred is heat.

We can summarize the distinction between FORM–1 and FORM–2 as follows:

(19) FORM–1: pour in He poured the water from the bottle into the glass.

a. FORM–1 involves inalienable attributes of an object’s outward appearance such as


its spatial configuration.
b. FORM–1 is altered in change–of–position predicates like pour.
c. FORM–1 changes are reciprocal (both the SOURCE and the GOAL are affected).
90 Chapter Two
(20) FORM–2: teach in He teaches linguistics to undergraduates.

a. FORM–2 involves inalienable attributes of an object’s inner nature such as what it


is made of, what it knows, and what it experiences.
b. FORM–2 is altered in change–of–state predicates like kill (physiological change),
teach (mental change), and melt (compositional change).
c. FORM–2 changes are nonreciprocal.

Returning to our main examples, we must modify a spectrum specification like (13b) and say that
the verb pour has the following two spectrums (see Figure Five on Page 87 for abbreviations and
Section 1.9.2, Pages 40 ff., for examples of the themes):

(21) He poured the water into the glass.

a. (EFC ATT AFC) (ELA ASC ILL)


b. (he FORM–1 glass) (U water glass)

EFC = EFFECTIVE = nonpositional SOURCE (often called AGENT)


ATT = ATTRIBUTIVE = inalienable SCT (often called THEME)
AFC = AFFECTIVE = nonpositional GOAL (often called PATIENT)
ELA = ELATIVE = positional SOURCE (often simply called SOURCE)
ASC = ASSOCIATIVE = alienable SCT (often called THEME)
ILL = ILLATIVE = positional GOAL (often simply called GOAL)
U = unspecified

The first spectrum includes the inalienable SCT, specifically the FORM–1 of the glass, its interior
space which is altered in the act of pouring. The second spectrum includes the alienable SCT,
specifically the water. The verb pour is generally GOAL oriented as in (21), though the SOURCE
can be mentioned as in (15a). Again, strictly speaking, whether or not the SOURCE is mentioned
is immaterial; it always exists conceptually. In (21b), the nonpositional SOURCE is the EFC and
the positional SOURCE is left unspecified as U because the example does not name it. The
positional GOAL is the glass, and since the verb has GOAL ORIENTATION in the example, the
nonpositional GOAL is also the glass, the thing affected (AFC).

If the sentence to be analyzed contains the positional SOURCE, the derived spectrum specifications
are as follows:

(22) He poured the water out of the bottle.

a. (EFC FORM–1 AFC) (ELA ASC ILL)


b. (he FORM–1 bottle) (bottle water U)

This representation records the fact that the sentence exhibits SOURCE ORIENTATION and that
the positional GOAL is unspecified.
Chapter Two 91
From this discussion, we derive the following generalizations:

(23) a. All positional predicates must have both an inalienable and alienable SCT;
conceptually, they must also have both a positional and nonpositional SOURCE and
GOAL.

b. The inalienable SCT is always some attribute of the thing affected (AFC).

c. The AFC will be the theme expressing ORIENTATION, that is, GOAL and/or
SOURCE. Conceptually, both are always present and both are always affected.

Even in sentences like (24), which only mentions the alienable SCT, all the other components of
(23) are present as the additions in (25) show, that is, something must have been the cause (CAU)
of the lamp’s falling, it must have fallen from somewhere (positional SOURCE) to somewhere
(positional GOAL).9

(24) The lamp fell.

(25) a. The lamp fell because of the severe vibrations that occurred during the earthquake.
b. The lamp fell onto the floor.
c. The lamp fell off the table.

Conceptually, therefore, (24) has the spectrum specification in (26a) instantiated as (26b), where
ELA_ABL = ELATIVE_ABLATIVE ([+PST, +DSJ, –CNJ, ±PRX]) and where ILL_ALL =
ILLATIVE_ALLATIVE ([+PST, –DSJ, +CNJ, ±PRX]); see the notation in Figure Five.10

(26) a. (fall (CAU FORM–1 AFC) (ELA_ABL ASC ILL_ALL)


b. (fall (U FORM–1 U) (U lamp U))

In GOAL oriented verbs, the designated theme is typically ILLATIVE or ALLATIVE in positional
predicates and AFFERENTIAL (RECIPIENT) in nonpositional predicates. In SOURCE oriented
verbs, the designated theme is typically ELATIVE or ABLATIVE in positional predicates and
EFFERENTIAL (GIVER) in nonpositional predicates. The first group shares the feature [–DSJ];
the second, [+DSJ].

When verbs exhibit alternative constructions, the variations often change the precise meaning of the
relationship between the SCT and the GOAL or SOURCE, as others have observed:11

(27) a. He stuffed the cotton (ASC) into the sack.


b. He stuffed the sack with cotton.

(28) a. He stripped the paint (ASC) off the wall.


b. He stripped the wall of paint.
92 Chapter Two
The above sentences illustrate core examples of simple predication. Certain sentences require more
extensive representation. For example, a particular sentence might mention both the SOURCE and
the GOAL, in which case the representation would contain more than two spectrum specifications.
Consider the following:

(29) a. He poured the water from the bottle into the glass.
b. He poured the water into the glass from the bottle.

Since both the SOURCE and the GOAL are mentioned in the above, the representation is as follows:

(30) (pour (EFC ATT AFC) (EFC ATT AFC) (ELA ASC ILL))
(pour (he FORM–1 bottle) (he FORM–1 glass) (bottle water glass))

This representation makes explicit the fact that the agent (EFC) has brought about a change in the
FORM–1 of both the bottle and the glass by pouring the water out of the former into the latter. Such
a sentence, therefore, has two affected objects (AFC), the bottle and the glass. The most common
class of predicates that regularly involve such complex representations are explicitly inchoative
verbs like make, craft, develop, etc., which I will discuss in Section 2.8.

2.5 SPECTRUM SPECIFICATIONS: POSITIONAL PREDICATES.

As we have noted, positional predicates (go, enter, insert, exit, etc.) are associated with two
spectrum specifications. One involves inalienable transfer; the other, alienable transfer. These are
typically realized as the following thematic specification (ATT is an inalienably possessed
ATTRIBUTE; ASC is an alienably possessed object; NASC is an alienably dispossessed object; see
Figure Five on Page 87):

(31) ( (EFC ATT_NATT AFC) (ELA_ABL ASC_NASC ILL_ALL))

The triplets in these spectrum specifications always contain both a GOAL and a SOURCE because
conceptually both must be present. Theme lists, however, usually contain just one GOAL or
SOURCE theme as the designated focus (ORIENTATION) and just one SCT theme.

Both positional and nonpositional IGR predicates can involve a reciprocal transfer (FORM–1) which
is recoverable and reversible. The reason for this is most transparent in a true positional locution
like He put the spoon into the cup. Here, the SUBJECT is EFC (he) and the PCOMP is ASC (the
spoon); the GOAL is the ILLATIVE phrase (into the cup). Clearly, the spoon was somewhere
outside the cup before it was moved, so some ELATIVE phrase is implied. However, the sentence
given designates the GOAL. In relocating the object, the EFC changes the object’s position, an
alienable change of the object since the intrinsic nature of the object is not altered. However, an
inalienable change also occurs in the designated GOAL (and SOURCE); specifically, the interior
space of the cup is affected, and that interior space is an inalienable possession of the cup. Strictly
speaking, the interior space of the SOURCE (ELATIVE argument) is also altered, but, as we have
Chapter Two 93
noted, verbs generally designate one GOAL or SOURCE as focus. Thus, by (23), the AFC is the
cup, and the attribute affected is its FORM–1. Filling the spectrum specification (31) with words,
yields the following representation (U = unspecified):

(32) (put (he FORM–1 cup) (U spoon cup))

If the sentence were He removed the spoon from the drawer, the representation would be as follows:

(33) (remove (he FORM–1 drawer) (drawer spoon U))

As this example and others reveal, ORIENTATION determines which GOAL or SOURCE theme
is also the primary AFC. Again, strictly speaking, in the transference of some ASC or NASC from
one location to another, both locations are affected (AFC), which reciprocal transfer always
demands, that is, there is always a secondary, generally unspecified AFC as well. But most verbs
are oriented toward one designated primary AFC. Orientation is not the same as obligatoriness:
designated themes are quite often optional, the meaning being supplied from the context.

When a designated SOURCE or GOAL theme is omitted in a specific context, we express this in
the spectrum specification with a “U” in individual SOURCE and GOAL slots. For example, the
predicate add is generally GOAL oriented, so its theme list designates the GOAL. However,
sentences like He added some special ingredient from this spice rack are certainly possible in
context. In such instances, the SOURCE is focused in the discourse so it becomes the primary AFC,
the GOAL being unspecified and relegated to subsidiary status (secondary AFC). This shift in focus
becomes possible because of the nature of reciprocal transfer. Although a particular predicate might
designate SOURCE or GOAL as AFC, the focus can shift since both SOURCE and GOAL are
always affected in reciprocal transfer. The only barrier to this shift occurs when a particular
predicate designates a required SOURCE or GOAL, e.g. put.

2.6 SPECTRUM SPECIFICATIONS: NONPOSITIONAL PREDICATES.

In nonpositional predicates, the general spectrum specification is typically realized as one of two
thematic specifications. The first is like the specification for positional predicates, except that the
GOAL and SOURCE slots are filled with nonpositional themes, as in the following thematic
specification for predicates like give, accept, buy and sell:

(34) ( (EFC FORM–1 AFC) (EFR ASC_NASC AFR))

Sentences like He gave the book to her and She accepted the book from him have the following
representations:

(35) (give (he FORM–1 her) (he book her))

(36) (accept (she FORM–1 him) (him book she))


94 Chapter Two
The theme list of give specifies its subject as EFC_EFR meaning it is both agent (EFC) and
SOURCE; further, it designates an AFR GOAL as its SCOMP theme. Since give designates the
GOAL, the primary AFC is her in the present example. Conceptually, the EFR is also affected; it
is the secondary AFC. When the EFR is not mentioned (She was given an award), the focus
switches to the AFR, which is then the primary AFC.

On the other hand, the theme list of accept specifies its subject as EFC_AFR meaning it is both
agent (EFC) and GOAL; further, it designates an EFR SOURCE as its SCOMP theme. Since accept
designates SOURCE, the primary AFC is him in the example. Again, conceptually, the AFR is also
affected; it is the secondary AFC. When the EFR is not mentioned in the sentence (She accepted
an award), the focus switches to the AFR, which is then the primary AFC.

The second typical spectrum specification for nonpositional predicates involves predicates which
instantiate changes in some inalienable aspect of an object other than its FORM–1, that is, its
FORM–2. The general spectrum specification for FORM–2 changes is as follows:

(37) ( (EFC FORM–2 AFC) (EFR ASC_NASC AFR))

When a FORM–2 type of change is present in the spectrum specification, the AFC is, again, the
theme specified by the predicate’s ORIENTATION in all cases except one (see below). Sometimes
the AFC experiences a gain or addition in some FORM–2; this occurs in predicates like polish and
poison.12 For example, The butler polished the silver, has the following spectrum:13

(38) (polish (butler SHINE–1 silver) (U POLISH–1 silver))

Sometimes, the FORM–2 is quite abstract, that is, something that cannot be perceived visually.
Nonetheless, it can be related to the system described here.14 This occurs with predicates like teach,
inculcate, or learn where the FORM–2 is some kind of KNOWLEDGE–1, and the right half of the
spectrum specification contains an abstract ASC. For example, He taught French to them has the
following spectrum:15

(39) (teach (he KNOWLEDGE–1 them) (he French them))

In other cases, the AFC experiences a loss in some FORM–2; this occurs in predicates like disabuse
or forget where the FORM–2 is again KNOWLEDGE–1, but the right half of the spectrum
specification contains EFR ORIENTATION which reduces to NPOS (NONPOSSESSION; see (66)
below).

In both types, the FORM–2 change appears in the AFC, induced by the agent, without a reciprocal
loss from or gain to the agent. This derives directly from the nature of inalienable possession and
nonreciprocal transfer. The agent of any FORM–2 change is itself not affected by having
engendered that change in some other entity. Sentences like He disabused them of such ideals and
He inculcated them with such ideals have the following representations.
Chapter Two 95
(40) a. (disabuse (EFC KNOWLEDGE–1 AFC) (EFR ASC AFR))
b. (disabuse (he KNOWLEDGE–1 them) (them ideals U))

(41) a. (inculcate (EFC KNOWLEDGE–1 AFC) (EFR ASC AFR))


b. (inculcate (he KNOWLEDGE–1 them) (U ideals them))

These are both FORM–2 changes. The difference between the two predicates is in the nature of the
right–hand portion of the spectrum. In disabuse, the predicate has EFR ORIENTATION; notice that
them is mentioned in the sentence He disabused them of such ideals. In inculcate, the predicate has
AFR ORIENTATION. I will offer an explanation for the different choices in prepositions below
on Page 98 ff.

Predicates like forget and learn are different from the above in that the EFR or AFR theme is
coreferential with the EFC (EFC_EFR or EFC_AFR subject). Hence, the one affected is oneself.
Sentences like They forget such ideals and They learned such ideals from him have the following
representations.

(42) a. (forget (EFC KNOWLEDGE–1 AFC) (EFR ASC U))


b. (forget (they KNOWLEDGE–1 they) (they ideals U))

(43) a. (learn (EFC KNOWLEDGE–1 AFC) (EFR ASC AFR))


b. (learn (they KNOWLEDGE–1 they) (him ideals they))

Furthermore, a verb like learn is a principled exception to the use of ORIENTATION to determine
primary AFC. Even when the EFR is mentioned, the primary AFC is the AFR. Again, this derives
from the nature of inalienable change. When an EFC_AFR learns something from a teacher (EFR),
that teacher does not lose his knowledge; hence, the EFC_AFR is the primary AFC. In short, we
have the following generalization:

(44) If the EFC is the AFR, and the inalienable transfer involves something other than
FORM–1, then the primary AFC is always the EFC_AFR, regardless of which theme is the
designated theme. In all other transfers, the primary AFC is the designated theme (PCOMP
or SCOMP1) in the list.

2.7 SUMMARY OF PREDICATE TYPES.

The following is a summary of the six major types of predicates (For examples of spectrum
specifications, see also Section 2.12, A Summary of Spectrum Specifications, Page 126 ff.).
Significantly, predicates can belong to more than one class. For example, positional predicates can
often be used nonpositionally, some predicates allow either SOURCE or GOAL ORIENTATION,
etc. In Figure Six, an ASC that is abstract is one which is realized in the spectrum specification as
a word sense; a non–abstract ASC is one that is realized as a word.
96 Chapter Two

FIGURE SIX: SUMMARY OF PREDICATE TYPES

CATEGORY EXAMPLES ORIENTATION AFC SCT (alienable)

+PST; FORM–1 enter, insert ILL_ALL ILL_ALL ASC


–PST; FORM–1 sell, give, supply AFR AFR ASC
–PST; FORM–2 teach, inculcate AFR AFR ASC (non–abstract)
–PST; FORM–2 polish, poison AFR AFR ASC (abstract)

+PST; FORM–1 exit, extract ELA_ABL ELA_ABL ASC


–PST; FORM–1 buy, take EFR EFR ASC
–PST; FORM–2 disabuse, forget EFR EFR ASC (non–abstract)
–PST; FORM–2 anesthetize, starve EFR EFR ASC (abstract)

The prepositional alternations among these predicates are one of the chief clues to categorization.
The nondisjunctural preposition is to (ILL/ALL/AFR) and the disjunctural preposition is from
(ELA/ABL/EFR). Further, the associative (ASC) preposition is with in verbs with GOAL
ORIENTATION and of in verbs with SOURCE ORIENTATION. The use of these prepositions is,
therefore, principled, not idiosyncratic (see Figures Three and Four on Page 50).

The following examples illustrate the eight classes from Figure Six:

(45) a. He inserted the key into the lock./He loaded the hay into the wagon./He loaded the
wagon with hay.
b. He supplied the books to them./He supplied them with books.
c. He taught such ideals to them./He inculcated them with such ideals.
d. He polished the silver.

(46) a. He extracted the key from the lock./He emptied the gas from the tank./He emptied
the tank of gas.
b. He stripped all authority from the king./He stripped the king of all authority.
c. He dispelled such ideals from them./He disabused them of such ideals.
d. He starved the dog.

As we noted above (44), there is one principled deviation where the designated theme is not the
primary AFC. This occurs in a predicate like learn, which designates an EFR but has AFR as
primary AFC because of the nature of inalienable transfer. We record this in the following
supplement to Figure Six:

FIGURE SIX: SUPPLEMENT ONE

CATEGORY EXAMPLES ORIENTATION AFC SCT (alienable)

–PST; FORM–2 learn, understand EFR AFR ASC


Chapter Two 97
Using the semantic feature system described above, we see that all spectrum specifications are
variations on one generalized specification; therefore, we can say that the semantic mapping of all
predicates is a variation of the following:16

(47) ([+DSJ, ±FST] [–PST, –FST] [–DSJ, ±FST])

In this spectrum specification, the feature clusters, [+DSJ, ±FST], [–PST, –FST], and [–DSJ, ±FST],
correspond to SOURCE/ORIGIN/NONPOSSESSOR, SCT, GOAL/LOCATION/POSSESSOR,
respectively. Sometimes, instead of a thematic relation occurring in one of the slots, a word sense
occurs. For example, the inalienable SCT for the verb kill is DEATH–1, DEATH–2, etc. Recall that
these word senses are like phonetic symbols in that they are language independent. They are part
of the metalanguage of our theory. DEATH–1 denotes ‘the state of being dead in an animate being,’
regardless of how that concept is realized in any specific language; DEATH–2 denotes ‘a
termination,’ as in the death of imperialism. The different senses occur in He killed the bug versus
He killed the argument.17

Every predicate is a variation of schema (47), and every instance of every predicate in a sentence
must be able to be mapped onto this schema. This means that all three components are obligatory
conceptually, even though one or more might be optional syntactically. For example, when a
movement occurs, there is always a GOAL, but not every verb requires that the GOAL be
mentioned. Consider these examples:

(48) a. John put the vase onto the table.


b. *John put the vase.
c. John put the vase from the box onto the table.

(49) a. John moved the vase onto the table.


b. John moved the vase.
c. John moved the vase from the box onto the table.

Clearly, although no SOURCE is mentioned in either (48a) or (49a), and although no GOAL is
mentioned in (49b), such components of the spectrum must exist. In these examples, they are
unspecified.

Sometimes an unspecified relation is REFLEXIVE, that is, refers back to the subject of the sentence
(I will define “subject” formally in the next chapter):

(50) a. John entered.


b. John entered the debate.
c. John entered into the debate.
d. John entered himself into the debate.

Notice also that the verb enter, in its general use, has GOAL ORIENTATION, meaning that it is
oriented forward, whether or not the GOAL is expressed:
98 Chapter Two
(51) a. John entered from the hall.
b. John entered the kitchen from the hall.

We will return to this matter in our discussion of motion verbs in Chapter Five.

2.8 NONSTATIVE REDUCTION.

As we saw in Section 1.8 (Page 36), possessive themes combine with associative themes to yield
four possible types of possession:

(52) POSSESSION OF SOMETHING

He is a man with ambition.


He has ambition. = He doesn’t lack ambition.
He is ambitious.

(53) POSSESSION OF THE LACK OF SOMETHING

He is a man without ambition.


He has no ambition.
He is unambitious.

(54) NONPOSSESSION OF SOMETHING

He is not a man with ambition.


He does not have ambition. = He lacks ambition.
He is not ambitious.

(55) NONPOSSESSION OF THE LACK OF SOMETHING

He is not a man without ambition.


He doesn’t have no ambition.
He is not unambitious.

POS is the reduction of AFR: X gives Y to Z reduces to Z has Y. NPOS is the reduction of EFR:
X takes Y from Z reduces to Z lacks Y.

Given this framework, there should be four types of causative verbs of possession, two verbs of
giving and two of taking, related by NSR (see Page 28) as follows:
Chapter Two 99
|
|
(56) a. AFR + ASC POS + ASC (cf. (52))
b. AFR + NASC POS + NASC (cf. (53))

|
|
c. EFR + ASC NPOS + ASC (cf. (54))
d. EFR + NASC NPOS + NASC (cf. (55))

Of these four possibilities, two are common (56a & c) , one is rare (56b), and one does not appear
to occur (56d). The two common types are the two major classes in Figure Six. In one, the
designated theme is nondisjunctural (ILL/ALL/AFR); in the other, the designated theme is
disjunctural (ELA/ABL/EFR). These reduce, respectively, via (56a) and (56c). Thus, we have a
formal expression of the following relations:

he inserted the key into the lock | the lock has the key
he gave the book to her | she has the book
(57) a.
b.

he extracted the key from the lock | the lock doesn’t have the key
he took the book from her | she doesn’t have the book
(58) a.
b.

Examples of reductions via (56b) are rare in English, though they do occur. We already noted them
above in (9) and repeat them here in charted form:

FIGURE SIX: SUPPLEMENT TWO

CATEGORY EXAMPLES ORIENTATION AFC SCT (alienable)

+PST; FORM–1 bar, close ILL_ALL ILL_ALL NASC


–PST; FORM–1 deny, forbid AFR AFR NASC
–PST; FORM–2 discourage AFR AFR NASC

Examples of these predicates occur in the following:

(59) a. He barred the street to traffic./He barred traffic from the street.
b. He denied employment to them./He banned them from employment.
c. He discouraged smoking./He discouraged them from smoking.

These examples are a somewhat peculiar variation on the themes in Figure Six because they
designate a GOAL (ILL/ALL/AFR) and, at the same time, involve a loss (NASC) rather than a gain
(ASC). Further, the NASC preposition is from. Still, they are a conceptually expected case given
(52) – (55). We find similar examples in other languages. In Latin, for example, we have (60b)
alongside of (60a), both meaning ‘violence deprives a young man of life.’
100 Chapter Two
(60) a. Vitam (accusative) adulescente (ablative) vis privat.
life young man violence deprives

b. Vitam (accusative) adulescenti (dative) vis aufert.


life young man violence deprives

(60b) contains an instance of the so–called ‘dative of separation,’ which has always mystified Latin
grammarians because the dative is traditionally viewed as the to–case ([–DISJUNCTURAL], in our
terms) while the ablative is traditionally viewed as the from–case ([+DISJUNCTURAL] in our
terms). Yet, (60b) has a dative after a separative verb. As Woodcock (1959: 44) notes, “Logically
one would expect the Ablative of Separation of the person from whom the thing is taken.” Not
necessarily. In the system proposed here, construction with the dative is both possible and expected.
The literal translation of (60a) is something like ‘Violence takes life from a young man’; the
ablative expresses the SOURCE which reduces to the nonpossession of something (see (56c) above
and (63) below). The literal translation of (60b) is something like ‘Violence denies life to a young
man’; the dative expresses the GOAL which reduces to the possession of some lack (see (56b) above
and (62c) below).18

The one reduction that does not seem to occur is (56d). Possibly this is because such a predicate
would reduce to double negative expressions like ‘he is not a man without ambition.’ The causative
of this is ‘to cause someone to not be without something’ which actually means ‘to cause someone
to have something.’

Given these remarks, we can make several general statements about verbs of giving and taking. As
expected, there are two classes of verbs of giving:

(61) To cause to have X; cause to be with X.

|
|
ILL/ALL/AFR + ASC POS + ASC
TRM ASC

a. He forced the men (ASC) into the room (ILL).


The room (POS) contains the men (ASC).

b. He supplied/furnished/gave the computers (ASC) to the school (AFR).


The school (POS) has computers (ASC).

c. He supplied/furnished/equipped the school (AFR) with computers (ASC).


The school (POS) has computers (ASC).

d. He got the family (AFR) into debt (TRM).


The family (POS) got into debt (TRM)
The family (POS) has debt (ASC)
Chapter Two 101
(62) To cause to have no X; cause to be without X.

+ NASC |
ORG |
ILL/ALL/AFR POS + NASC
NASC

a. He barred that street (NASC) to traffic (AFR).


That street (POS) has no traffic (NASC).

b. He barred traffic (AFR) from that street (NASC).


That street (POS) has no traffic (NASC).

c. Vitam (NASC) adulescenti (AFR) vis aufert. ‘Violence denies life to a young man.’
Young man (POS) has no life (NASC).

d. He got the family (AFR) out of debt (ORG).


The family (POS) got out of debt (ORG)
The family (POS) has no debt (NASC)

With the apparent lack of reductions via (55), there is only one general class of verbs of taking:

(63) To cause to lack X.

ELA/ABL/EFR + ASC | NPOS + ASC

a. He forced the men (ASC) out of the room (ELA).


The room (NPOS) does not contain the men (ASC).

b. He cleared the dissidents (ASC) out of the room (ELA)


The room (NPOS) does not contain the dissidents (ASC).

c. He cleared the room (ELA) of the dissidents (ASC).


The room (NPOS) does not contain the dissidents (ASC).

d. He robbed/snatched/took the right to vote (ASC) from the women (EFR).


The women (NPOS) lack the right to vote (ASC).

e. He robbed/cheated/deprived the women (ERF) of the right to vote (ASC).


The women (NPOS) lack the right to vote (ASC).

f. Vitam (ASC) adulescente (EFR) vis privat. ‘Violence takes life from a young man.’
Young man (NPOS) lacks life (ASC).

Generalizing these reductions to further positional and nonpositional predicates including those with
complement verbs, we have the following examples, which I will discuss directly:19
102 Chapter Two
(64) To cause to have X; cause to be with X.

|
|
ILL/ALL/AFR + ASC POS + ASC
TRM ASC

He supplied the drugs to the students./ He supplied the students with drugs.
He sold the book to her./He sold her the book.
He taught swimming to the students./He taught the students to swim.
He persuaded the students to swim.
He lead him men to the river.
He raced her to the top of the hill.
He inserted the key into the lock.
He got them into the shelter.
He forced them into the room.
He got them into debt.
He forced a reconciliation upon them./He forced them into reconciliation.
He encouraged them to riot./He goaded them into rioting.
He started them drinking./He started them into drinking.

Analysis: VERB EFC ASC (with) ALL/AFR (to)


TRM (into) ILL (into)

[–PST, –FST] [–DSJ, ±FST]

supply he drugs (ASC) students (AFR)


sell he book (ASC) her (AFR)
teach he swimming (ASC) students (AFR)
to swim (ASC) students (AFR)
persuade he to swim (ASC) students (AFR)

lead he them (ASC) river (ALL)


race he her (ASC) top (ALL)

insert he key (ASC) lock (ILL)


get he them (ASC) shelter (ILL)
force he them (ASC) room (ILL)

get he debt (TRM) them (AFR)


force he reconciliation (TRM) them (AFR)
encourage he to riot (TRM) them (AFR)
goad he rioting (TRM) them (AFR)
start he drinking (TRM) them (AFR)
Chapter Two 103
(65) To cause to have no X; cause to be without X.

+ NASC |
ORG |
ILL/ALL/AFR POS + NASC
NASC

He barred the students from admission./He barred admission to the students.


They denied admission to the students./They denied the students admission.
He discouraged them from rioting./He talked them out of rioting.
He dissuaded them from going./He talked them out of going.
He stopped them from drinking.
He got them out of debt.

Analysis: VERB EFC NASC (from) AFR (to)


ORG (from, out of)

[–PST, –FST] [–DSJ, ±FST]

bar he admission (NASC) students (AFR)


deny he admission (NASC) students (AFR)

discourage he rioting (ORG) them (AFR)


talk he rioting (ORG) them (AFR)
dissuade he going (ORG) them (AFR)
talk he going (ORG) them (AFR)
stop he drinking (ORG) them (AFR)
get he debt (ORG) them (AFR)
104 Chapter Two
(66) To cause to lack X.

ELA/ABL/EFR + ASC | NPOS + ASC

He stripped the bark from the tree./He stripped the tree of its bark.
He bought the book from them.
He learned Greek from them.
He deprived them of their rights.
He disabused them of those ideas.
He cured them of the disease.
He forced the truth out of them.
He expected an apology from them./He expected them to apologize.
He lead his men away from the river.
He raced her from the bottom of the hill.
He extracted the key from the lock.
He got them out of the shelter.
He forced them out of the room.

Analysis: VERB EFC ASC (of) ABL/EFR (from)


ELA (out of)

[–PST, –FST] [+DSJ, ±FST]

strip he bark (ASC) tree (EFR)


buy he book (ASC) them (EFR)
learn he Greek (ASC) them (EFR)
deprive he rights (ASC) them (EFR)
disabuse he ideas (ASC) them (EFR)
cure he disease (ASC) them (EFR)
force he truth (ASC) them (EFR)
expect he apology (ASC) them (EFR)
to apologize (ASC) them (EFR)

lead he them (ASC) river (ABL)


race he her (ASC) bottom (ABL)

extract he key (ASC) lock (ELA)


get he them (ASC) shelter (ELA)
force he them (ASC) room (ELA)
Chapter Two 105
2.9 GENERALIZATIONS.

These analyses provide an account of all the difficulties mentioned at the beginning of this chapter,
specifically in regard to (7), (8), and (9). The following generalizations exist.

First, in English and many other languages, prepositions are suppressed when a theme occupies
either SUBJECT or PCOMP (primary complement) positions. Conversely, they generally surface
whenever a theme occupies an SCOMP (secondary complement) or MOD (modifier) position.
Double object constructions (Larson 1988, 1990; Jackendoff 1990), where the prepositions for both
the PCOMP and the SCOMP are suppressed, are possible only in constructions of type (64) and
(65), that is, with verbs which reduce to possession. One might conjecture that constructions of type
(66) do not admit a double object paraphrase for the following reason. Both (65) and (66) contain
a negative element: (65) involves a lack (NASC) and (66) involves a nonpossession (NPOS); both
themes are [+DSJ, +CNJ], the absolute opposites of [–DSJ, –CNJ] as we saw in Chapter One (Page
33 ff.). If both (65) and (66) admitted double object paraphrases, then it would be impossible to
determine where the negative element is, i.e., whether in fact we have (65) or (66). Indeed, double
object paraphrases of type (65) are uncommon in English (We begrudged him the opportunity, ?We
refused him the loan, *We banned him admission). Perhaps the correct generalization is that double
object paraphrases are only possible with nonpositional verbs of type (64), the most common of the
three constructions under examination and the only one lacking a negative component (I will return
to double object constructions in greater detail in Chapter Six).

Second, lexical idiosyncrasy apparently determines which theme surfaces as a prepositional phrase
in all three constructions and whether or not a double object construction is possible in (64) and (65).
Verbs of very similar meaning take different constructions, as we saw at the beginning of our inquiry
with (7), (8), and (9), repeated here for convenience:20

(67) =(7) [NP1 – to NP2] versus [NP2 – with NP1].

a. He presented/supplied/furnished it to them.
b. He presented/supplied/furnished them with it.

c. He gave/sold/taught it to them.
d. *He gave/sold/taught them with it.

e. *He equipped/filled/inculcated it to them.


f. He equipped/filled/inculcated them with it.

(68) =(8) [NP1 – from NP2] versus [NP2 – of NP1].

a. He robbed/stripped/drained it from them.


b. He robbed/stripped/drained them of it.
106 Chapter Two
c. *He deprived/disabused/relieved it from them.
d. He deprived/disabused/relieved them of it.

e. He took/bought/extracted it from them.


f. *He took/bought/extracted them of it.

(69) =(9) [NP1 – to NP2] versus [NP2 – from NP1].

a. He barred it to them./He closed it off to them.


b. He barred them from it./He closed them off from it.

c. He denied/begrudged/refused it to them.
d. *He denied/begrudged/refused them from it.

e. *He banned/excluded/discouraged it to them.


f. He banned/excluded/discouraged them from it.

Third, when the ILL, ALL, or AFR theme surfaces as an SCOMP, the [–DISJUNCTURAL]
markers are the expected prepositions into and to. We see this in both (64) and (65). Further,
recognizing that an SCT can specify something that is lost, we have an explanation for the
problematic “dative of separation” in English ((59a) and (59b)) and Latin (60b).

Fourth, when the ELA, ABL, or EFR theme surfaces as an SCOMP, the [+DISJUNCTURAL]
markers are the expected prepositions out of and from. This occurs in (66).

Fifth, when an ASC theme surfaces as an SCOMP, the marker is with in GOAL oriented verbs (64),
e.g., He infected them with the disease. This is the expected preposition since with is the general
marker of the thing possessed (He is a man with many fears; She has the children with her).

Sixth, when an ASC theme surfaces as an SCOMP, the marker is of in SOURCE oriented verbs (66),
e.g., He cured them of the disease. Further, when the NASC theme surfaces as an SCOMP (65), the
marker is from or out of, e.g., He dissuaded them from going and He talked them out of going. This
distinction is interesting. Notice again that (65) and (66) each have a negative element: NASC in
(65) and NPOS in (66). Some kind of dissociation/separation occurs in both. The major
dissociative/separative prepositions in English are, in fact, out of and from: out of sorts, out of tune,
out of practice, cheated out of a commission, frightened out of his wits; free from blame, relief from
pain, excused from work, far from happy, etc.21 We might simply say that of marks the ASC in (66)
and from and out of mark the NASC in (65) and the NPOS theme in (66). But perhaps we can do
more that just stipulate the markers. Suppose we say that any theme marked with out of or from is
one that requires the presence of a negative element (NASC or NPOS) in the underlying analysis
of the themes. Note that I am not proposing that all SOURCES must be marked by out of or from,
which would be a much stronger proposal. As we have seen, such a strong proposal is not possible
because CAUSAL themes, which are a type of SOURCE, allow of, e.g., He died of/from a
mysterious disease. Further, we have examples like devoid of reason, short of cash, bereft of
Chapter Two 107
friends, etc., showing that of can mark a separation. It appears that the best we can do is propose
that the presence of out of or from indicates a negative element in the underlying analysis (NASC
or NPOS), which, in itself, is significant.

Lastly, given NONSTATIVE REDUCTION (NSR, Page 28), we can determine the location or
possession of objects after each of the transactions in (64), (65), and (66) occur. This is clear for
both positional and nonpositional relations as well as concrete and abstract relations. I moved the
piano into the room reduces to the room has (contains) the piano; I cheated her out of the
opportunity reduces to she did not have the opportunity. Further, a sentence like John killed the
corpse is, at best, redundant. Since killing involves the transference of DEATH–1 to the AFC (the
corpse) and since corpses inalienably possess DEATH–1 by definition, the sentence is bizarre.

In short, much more is at stake here than providing a motivation for the prepositions which mark
various themes. Grammars must contain some principle like NSR and some formulas like the
spectrum specifications in Figure Five to specify the shifts in location and possession that occur in
such opaque examples as the warden stripped the prisoners of their rights, the prisoners stripped
(off their clothes), the carpenter stripped the wood (of its finish), and the sailors stripped the sails
(of their rigging). Crucially, the effects of such principles and formulas go beyond the mere
semantics of predication. Observe that, in examples like the sailors stripped the sails of their
rigging, the possessive their most likely refers to the sails, not the sailors. This is clear from the
account we have presented because a rigging is a possession of sails, not sailors. Conversely, in the
editors stripped the manuscripts of their counterexamples, the possessive their can refer either to
the editors or to the manuscripts (cf. They stripped the manuscript of their nasty comments before
returning it to the author and he stripped the manuscripts of their vitality, where the number on the
nouns restricts the reference).

2.10 SOME APPARENT PROBLEMS.

In attempting to determine which of the above patterns is appropriate for any particular sentence,
one must first establish whether the verb involves a POSITIONAL change or a NONPOSITIONAL
change. Further, one must establish whether the change involves an alienable possession or an
inalienable possession, and also whether the change affects the FORM–1 (‘spacial configuration’)
or FORM–2 (‘internal composition’) of the primary AFC. Quite often, sentences which are
superficially similar have very different semantic analyses. Consider, for example, the following:

(70) a. He got the family into the shelter.


b. He got the family into debt. (cf. He brought debt upon the family.)

The two sentences above appear to involve parallel thematic representations; close examination,
however, reveals that they are not parallel. First, into the shelter must be a [+PST] theme, whereas
into debt must be [–PST]. Notice that we have He managed to get his family there into the shelter
before the tornado struck, but not *He managed to get his family there into debt after a week–long
gambling binge.
108 Chapter Two
Second, while He got the family into the shelter entails that the family is in the shelter and He got
the family into debt entails that the family is in debt, the analyses of the two sentences must be
different. In the former, the shelter possesses the family (The shelter contains the family); in the
latter, the family possesses the debt (The family has debt). While one can paraphrase He got the
family into shelter (without the definite article before shelter) as He gave the family shelter, one
cannot paraphrase He got the family into the shelter (with the definite article) as He gave the family
the shelter. The two sentences have very different interpretations. Further, if we change the shelter
to some other container like a car, similar paraphrases are also impossible: He got the family into
the car does not mean that He gave the family the car.

Third, the selectional restrictions between the phrases in (70a) and those in (70b) are very different.
To illustrate this, let us refer to the phrase that occupies the slot in the spectrum specification
containing family as the “entity,” the one containing shelter as the “location,” and the one containing
debt as the “condition.” In (70a), the entity and the location are constrained by such considerations
as number and size. For example, He got/put all fifty members of his family into the car seems
farfetched, whereas He got/put all fifty members of his family into the bus does not. Notice that no
such constraint exists in a sentence like He got/put all fifty members of his family into debt or He
got/put the entire population of the city into danger. This distinction derives from the fact that
phrases like into the shelter and into the car are [+PST] whereas phrases like into debt and into
danger are [–PST]. As a result, the shelter must be analyzed as the primary AFC (the affected
object) in (70a). This is exactly what our theory predicts; recall that, in the physical relocation of
an entity (or entities), it is the space into and out of which a entity moves that is primarily affected,
not the entity itself.

The constraint between the entity and the condition in (70b) is entirely different. Basically, the
entity must be able to experience the condition. Thus, He got the family into debt and He got the
family into danger are possible because families can experience debt and danger. On the other hand,
He got the snake into debt and He got the pencil into danger make very little sense, if any. This
distinction derives from the fact that phrases like into debt and into danger are [–PST]. As a result,
the family must be analyzed as the primary AFC in (70b), not debt.

Lastly, while both of the sentences in (70) involve alienable possession, the family is the ASC (the
thing that is acquired by the shelter) in (70a), whereas debt is the ASC (the thing that is acquired by
the family) in (70b).

Given the above differences, into the shelter should be analyzed as an ILLATIVE (ILL) theme,
whereas into debt should be analyzed as a TERMINATIVE (TRM) theme, the theme which
expresses the condition into which something is transformed (see Page 44). Further, the position
in the spectrum specification occupied by into the shelter for a sentence like (70a) must be occupied
by the family for a sentence like (70b), not debt. Parallel representations are also required for the
following sentences:

(71) a. He got the family out of the shelter.


b. He got the family out of debt.
Chapter Two 109
The phrase out of the shelter is an ELATIVE (ELA) theme, whereas out of debt is an
ORIGINATIVE (ORG) theme, the theme which expresses the condition out of which something is
transformed (see Page 42). A comparison of the sentences in (70) with those in (71) is illuminating.
In both He got the family into the shelter and He got the family out of the shelter, it is the shelter that
is affected. Thus, He got the family into the shelter falls into the pattern of (64), and He got the
family out of the shelter falls into the pattern of (66). On the other hand, in both He got the family
into debt and He got the family out of debt, it is the family that is affected, so that, while the former
falls into the pattern of (64), the latter falls into the pattern of (65), not (66).

Before turning to the analysis of (70) and (71), recall that the schema for spectrum specifications
in Figure Five (Page 87) stipulates that the SOURCE slot must be filled by a theme that is [+DSJ,
±FST], that the GOAL slot must be filled by a theme that is [–DSJ, ±FST], and that the SCT must
be filled by a theme that is [–PST, –FST]. Recall also that TERMINATIVE (TRM) and
RESULTATIVE (RES) themes are [–PST, –DSJ, +CNJ, –FST] and that ORIGINITIVE (ORG) and
COMPOSITIONAL (CPS) themes are [–PST, +DSJ, –CNJ, –FST] (see Figures Three and Four on
Page 50). This means that, potentially, TRM and RES themes can fill the GOAL slot, that ORG
and CPS themes can fill the SOURCE slot, and that all four themes can fill the SCT slot as well.
In actuality, because of the distinction between alienable and inalienable possession, of the four
themes, only RES occurs in the GOAL slot, only CPS occurs in the SOURCE slot, and only TRM
and ORG occur as the SCT, as we will see directly.

NONSTATIVE REDUCTION (NSR; Page 28) will reduce a TRM to ASC, ORG to NASC, and
RES to ATT. CPS, however, will not reduce to NATT because CPS specifies an inalienable source.
Recall that EFC does not reduce to NPOS because, in nonreciprocal transfer, the entity which is the
SOURCE of the transfer does not lose what the entity which is the GOAL of the transfer gains (Page
38). Thus, a teacher does not lose his knowledge of French in teaching French to another, parents
do not lose their lives when they beget children, etc. Also, the material out of which some object
is made (the CPS theme) is not lost during the object’s creation. This distinction is a direct result
of the nature of inalienable possession. In a sentence like They crafted the vase out of silver, the
silver is both an alienable possession (it came from some place before it was used to make the vase)
and an inalienable possession (it becomes an intrinsic part of the vase). It remains part of the vase
during and after the vase’s creation, just as teachers retain their knowledge of a subject during and
after teaching. As such, it is both the ASC (alienable possession) and CPS (inalienable source).

Returning to (70) and (71), we propose the following analyses:

(72) POSITIONAL change (possession is alienable).

a. (get (EFC ATT AFC) (ELA ASC ILL))


(get (he FORM–1 shelter) (U family shelter))

He (EFC) got the family (ASC) into the shelter (ILL).


The family (ASC) is in the shelter (LOC)
The shelter (POS) contains the family (ASC).
110 Chapter Two
b. (get (EFC ATT AFC) (ELA ASC ILL))
(get (he FORM–1 shelter) (shelter family U))

He (EFC) got the family (ASC) out of the shelter (ELA).


The family (ASC) is out of the shelter (ABS).
The shelter (NPOS) does not contain the family (ASC).

(73) NONPOSITIONAL change (possession is alienable).

a. (get (EFC ATT AFC) (EFR TRM AFR))


(get (he FORM–1 family) (U debt family))

He (EFC) got the family (AFR) into debt (TRM).


The family (POS) is in debt (ASC).
The family (POS) has debt (ASC).

b. (get (EFC ATT AFC) (EFR ORG AFR))


(get (he FORM–1 family) (U debt family))

He (EFC) got the family (AFR) out of debt (ORG).


The family (POS) is out of debt (NASC)
The family (POS) has no debt (NASC).

The above representations will yield the correct results. Specifically, in (72), He got the family into
the shelter will correctly reduce to The shelter contains the family, and He got the family out of the
shelter will correctly reduce to The shelter does not contain the family. In (73), He got the family
into debt will correctly reduce to The family has debt, and He got the family out of debt will correctly
reduce to The family has no debt. Notice that the ASC, TRM, and ORG themes are all [–FST],
which allows them to occupy the SCT portion of the spectrum specifications as Figure Five (Page
87) requires.

It may appear that the above representations are counter–intuitive because they line up the themes
differently, that is, we have (74) instead of (75).

(74) a. family into the shelter / family out of the shelter


b. into debt family / out of debt family

(75) a. family into the shelter / family out of the shelter


b. family into debt / family out of debt

There is, however, a logic to the reversals in (74). Notice that debt cannot be considered a container
like the shelter and cannot experience or undergo family. We therefore have the following principle:
Chapter Two 111
(76) When the noun serving as the GOAL or SOURCE cannot be an affected entity, the primary
AFC defaults to the AFR, regardless of where that AFR is in the spectrum specification.

We see the above principle operating very clearly in a verb like force, whose lexical specification
will be discussed in detail in Chapter Seven in connection with nonfinite phrases (He forced them
into reconciling; He forced them to reconcile; see especially Page 473). Consider the following:

(77) a. He forced them (ASC) into the shelter (ILL).


b. They (ASC) are in the shelter (LOC).
c. The shelter (POS) contains them (ASC).

(78) a. He forced the peace treaty (TRM) upon/on them (AFR).


b. He forced them (AFR) into the peace treaty (TRM).
c. They (POS) have the peace treaty (ASC).

Note that (78a) parallels (77a). However, (78b), which means roughly the same thing as (78a),
reverses the order of the themes and reduces to (78c) since AFR reduces to POS and TRM reduces
to ASC via NSR. Since peace treaties cannot experience people, (76) applies.

The use of upon/on in (78a), instead of the expected to, is interesting and may reflect a subregularity
in the choice of markers. Quite often, English selects prepositions which rather graphically illustrate
the type of movement implied, as the following pairs show:

(79) a. He put a spell on her.


b. He put her under a spell.

(80) a. He got the overalls on the baby.


b. He got the baby into the overalls.

Consider now the following pair:

(81) a. He made the spare room into his office with some new office furniture.
b. He made his office out of the spare room with some new office furniture.

These sentences require three special comments. First, both of the above examples entail that the
room (an inalienable SOURCE; CPS) becomes an office (an inalienable GOAL; RES), that is, what
had been just a spare room is now an office. Further, the transformation was accomplished with the
addition of furniture to the room. The furniture must be considered alienable, because it can be
removed and returned to wherever it came from, so that the room can regain its original form.
Crucially, when the furniture is removed, the room does not disappear; it remains a room. However,
the office nature of the room does disappear.

Second, in addition to involving alienable possession, the sentences in (81) also involve inalienable
possession. As expected, there is a FORM–1 change. Further, the inalienable source (the room in
112 Chapter Two
our example) has a new function. We will represent this change with the word sense USE–1 (‘the
function of an entity’).

Third, verbs of creation like the above have GOAL ORIENTATION or, more specifically RES
ORIENTATION. Notice that related sentences are ungrammatical when the RES theme is left
unexpressed:

(82) a. Has he finished making the spare room? (grammatical only if the room is RES)
b. Has he finished making his office?

We would expect, therefore, that the RES theme is the primary AFC. However, in verbs of creation,
the primary AFC (the entity that experiences or undergoes the change) is the SOURCE theme, the
entity out of which the RES is made. For example, when a caterpillar turns into a butterfly, it is the
caterpillar (or, perhaps, “proto–butterfly”) that experiences the transformation; similarly, when a
tadpole metamorphoses into a frog, it is the tadpole (or, perhaps, “proto–frog”) that experiences the
metamorphosis. These changes are, of course, gradual, with the original organism slowly assuming
the new form as a result of the loss of old characteristics and the gain of new ones. Technically, one
cannot speak of the butterfly or the frog as existing until the transformation is complete, so it is the
SOURCE or CPS theme that experiences the change.22

Actually, with a slight modification in our theory, we can account for this apparent contradiction in
determining the primary AFC. Recall that we have seen one exception to determining the primary
AFC in terms of the theme designated for orientation in a predicate’s lexical specification. The
exception occurs in verbs like learn and receive where the EFC theme is the primary AFC. From
this, we formulated the following principle (see Example 44 on Page 95):

(83) If the EFC is the AFR, and the inalienable transfer involves something other than
FORM–1, then the primary AFC is always the EFC_AFR, regardless of which theme is the
designated theme. In all other transfers, the primary AFC is the designated theme (PCOMP
or SCOMP1) in the list.

Now, observe that the CPS theme in the above examples, like the EFC theme, is an inalienable
SOURCE (see Figure Three on Page 50). To account for verbs of creation like the above, we need
merely modify (83) to (84), which, as before, derives directly from the nature of inalienable
possession.

(84) If the inalienable source (EFC or CPS; [–PST, +DSJ, –CNJ, +PRX, –EXT]) is the AFR,
and the inalienable transfer involves something other than FORM–1 alone, then the
primary AFC is always that inalienable SOURCE regardless of which theme is the
designated theme. In all other transfers, the primary AFC is the designated theme (PCOMP
or SCOMP1) in the list.

Given all these considerations, we propose the following spectrum specification for both of the
above examples:
Chapter Two 113
(85) NONPOSITIONAL change (possession is both alienable and inalienable).

(make (EFC ATT AFC) (CPS ATT RES) (EFR ASC AFR))
(make (he FORM–1 room) (room USE–1 office) (U furniture room))

He (EFC) made the room (CPS) into the office (RES) with the furniture (ASC).
He (EFC) made the office (RES) out of the room (CPS) with the furniture (ASC).
The room (POS) has the furniture (ASC).

The above representation yields exactly the right results. The room (AFR) undergoes a change in
its FORM–1 by the addition of the furniture (ASC); further, it retains its function as a room
(container) and, as an office (RES), acquires the function of an office.

As a last example, let us consider pairs of sentences like the following, which are different from the
above in a number of ways:

(86) a. He knitted the leftover yarn into a scarf.


b. He knitted the scarf out of the leftover yarn.

In these examples, the yarn is the inalienable SOURCE (CPS), the ASC, and the AFR. In both (86a)
and (86b), the (unknitted) yarn, an alienable possession (ASC), is gradually transferred to itself
(AFR) in the form of knitted yarn. The (unknitted) yarn undergoes a FORM–1 change and a change
in growth (GROWTH–1) during the knitting. This example, therefore, differs from the ones in (81)
in an essential way. In (81), the room exists before it is turned into an office. A caterpillar and a
tadpole exist before they experience the physical and physiological changes that produce the mature
organism. But, in the present example, nothing exists before the knitting aside from the yarn (except
perhaps some Platonic idea of a scarf in the yarn). Furthermore, the (unknitted) yarn becomes an
intrinsic part of the scarf. As such, it is an inalienable source (CPS) out of which the scarf (RES)
is made, so that the scarf ceases to exist if the yarn is removed. The yarn is therefore the primary
AFC, and since it is also the AFR and experiences a change other than FORM–1 alone, (84) is
applicable and the resulting product (the knitted yarn in the form of a scarf) contains the (unknitted)
yarn.

Given these considerations, we propose the following:

(87) NONPOSITIONAL change (possession is both alienable and inalienable).

(knit (EFC ATT AFC) (CPS ATT RES) (EFR ASC AFR))
(knit (he FORM–1 yarn) (yarn GROWTH–1 scarf) (U yarn yarn))

He (EFC) knitted the leftover yarn (CPS) into the scarf (RES).
He (EFC) knitted the scarf (RES) out of the leftover yarn (CPS).
He (EFC) knitted the scarf (RES) with the leftover yarn (ASC).
The (knitted) yarn (POS) has the (unknitted) yarn (ASC).
114 Chapter Two
Again, the above representations capture the facts correctly and yield the correct results. In both
examples, the (knitted) yarn (AFR) will reduce to POS via NSR so that both (86a) and (86b) entail
that the (knitted) yarn contains the (unknitted) yarn (ASC).

2.11 INCORPORATION.

Frequently, the meaning of a word is complex and contains several distinct elements. For example,
we have suggested that words like teach, inculcate, disabuse, forget, etc. incorporate the idea
KNOWLEDGE–1. In this section, we will explore this hypothesis in more detail beginning with
a discussion of adjective classes in English.

Consider the following three groups of adjectives and their syntactic/semantic restrictions (the
adjective black is intended to refer to skin color only):

(88) a. Joe is black/blond/blind/blue–eyed/feverish.


b. Joe is rich/bearded/drunk./The room is furnished./The shirt is pleated.
c. Joe is quiet/confident/abusive/ambitious/loving.

(89) a. *Joe blackly did it.


b. *Joe richly did it.
c. Joe quietly did it.

(90) a. *Joe did it blackly.


b. *Joe did it richly.
c. Joe did it quietly.

(91) a. *Joe is being black./*What he’s doing is being black.


b. *Joe is being rich./*What he’s doing is being rich.
c. Joe is being quiet./What he’s doing is being quiet.

(92) a. *Joe has been black often in his life.


*I consider Joe black./*He acts black.
b. Joe has been rich often in his life.
I consider Joe rich./He acts rich.
c. Joe has been quiet often in his life.
I consider Joe quiet./He acts quiet.

The first group of adjectives (Class I: ATTRIBUTIVE) includes attributes like skin color, eye color,
and sightedness (88a), which are clear cases of inalienable possessions: they are intrinsic, originate
or result from purely internal conditions or states, and are not reciprocally transferable. Thus, black
in the above examples is used to refer to skin color alone, not behavior.
Chapter Two 115
The second group (Class II: ASSOCIATIVE) includes attributes like affluence, sobriety, and satiety
(88b), which, on the other hand, have the characteristics of alienable possessions: they are extrinsic,
do not result from purely internal conditions or states, and are reciprocally transferable. Being rich,
drunk, or full is a state that generally results from the acquisition or nonacquisition of some external
substance, and one cannot acquire that substance without a concomitant loss elsewhere. Of course,
situations which contradict this are imaginable, and it is entirely possible, if not expected, that other
languages will view things differently (see below); however, in English, the behavior of these
modifiers suggests that they are viewed as involving the transfer of some substance or condition
from without so that they tend to be used as modifiers describing impermanent conditions. Though
they have internal effects, they are properly classed as extrinsic. For this reason, we have the
examples in (92b). If the subject is human, choice becomes possible. On the other hand, there is
no choice, it appears, with regard to attributes like skin color.

The third group (Class III: CIRCUMSTANTIAL) includes inalienable attributes that are nonstative.
They are inalienable because they generally are intrinsic characteristics not acquired from without;
they are nonstative or dynamic, as the examples in (91c) clearly show. Given these qualities, we can
label them CIRCUMSTANTIAL, which is a relation like ATTRIBUTIVE except that it is
[+EXTENSIONAL]. Recall that EXTENSIONAL relations can be dynamic even when they are
["DISJUNCTURAL, "CONJUNCTURAL]. In English, circumstantial adjectives are the basis for
manner adverbs and usually have a variety of paraphrases: X–ly, with X–ness, in an X manner; for
example, quietly, with quiet(ness), in a quiet manner.

There is a fourth group (Class IV: INSTRUMENTAL) of descriptive expressions that completes this
quartet, namely, expressions indicating instrumentality. Their most common use is adverbial, and,
in this regard, they are very much like Class III manner adverbs. We have examples like (93).

(93) a. He viewed the heavens telescopically. (=with a telescope; using a telescope)


b. He fastened the handouts with a stapler.
c. He loaded the hay with a pitchfork.
d. He stabbed the soldier with a bayonet.

As adjectives and/or verbs, we have examples like those in (94).

(94) a. The landing gear is telescopic. (=operates with a telescope)


b. The handouts are all stapled.
c. The hay was pitchforked into the wagon.
d. He bayoneted the soldier.

The use of instrumental adjectives as predicate adjectives referring to animate subjects or as


prenominal modifiers (a telepathic man) is somewhat marginal; typically, instrumental expressions
are verbal modifiers (93). For this reason, examples of Class IV modifiers were not given along
with the other three classes in (88) ) (92). Class I and II expressions are mainly descriptive
adjectives. Class III modifiers are common as both descriptive adjectives (ambitious) and manner
adverbs (ambitiously).
116 Chapter Two
Classes I and II are found mainly in phrases with noun heads; Classes III and IV, in phrases with
verb heads. But there is overlap: all classes are potentially predicate adjectives (Class IV, rarely).
As a group, these four modifiers, (ATTRIBUTIVE, ASSOCIATIVE, CIRCUMSTANTIAL, and
INSTRUMENTAL) share the following features: [–POSITIONAL, "DISJUNCTURAL,
"CONJUNCTURAL, –FIRST ORDER]. ATTRIBUTIVE and CIRCUMSTANTIAL, furthermore,
are [+PROXIMAL], while ASSOCIATIVE and INSTRUMENTAL are [–PROXIMAL].

Class membership for modifiers must be assigned with great care for several reasons. First,
modifiers often have more than one sense. Sometimes there is a meaning change: rich meaning
‘wealthy, vivid, full,’ etc. The word microscopically, as an INSTRUMENTAL adverb, means ‘with
a microscope,’ but as a CIRCUMSTANTIAL adverb, means with great detail; thus, (95) is
ambiguous (See Quirk, R. et al. 1985, Chapter Eight, for discussion).

(95) He examined the specimen microscopically.

INSTRUMENTAL expressions typically involve something that is used as a tool even when they
do not specify a concrete object as in He used statistics in his analysis. CIRCUMSTANTIAL
expressions, on the other hand, do not involve something that is used as a tool; rather, they describe
the manner in which an act is done. As a result, a sentence like He analyzed the problem
statistically can be paraphrased by In analyzing the problem, he made use of statistics. On the other
hand, He analyzed the problem confidently would not ordinarily be paraphrased by In analyzing the
problem, he made use of confidence. In (95), microscopically refers either to the tool used in the
examination or to the manner in which the examination was conducted. Only the former reading
can be paraphrased by In examining the specimen, he made use of a microscope.

Second, modifiers can often be used with more than one orientation. For example, cleverly, is a
subject–oriented modifier in (96a), but a verb–oriented modifier (CIRCUMSTANTIAL) in (96b)
(See Jackendoff 1972, Chapter Three, for discussion).

(96) a. Cleverly, Joe answered the question. (= Joe was clever to answer the question.)
b. Joe answered the question cleverly. (= The manner in which Joe answered the
question was clever.)

Third, modifiers have both literal and extended senses. For example, blind denotes ‘lack of sight,’
but connotes ‘lack of discernment.’ The denotative meaning is ATTRIBUTIVE, referring to an
inalienable characteristic; the connotative meaning is CIRCUMSTANTIAL, referring to a dynamic,
optional characteristic. In (97), the meaning must be CIRCUMSTANTIAL.

(97) a. Joe acted blindly.


b. Don’t be so blind.

Fourth, there are some modifiers which, though related semantically, are best treated separately
because their usages are so different. For example, the adjective nervous has a clearly
ATTRIBUTIVE use in (98a), but is more commonly used as a CIRCUMSTANTIAL modifier (98b).
Chapter Two 117
(98) a. This is nervous tissue. (cf. *This tissue is nervous.)
b. Joe is a nervous person. (cf. Don’t be so nervous.)

To summarize, the individual modifiers display the following characteristics:

(99) CLASS I: ATTRIBUTIVE. Example: black meaning ‘having black skin color.’

a. Do not occur in the progressive or imperative: *Joe is being too black./*Do be black.
b. Do not allow frequentative expressions: *Joe is often black.
c. Cannot modify the verb do: *Joe did it blackly.

(100) CLASS II: ASSOCIATIVE. Example: rich meaning ‘having a lot of money.’

a. Do not occur in the progressive or imperative: *Joe is being too rich./*Do be rich.
b. Do allow frequentative expressions: Joe is often rich.
c. Cannot modify the verb do: *Joe did it richly.

(101) CLASS III: CIRCUMSTANTIAL. Example: quiet meaning ‘making little noise.’

a. Do occur in the progressive and imperative: Joe is being too quiet./Do be quiet.
b. Do allow frequentative expressions: Joe is often quiet.
c. Can modify the verb do: Joe did it quietly.
d. Cannot be paraphrased by make use of: *He made use of quiet in doing it.

(102) CLASS IV: INSTRUMENTAL. Example: statistical meaning ‘using statistics.’

a. Do occur in the progressive and imperative: Joe is being too statistical./Don’t be so


statistical.
b. Do allow frequentative expressions: Joe is often statistical.
c. Can modify the verb do: Joe did it statistically.
d. Can be paraphrased by make use of: Joe made use of statistics in doing it.

As we have noted, the adjectival constructions above alternate with verbal and prepositional
constructions that have similar meanings:

(103) ATTRIBUTIVE.

a. a freckly face/his face has freckles/a face with freckles


b. a shiny floor/the floor has a shine/a floor with a shine
c. a long–legged woman/the woman has long legs/a woman with long legs
118 Chapter Two
(104) ASSOCIATIVE.

a. a furnished room/the room has furniture/a room with furniture


b. a coiffured woman/the woman has a coiffure/a woman with a coiffure
c. a ruffled skirt/the skirt has ruffles/a shirt with ruffles

(105) CIRCUMSTANTIAL.

a. an ambitious woman/the woman has ambition/a woman with ambition


b. a scrupulous man/the man has scruples/a man with scruples
c. a patient teacher/the teacher has patience/a teacher with patience

(106) INSTRUMENTAL.

a. a surgical treatment/he used surgery in the treatment/to treat with surgery


b. a statistical analysis/he used statistics in the analysis/to analyze with statistics
c. a metaphorical description/he used metaphor in the description/to describe with
metaphor

There are negative counterparts of the above four classes as our theory predicts:

(107) NONATTRIBUTIVE.

a. a unfreckled face/his face has no freckles/a face without freckles


b. a fearless man/he has no fears/a man without fear
c. a toothless animal/the animal has no teeth/an animal without teeth

(108) NONASSOCIATIVE

a. an unfurnished room/the room has no furniture/a room without furniture


b. an unsigned check/the check has no signature/a check without a signature
c. a shoeless beggar/the beggar has no shoes/a beggar without shoes

(109) NONCIRCUMSTANTIAL.

a. an unambitious woman/the woman has no ambition/a woman without ambition


b. an undisciplined child/the child has no discipline/a child without discipline
c. a purposeless job/the job has no purpose/a job without a purpose

(110) NONINSTRUMENTAL.

a. a nonsurgical treatment/he used no surgery in the treatment/to treat without surgery


b. salt–free cooking/he used no salt in his cooking/to cook without salt
c. an unguarded prison/they used no guards in the prison/to imprison without guards
Chapter Two 119
Thus, we have adjectival, verbal, and prepositional constructions each occurring both positively and
negatively. As expected, different languages express the same idea in different ways. Consider the
following, where the “a” example is English, the “b” example is German, the “c” example is French
and the “d” example is Italian (the literal translations are in parentheses).

(111) a. I am cold.
b. Mir ist kalt. (To me is cold)
c. J’ai froid. (I have cold)
d. Ho freddo. (I have cold)

(112) a. I am glad.
b. Es freut mich. (It gladdens me)
c. Je suis heureux. (I am happy)
d. Sono contento. (I am content)

(113) a. I am hungry.
b. Ich habe Hunger. (I have hunger)
Ich bin hungrig. (I am hungry)
c. J’ai faim. (I have hunger)
d. Ho fame. (I have hunger)

(114) a. I am in a hurry.
b. Ich bin in der Eile. (I am in the hurry)
c. Je suis pressé. (I am pressed)
d. Ho fretta. (I have hurry)

(115) a. I am sorry.
b. Es tut mir leid. (It does to me sorry)
c. Je (le) regrette. (I (it) regret)
d. Mi dispiace. (It sorrows me)

(116) a. I’m fine.


b. Es geht mir gut. (It goes to me well)
c. Je vais bien. (I go well)
d. Sto bene. (I am/stay well)

Even within any one language there is much idiosyncratic variation. For example, in English, there
are numerous periphrastic expressions using “light” verbs like have, take, make, do, give, etc.
(Cattell 1984). Consider the following:23

(117) a. He had a dream. He dreamt.


b. He had a meeting with her. He met with her.
c. He had an argument with her. He argued with her.
120 Chapter Two
(118) a. He took a bath every day. He bathed every day.
b. He took a walk around the block. He walked around the block.
c. He took a nap. He napped.
d. He took a look at it. He looked at it.

(119) a. He made a dash for his car. He dashed for his car.
b. He made an attempt to finish. He attempted to finish.
c. He made an escape. He escaped.
d. He made an offer of money to her. He offered money to her.

(120) a. He did a dance around the room. He danced around the room.
b. He did a cartwheel. He cartwheeled.
c. He did them harm. He harmed them.

(121) a. He gave her a warning about it. He warned her about it.
b. He gave the children a spanking. He spanked the children.
c. He gave her a kiss. He kissed her.
d. He gave her a back rub. He rubbed her back.

We find light verb paraphrases in other languages as well.24 Consider the following where the
choice of light verb alternative is apparently idiosyncratic (again, the order of languages is English,
German, French, Italian, and the literal translations are in parentheses) :

(122) a. to take a bath


b. baden (to bathe)
c. se baigner (to bathe oneself)
prendre un bain (to take a bath)
d. fare il bagno (to make a bath)

(123) a. to take a nap


b. ein Schläfen halten (to keep a sleep)
c. faire la sieste (to make a nap)
d. fare un somnellino (to make a nap)

(124) a. to take a walk


b. spazierengehen (to go walking)
c. faire un promenade (to make a walk)
d. passeggiare (to walk)

Given these data, it is clear that a mechanism must be found which can reduce the varying
constructions to similar representations thereby facilitating semantic analysis. The varying
expressions in (111) through (116) and the light verb paraphrases in (117) through (124) suggest that
the kinds of spectrum specifications we have already discussed should be extended to cover all
predicates. To see how that can be achieved, recall first that spectrum specifications often contain
Chapter Two 121
a word sense, particularly in the SCT slot. We have discussed examples like (125).

(125) John killed the snake.

(kill (EFC DEATH–1 AFC))

The SCT in this representation is DEATH–1, ‘the state of being dead in an animate being.’ The
lexical specification for DEATH–1 indicates that it is an IPS characteristic, that is, an inalienably
possessed characteristic (the ATTRIBUTIVE theme). This information is incorporated into the
meaning of kill in (125), as well as die in (126) and dead in (127), where the “U” indicates that the
SOURCE is unspecified.

(126) The snake died from overexposure.

(die (CAU DEATH–1 AFC))

(127) The snake is dead.

(dead (U DEATH–1 IPS))

Notice that (125) and (126) are virtually identical, the only difference being the SOURCE of the
death (EFFECTIVE or agent in (125) and CAUSAL in (126)). Both are INGRESSIVE (IGR)
predicates (see Section 2.3, especially Figure Five on Page 87) because the endpoints of their
spectrum specifications are both ["DSJ, –"CNJ]. Thus, excessive smoking killed John and John
died from excessive smoking would have identical spectrum specifications since both have a
CAUSAL theme. The AFFECTIVE theme in both (125) and (126) will reduce, via NONSTATIVE
REDUCTION (NSR) in (see Page 28), to an IPS theme indicating that the snake is the possessor of
the inalienable attribute DEATH–1. Since the transfer involves an inalienable attribute, the
EFFECTIVE theme will not reduce: as discussed in Section 2.6 (Page 93), when an inalienable
attribute arises in an AFC there is no concomitant loss from the EFC, a fact rooted in the nature of
inalienable possession.

Unlike these examples, (127) is a CONGRESSIVE (CGR) predicate since it contains IPS, an
["DSJ, "CNJ] relation. Even if the SOURCE is specified as in (128), the predicate remains stative:
CAU cannot reduce because DEATH–1 is an inalienable attribute.

(128) ?The snake is dead from overexposure.

(dead (CAU DEATH–1 IPS))

Second, notice that many English verbs reduce to one or more incorporated case relations, quite
commonly, to one of the four modifier classes discussed above, ATTRIBUTIVE, ASSOCIATIVE,
CIRCUMSTANTIAL, and INSTRUMENTAL:
122 Chapter Two
(129) Joe killed Bob.
DEATH–1 is ‘the state of being dead in an animate being.’
(kill incorporates DEATH–1 which is ATT)

a. *Joe is being dead.


b. *Joe is often dead. (not literally)

(130) Joe nauseated Bob.


NAUSEA–1 is ‘a bodily disturbance inducing a need to vomit.’
(nauseate incorporates NAUSEA–1 which is ASC)

a. Don’t be nauseous.
b. ?Joe did it nauseously.

(131) The accident troubled Bob.


TROUBLE–1 is ‘a state of distress, affliction, or need.’
(trouble incorporates TROUBLE–1 which is CIR)

a. Don’t be troubled.
b. Joe is often troubled.

(132) Joe hammered the nail.


HAMMER–1 is ‘a hand tool used to exert an impulsive force by striking.’
(hammer incorporates HAMMER–1 which is INS)

a. Joe used a hammer to nail.


b. Joe did the nailing with that hammer.

Examples like (129) ) (132) indicate that some items that occur in a particular slot in a spectrum
specification can be incorporated into a main verb. Since the slots in every spectrum specification
are filled either with feature clusters defining thematic relations or with a word sense, suppose we
say that any word sense mentioned anywhere in a spectrum specification is a concept incorporated
into a predicate’s meaning. Such word senses are abstract universal concepts and have no particular
part of speech. Generally, such a concept is an inalienable SCT, but it could be an alienable SCT
as in butter the bread, salt the soup, desalinate the water, etc. Further, the concept could be a one
that specifies a thematic relation, e.g., INTO–1 is incorporated in the verb enter in sentences like He
entered the room. Incorporated concepts define part of a predicate’s meaning necessary to complete
the spectrum specification. However, these concepts are abstract and not realized in syntax as an
overt phrase with a grammatical function. Thus, (133a) is analyzed like the light verb paraphrase
in (133b).

(133) a. The cop ticketed John.


b. The cop gave John a ticket.
Chapter Two 123
The spectrum specification for (133a) is (134a), instantiated as (134b).

(134) The cop ticketed John. (TICKET–1 is incorporated into the verb)

a. (EFC FORM–1 AFC) (EFR TICKET–1 AFR)


b. (cop FORM–1 John) (cop TICKET–1 John)

The spectrum specification for (133b) is (135a), instantiated as (135b).

(135) The cop gave John a ticket.

a. (EFC FORM–1 AFC) (EFR ASC AFR)


b. (cop FORM–1 John) (cop ticket John)

The difference between the two examples above is that (134) involves the incorporation of the word
sense TICKET–1, whereas (135) involves the actual use of the lexical item ticket. Since TICKET–1
is an alienable possession, it corresponds to the theme ASC in (135).

Sometimes, more than one word sense is incorporated, so that the internal representation of a verb’s
meaning is very complex. For example, consider again the verb wax. On the one hand, this verb
involves reciprocal transfer, the transfer of wax (WAX–1), an ASC possession, from some
U(nderstood) container to the floor. We represent this as (136).

(136) U ) waxed ) the floor


EFR ) WAX–1 ) AFR

But there is more to waxing a floor than simply transferring wax to it. In addition to meaning ‘give
wax to,’ wax means ‘give a shine to’: when one waxes a floor, one transfers the wax to the floor and
then rubs it in to give the floor a shine. Since SHINE–1 is an IPS concept, another part of the
activity of the verb wax has a pointer to ATT. This activity is a case of nonreciprocal transfer, which
we represent as (137).

(137) Joe ) waxed ) the floor


EFC ) SHINE–1 ) AFC

These data indicate that Joe waxed the floor is a composite proposition with the spectrum
specification in (138) instantiated in (139):

(138) (IGR (EFC SHINE–1 AFC) (EFR WAX–1 AFR))

(139) (wax (Joe SHINE–1 the floor) (U WAX–1 the floor))

The above examples involve the incorporation of one or more lexical concepts into the meaning of
lexical items. Verbs similar to wax include poison, where both DEATH–1, or perhaps INJURY–1
124 Chapter Two
(They poisoned him, but he didn’t die), and POISON–1 are transferred; inflate, where both
EXPANSION–1 and AIR–1 are transferred; acidify, where both ACIDITY–1 and ACID–1 are
transferred; and so on.

In a verb such as bleach, the bleach is transferred to the object and its color is removed. Thus, we
have representations like (140).

(140) Joe bleached the fabric.

(IGR (EFC NATT AFC) (EFR ASC_INS AFR))


(bleach (Joe COLOR–1 fabric) (U BLEACH–1 fabric))

Other verbs like bleach include anesthetize or numb, where an ANESTHETIC–1 is transferred and
CONSCIOUSNESS–1 or SENSATION–1 is removed; embalm or mummify, where
BODILY_FLUID–1 is replaced with a PRESERVATIVE–1; evaporate, where MOISTURE–1 is
lost as HEAT–1 is gained; and so on.

In some complex cases, the SOURCE or GOAL slots of the spectrum specification have the entire
theme (preposition and object) represented by word senses. This most frequently occurs in verbs
like bottle, pocket, imprison, shelve, land, beach, inter, disinter, unanchor, unfetter, exhume, etc.
For example, consider the representation of pocket in (141), where the notation specifies a
(sub)predicate INTO–1 with an argument POCKET–1.25

(141) Joe (EFC) pocketed the money (ASC).

(IGR (EFC ATT AFC ) (ELA ASC ILL))


(pocket (Joe FORM–1 POCKET–1) (U money (INTO–1 POCKET–1))

Sometimes a modifier theme can be incorporated into the meaning of a verb. Consider the
following:

(142) John ferried to the island.

This sentence can mean either (143) or (144).

(143) John ferried himself to the island./John got himself to the island by ferry.

a. (EFC FORM–1 AFC) (ABL ASC ALL)


b. (John FORM–1 island) (U John island)

(144) A ferry got John to the island./A ferry took John to the island.

a. (EXP FORM–1 AFC) (ABL ASC ALL)


b. (ferry FORM–1 island) (U John island)
Chapter Two 125
The same ambiguity in (142) occurs in the following:

(145) a. John took a ferry to the island.


b. John got to the island by ferry.
c. John went to the island by ferry.

Note that (146) can only have the interpretation with John as EFC, that is, (143) not (144).

(146) A ferry was taken to the island by John.

All these examples are related to (147) which have the spectrum specifications in (148):

(147) a. They got John to the island by ferry.


b. They took John to the island by ferry.
c. They ferried John to the island.

(148) a. (EFC FORM–1 AFC) (ABL ASC ALL)


b. (they FORM–1 island) (U John island)

The verb ferry has the following theme list:

(149) ferry
a. SUBJECT: EFC
b. PCOMP: ASC
c. SCOMP1: ILL_ALL
d. SCOMP2: ELA_ABL
e. MOD: EXP: (BY–1 FERRY–1)

The modifier theme in this theme list is specified as EXP: (BY–1 FERRY–1), which means that the
preposition BY–1 and its complement FERRY–1 is an incorporated EXPEDIENTIAL phrase (one
that expresses means). The verb also has GOAL ORIENTATION since ILL_ALL is mentioned in
the first SCOMP slot. If the first three slots of the theme list are realized lexically, we get example
(142) with the reading (143) when the EFC and the ASC are coreferential, and example (147c) when
the EFC and the ASC are not coreferential. If the EFC is not instantiated, then the ASC is promoted
to SUBJECT slot, and we get example (142) with the reading (144). These examples can be
generalized to others involving different conveyances:

(150) John jetted to Paris.

a. A jet took John to Paris.


b. John took a jet to Paris.
c. John got to Paris by jet.
d. John went to Paris by jet.
126 Chapter Two
What is needed in the above account is a way to eliminate the redundancies between the spectrum
specifications and the theme list. Further, we need a way to predict which themes can be promoted
up the theme list, e.g., from PCOMP to SUBJECT, when a prior theme is not instantiated. Such
alternations are of the type discussed exhaustively in Levin (1993). We will address these issues
in Chapters Five and Six.

2.12 SUMMARY OF SPECTRUM SPECIFICATIONS.

Although it is not possible to outline a set of steps by which one can automatically determine the
spectrum specification for individual predicates, we have seen above that there are a number of
guidelines one can follow. The purpose of this summary is to collect those observations into one
section and to present a representative list of spectrum specifications.

First, one must determine whether the specific use of a predicate is [+PST] or [–PST]. As we have
noted, positional predicates have the following characteristics:

(151) a. Positional predicates take complements that are places, e.g., Detroit, desert, and
building.
b. The complements of positional predicates can be filled with positional quantifiers
like here, there, downstairs, overseas, etc.
c. Positional predicates freely occur with phrases containing a distance measurement,
e.g., miles, feet, etc.
d. Positional predicates freely admit positional question phrases like where, how far and
in which direction.
e. Positional predicates enter into construction with a larger range of prepositions than
nonpositional predicates.

Second, one must determine the orientation of the predicate, specifically, whether it has SOURCE
ORIENTATION, GOAL ORIENTATION or NONSPECIFIC ORIENTATION. The indicators of
ORIENTATION are the markers (prepositions, postpositions, or cases) that surface when the themes
have the structure of a prepositional phrase (or postposition phrase or oblique case).
ORIENTATION determines which theme is the primary AFC (affected entity) in the spectrum
specification, except when the subject is an inalienable source (EFC or CPS; see (84)). The two
major groups for English are as follows:

(152) SOURCE ORIENTATION (from, out of, of).

a. He bought the car from her.


b. He lead the army out of the city.
c. He died of cancer.
Chapter Two 127
(153) GOAL ORIENTATION (to, into, for).

a. He sold the car to her.


b. He lead the army into the city.
c. He read for relaxation.

Third, one must determine what specific themes the predicate is subcategorized for. Again, the
indicators of the themes involved are the markers that surface when the themes have the structure
of a prepositional phrase (or postposition phrase or oblique case). The unmarked prepositions for
English are those indicated in Figures One and Two for positional themes (Page 27) and Figures
Three and Four for nonpositional themes (Page 50). Some of the most common nonpositional
themes and their associated, unmarked prepositions in English are the following:

(154) a. [+DSJ, –CNJ]]

1. EFFERENTIAL EFR from He bought it FROM HER.


2. EFFECTIVE EFC from He had a visit FROM HER.

3. COMPOSITIONAL CPS out of He made it OUT OF WOOD.


4. CAUSAL CAU out of He acted OUT OF GUILT.

b. [–DSJ, +CNJ]]

1. AFFERENTIAL AFR to He sold it TO HER.


2. AFFECTIVE AFC to He was mean TO HER

3. BENEFACTIVE BEN for He went to the store FOR HER.


4. PURPOSIVE PUR for He exercises FOR FUN.

c. ["DSJ, "CNJ]

1. ASSOCIATIVE ASC with He supplied her WITH DRUGS.


2. INSTRUMENTAL INS with He built it WITH TOOLS.
3. COMITATIVE COM with He built it WITH HER.
4. CIRCUMSTANTIAL CIR with He built it WITH CARE.

Fourth, one must determine the alienable and inalienable SCT’s (the entity that is Specified,
Changed, or Transferred) in any instance of location ([+PST]) or possession ([–PST]). Once again,
the indicators of the SCT are the markers. Generally, in alienable possession and GOAL
ORIENTATION, the SCT is marked by the preposition with (see (64)); in alienable possession and
SOURCE orientation, it is marked by of (see (66)). Generally, in inalienable possession, the SCT
is an abstract word sense, most commonly FORM–1 (‘the spacial configuration of an object
including any interior space’) or FORM–2 (‘the internal composition of an object, i.e., what it is
made of’). The distinction between FORM–1 and FORM–2 as follows (see Page 89):
128 Chapter Two
(155) FORM–1: pour in He poured the water from the bottle into the glass.

a. FORM–1 involves inalienable attributes of an object’s outward appearance such as


its spatial configuration.
b. FORM–1 is altered in change–of–position predicates like pour.
c. FORM–1 changes are reciprocal (both the SOURCE and the GOAL are affected).

(156) FORM–2: teach in He teaches linguistics to undergraduates.

a. FORM–2 involves inalienable attributes of an object’s inner nature such as what it


is made of, what it knows, and what it experiences.
b. FORM–2 is altered in change–of–state predicates like kill (physiological change),
teach (mental change), and melt (compositional change).
c. FORM–2 changes are nonreciprocal.

It should be clear from the above synopsis that the theory presented in this book places great stress
on the significance of the particular markers that show up in the expression of themes. Although
the uses of prepositions in English often appears to be idiosyncratic, careful examination reveals that
there is an underlying system which predicts which prepositions will mark the themes in an
overwhelming majority of the uses. The same conclusion holds for the markers (prepositions,
postpositions and oblique cases) of themes in languages which differ from English, typologically,
historically and structurally.

We are now in a position to provide some answers to the questions asked in the Preface and repeated
here for convenience.

(157) a. Question: What accounts for the fact that lexical items with similar meaning govern
the same thematic marker (preposition, postposition or grammatical case)? For
example, in English, why are the complements of verbs like remove (She removed
the book from the shelf) and discourage (She discouraged him from going) both
introduced by the same marker from? Why does into show up in both She inserted
the key into the lock and She forced them into reconciling? What accounts for the
fact that similar classes of lexical items exist in other languages as diverse as
Japanese and Newari?

b. Answer: All predicates can be mapped into spectrum specifications of a universal


form that involves a SOURCE, a GOAL, and an SCT (something that is Specified,
Changed, or Transferred). The individual characteristics of spectrum specifications
reveal a typology of predicates, which is grounded in a formal distinction between
positional and nonpositional thematic relations, specific and nonspecific orientation,
and alienable and inalienable possession. Lexical items with similar meanings
govern the same thematic markers because they reduce to the same spectrum
specifications with the same thematic relations. Regardless of the language involved,
thematic markers are predictable from the features which define thematic relations.
Chapter Two 129
(158) a. Question: Why does the same thematic marker show up repeatedly in the world’s
languages for the same set of thematic relations? For example, why is the English
preposition to used to indicate the goal of motion (He flew to Paris), the recipient
(He gave it to her), and the person affected (He was mean to her)? And why are the
same three relations expressed by the preposition i in Welsh and the preposition a in
Italian, by the postposition ni in Japanese and the postposition ko in Hindi, by the
allative case in Finnish and Estonian and by the dative case in Latin, Sanskrit and
Turkish?

b. Answer: Thematic relations are semantic categories that consist of semantic features
defined in terms of human visual perception. The same marker is used for a set of
thematic relations because the relations in the set are defined by the same semantic
features. The markers (prepositions, postpositions, and cases) reflect the features,
not the thematic relations.

(159) a. Question: How can the uses of particular markers be generalized so that the
individual uses do not have to be listed? Specifically, is there some element common
to all uses of a preposition like to in English so that the presence of that element
“triggers” its occurrence? Further, can the same common element be generalized to
account for the use of the postposition ni in Japanese, the dative case in Turkish, and
semantically related markers in other languages?

b. Answer: The use of thematic markers can be generalized by making reference to the
features that make up the thematic relations the markers represent.

(160) a. When a language loses a particular thematic marker over time, say, a grammatical
case, what accounts for the new marker that is used? For example, when Ancient
Greek lost the ablative case as a morphologically distinct case, why were the
functions of the Indo–European ablative taken over by the Greek genitive and not,
say, the Greek dative? How does one account for the evolution of a language like
Latin, which marks many thematic relations with specific grammatical cases, into
one like Italian, which marks those same relations with prepositions?

b. Answer: The answer to this question is a combination of the preceding two answers.
We will explore the matter fully in Chapter Four.

Given the above remarks we have the following typical examples of spectrum specifications
involving POSITIONAL and NONPOSITIONAL predicates.
130 Chapter Two
POSITIONAL PREDICATES

(161) a. GOAL ORIENTATION ([+PST, –DSJ, +CNJ] | [+PST, –DSJ, –CNJ]).

IGR: John inserted the key into the lock./John put the spoon into the cup.

(insert (EFC ATT AFC) (ELA_ABL ASC ILL2))


(insert (John FORM–1 lock) (U key lock))

CGR: The key is in the lock.

(be (U ASC LOC2))


(be (U key lock))

b. SOURCE ORIENTATION ([+PST, +DSJ, –CNJ] | [+PST, +DSJ, +CNJ]).

IGR: John extracted the key from the lock./John took the spoon out of the cup.

(take (EFC ATT AFC) (ELA2 ASC ILL_ALL))


(take (John FORM–1 lock) (lock key U))

CGR: The key is out of the lock.

(be (U ASC ABS2))

GOAL ORIENTATION ([+PST, –DSJ, +CNJ] | [+PST, –DSJ, –CNJ]).


(be (U key lock))
(162) a.

IGR: John moved Sue into the house.

(move (EFC ATT AFC) (ELA_ABL ASC ILL2))


(move (John FORM–1 house) (U Sue house))

CGR: Sue lives in the house.

(live (U ASC LOC2))


(live (U Sue house))

b. SOURCE ORIENTATION ([+PST, +DSJ, –CNJ] | [+PST, +DSJ, +CNJ]).

IGR: John moved Sue out of the house.

(move (EFC ATT AFC) (ELA2 ASC ILL_ALL))


(move (John FORM–1 house) (house Sue U))

CGR: Sue lives out of the house.


(live (U ASC ABS2))
(live (U Sue house))
Chapter Two 131
(163) a. GOAL ORIENTATION ([+PST, –DSJ, +CNJ] | [+PST, –DSJ, –CNJ]).

IGR: John moved into the house.

(move (EFC ATT AFC) (ELA_ABL ASC ILL2))


(move (John FORM–1 house) (U SELF–1 house))

CGR: John lives in the house.

(live (U ASC LOC2))


(live (U John house))

b. SOURCE ORIENTATION ([+PST, +DSJ, –CNJ] | [+PST, +DSJ, +CNJ]).

IGR: John moved out of the house.

(move (EFC ATT AFC) (ELA2 ASC ILL_ALL))


(move (John FORM–1 house) (house SELF–1 U))

CGR: John lives out of the house.

(live (U ASC ABS2))


(live (U John house))

(164) a. GOAL ORIENTATION ([+PST, –DSJ, +CNJ] | [+PST, –DSJ, –CNJ]).

IGR: John entered the room.

(enter (EFC ATT AFC) (ELA_ABL ASC ILL2))


(enter (John FORM–1 room) (U SELF–1 room))

CGR: John is in the room.

(be (U ASC LOC2))


(be (U John room))

b. SOURCE ORIENTATION ([+PST, +DSJ, –CNJ] | [+PST, +DSJ, +CNJ]).

IGR: John exited the room.

(exit (EFC ATT AFC) (ELA2 ASC ILL_ALL))


(exit (John FORM–1 room) (room SELF–1 U))

CGR: John is out of the room.

(be (U ASC ABS2))


(be (U John room))
132 Chapter Two
(165) a. GOAL ORIENTATION ([+PST, –DSJ, +CNJ] | [+PST, –DSJ, –CNJ]).

IGR: John poured the water into the tub.

(pour (EFC ATT AFC) (ELA_ABL ASC ILL2))


(pour (John FORM–1 tub) (U water tub))

CGR: The water is in the tub.

(be (U ASC LOC2))


(be (U water tub))

b. SOURCE ORIENTATION ([+PST, +DSJ, –CNJ] | [+PST, +DSJ, +CNJ]).

IGR: John poured the water out of the tub.

(pour (EFC ATT AFC) (ELA2 ASC ILL_ALL))


(pour (John FORM–1 tub) (tub water U))

CGR: The water is out of the tub.

(be (U ASC ABS2))


(be (U water tub))

(166) a. GOAL ORIENTATION ([+PST, –DSJ, +CNJ] | [+PST, –DSJ, –CNJ]).

IGR: John stood the vase on the table.

(stand (EFC ATT AFC) (ELA_ABL ASC ILL1))


(stand (John FORM–1 vase) (U vase table))

CGR: The vase is standing on the table.

(stand (U ASC LOC1))


(stand (U vase table))

b. SOURCE ORIENTATION ([+PST, +DSJ, –CNJ] | [+PST, +DSJ, +CNJ]).

IGR: John stood the vase away from the table.

(stand (EFC ATT AFC) (ABL2 ASC ILL_ALL))


(stand (John FORM–1 vase) (table vase U))

CGR: The vase is standing away from the table.

(stand (U ASC ABE2))


(stand (U vase table))
Chapter Two 133
(167) a. GOAL ORIENTATION ([+PST, –DSJ, +CNJ] | [+PST, –DSJ, –CNJ]).

IGR: John jumped onto the horse.

(jump (EFC ATT AFC) (ELA_ABL ASC ILL1))


(jump (John FORM–1 horse) (U SELF–1 horse))

CGR: John is on the horse.

(be (U ASC LOC1))


(be (U John horse))

b. SOURCE ORIENTATION ([+PST, +DSJ, –CNJ] | [+PST, +DSJ, +CNJ]).

IGR: John jumped off the horse.

(jump (EFC ATT AFC) (ELA1 ASC ILL_ALL))


(jump (John FORM–1 horse) (horse SELF–1 U))

CGR: John is off the horse.

(be (U ASC ABS1))


(be (U John horse))

(168) a. GOAL ORIENTATION ([+PST, –DSJ, +CNJ] | [+PST, –DSJ, –CNJ]).

IGR: The lamp fell onto the floor.

(fall (CAU ATT AFC) (ELA_ABL ASC ILL1))


(fall (U FORM–1 floor) (U lamp floor))

CGR: The lamp is on the floor.

(be (U ASC LOC1))


(be (U lamp floor))

b. SOURCE ORIENTATION ([+PST, +DSJ, –CNJ] | [+PST, +DSJ, +CNJ]).

IGR: The lamp fell off the table.

(fall (CAU ATT AFC) (ELA1 ASC ILL_ALL))


(fall (U FORM–1 table) (table lamp U))

CGR: The lamp is off the table.

(be (U ASC ABS1))


(be (U lamp table))

NONPOSITIONAL PREDICATES
134 Chapter Two

(169) a. GOAL ORIENTATION ([–PST, –DSJ, +CNJ] | [–PST, –DSJ, –CNJ]).

IGR: John sold the car to Sue./John gave the car to Sue.

(sell (EFC ATT AFC) (EFR ASC AFR))


(sell (John FORM–1 Sue) (U car Sue))

CGR: Sue owns the car./Sue has the car.

(own (U ASC APS))


(own (U car Sue))

b. SOURCE ORIENTATION ([–PST, +DSJ, –CNJ] | [–PST, +DSJ, +CNJ]).

IGR: John bought the car from Sue./John took the car from Sue.

(buy (EFC ATT AFC) (EFR ASC AFR))


(buy (John FORM–1 Sue) (U car John))

CGR: Sue does not own the car./Sue does not have the car.

(own (U ASC NAPS))


(own (U car Sue))

(170) a. GOAL ORIENTATION ([–PST, –DSJ, +CNJ] | [–PST, –DSJ, –CNJ]).

IGR: John provided Sue with that right.

(provide (EFC ATT AFC) (EFR ASC AFR))


(provide (John FORM–1 Sue) (U right Sue))

CGR: Sue has that right.

(have (U ASC APS))


(have (U right Sue))

b. SOURCE ORIENTATION ([–PST, +DSJ, –CNJ] | [–PST, +DSJ, +CNJ]).

IGR: John deprived Sue of that right.

(deprive (EFC ATT AFC) (EFR ASC AFR))


(deprive (John FORM–1 Sue) (Sue right U))

CGR: Sue lacks that right.

(lack (U ASC NAPS))


(lack (U right Sue))
Chapter Two 135
(171) a. GOAL ORIENTATION ([–PST, –DSJ, +CNJ] | [–PST, –DSJ, –CNJ]).

IGR: John filled the tub with water.

(fill (EFC ATT AFC) (EFR ASC AFR))


(fill (John FORM–1 tub) (U water tub))

CGR: The tub is full of water./The tub is filled with water.

(full (U ASC APS))


(full (U water tub))

b. SOURCE ORIENTATION ([–PST, +DSJ, –CNJ] | [–PST, +DSJ, +CNJ]).

IGR: The king robbed those rights from the women./The king robbed the women of those rights.

(rob (EFC ATT AFC) (EFR ASC AFR))


(rob (king FORM–1 women) (women rights U))

CGR: The women lack those rights./The women are bereft of those rights.

(lack (U ASC NAPS))


(lack (U rights women))

(172) a. GOAL ORIENTATION ([–PST, –DSJ, +CNJ] | [–PST, –DSJ, –CNJ]).

IGR: John showed the car to Sue.

(show (EFC ATT AFC) (EFR ASC AFR))


(show (John VISION–1 Sue) (U car Sue))

CGR: Sue saw the car.

(see (U ATT IPS) (U ASC APS))


(see (U VISION–1 Sue) (U car Sue))

b. SOURCE ORIENTATION ([–PST, +DSJ, –CNJ] | [–PST, +DSJ, +CNJ]).

IGR: John stole the car from Sue.

(steal (EFC ATT AFC) (EFR ASC AFR))


(steal (John FORM–1 Sue) (Sue car U))

CGR: Sue lost the car to John.

(lose (NAPS ASC APS))


(lose (Sue car John))
136 Chapter Two
(173) a. GOAL ORIENTATION ([–PST, –DSJ, +CNJ] | [–PST, –DSJ, –CNJ]).

IGR: John taught French to Sue./John taught Sue French

(teach (EFC ATT AFC) (EFR ASC AFR))


(teach (John KNOWLEDGE–1 Sue) (U French Sue))

CGR: Sue knows French.

(know (U ATT IPS) (U ASC APS))


(know (U KNOWLEDGE–1 Sue) (U French Sue))

b. SOURCE ORIENTATION ([–PST, +DSJ, –CNJ] | [–PST, +DSJ, +CNJ]).

IGR: John disabused Sue of such ideas.

(diabuse (EFC ATT AFC) (EFR ASC AFR))


(disabuse (John DISBELIEF–1 Sue) (Sue ideas U))

CGR: Sue doesn’t have such ideas.

(have (U ATT IPS) (NAPS ASC U))


(have (U DISBELIEF–1 Sue) (Sue ideas U))

(174) a. GOAL ORIENTATION ([–PST, –DSJ, +CNJ] | [–PST, –DSJ, –CNJ] (Primary AFC is AFR)).

IGR: Sue learned French from John.

(teach (EFC ATT AFC) (EFR ASC AFR))


(teach (Sue KNOWLEDGE–1 Sue) (John French Sue))

CGR: Sue knows French.

(know (U ATT IPS) (U ASC APS))


(know (U KNOWLEDGE–1 Sue) (U French Sue))

b. SOURCE ORIENTATION ([–PST, +DSJ, –CNJ] | [–PST, +DSJ, +CNJ]).

IGR: Therapy erased the incident from Sue’s mind.

(erase (EFC NATT AFC) (EFR ASC AFR))


(erase (therapy MEMORY–1 mind) (mind incident U))

CGR: Sue forget the incident.

(forget (U NATT IPS) (NAPS ASC U))


(forget (U MEMORY–1 Sue) (Sue incident U))
Chapter Two 137
(175) a. GOAL ORIENTATION ([–PST, –DSJ, +CNJ] | [–PST, –DSJ, –CNJ]).

IGR: John corked the bottle.

(cork (EFC ATT AFC) (EFR ASC_INS AFR))


(cork (John FORM–1 bottle) (U CORK–1 bottle))

CGR: The bottle has a cork.

(have (U ASC APS))


(have (U cork bottle))

b. SOURCE ORIENTATION ([–PST, +DSJ, –CNJ] | [–PST, +DSJ, +CNJ]).

IGR: John uncorked the bottle.

(uncork (EFC ATT AFC) (EFR ASC_INS AFR))


(uncork (John FORM–1 bottle) (bottle CORK–1 U))

CGR: The bottle lacks a cork.

(lack (U ASC NAPS))


(lack (U cork bottle))

(176) a. GOAL ORIENTATION ([–PST, –DSJ, +CNJ] | [–PST, –DSJ, –CNJ]).

IGR: The cop gave John a ticket.


(give (EFC ATT AFC) (EFR ASC AFR))
(give (cop FORM–1 John) (U ticket John))

IGR: The cop ticketed John.


(ticket (EFC ATT AFC) (EFR ASC AFR))
(ticket (cop FORM–1 John) (U TICKET–1 John))

CGR: John has a ticket.


(have (U ASC APS))
(have (U ticket John))

b. SOURCE ORIENTATION ([–PST, +DSJ, –CNJ] | [–PST, +DSJ, +CNJ]).

IGR: The cop stripped John of his clothes./The cop stripped the clothes off John.
(strip (EFC ATT AFC) (EFR ASC AFR))
(strip (cop FORM–1 John) (John clothes U))

IGR: The cop stripped John.


(strip (EFC ATT AFC) (EFR ASC AFR))
(strip (cop FORM–1 John) (John CLOTHES–1 U))

CGR: John has no clothes.


(have (U ASC NAPS))
(have (U clothes John))
138 Chapter Two
(177) a. GOAL ORIENTATION ([–PST, –DSJ, +CNJ] | [–PST, –DSJ, –CNJ]).

IGR: The butler shined the silver with this polish.

(shine (EFC ATT AFC) (EFR ASC_INS AFR))


(shine (butler SHINE–1 silver) (U polish silver))

IGR: The butler polished the silver.

(polish (EFC ATT AFC) (EFR ASC_INS AFR))


(polish (butler SHINE–1 silver) (U POLISH–1 silver))

CGR: The silver has a shine./The silver is shiny.

(have (U ATT IPS))


(have (U shine silver))

CGR: The silver has polish.

(have (U ASC APS))


(have (U polish silver))

b. SOURCE ORIENTATION ([–PST, +DSJ, –CNJ] | [–PST, +DSJ, +CNJ]).

IGR: John bleached the color from the shirt./John bleached the shirt of color.

(bleach (EFC NATT AFC) (EFR ASC_INS AFR))


(bleach (John COLOR–1 shirt) (U BLEACH–1 shirt))

IGR: John bleached the shirt.

(bleach (EFC NATT AFC) (EFR ASC_INS AFR))


(bleach (John COLOR–1 shirt) (U BLEACH–1 shirt))

CGR: The shirt has no color.

(have (U NATT IPS))


(have (U color shirt))

CGR: The shirt has bleach.

(have (U ASC APS))


(have (U bleach shirt))
Chapter Two 139
(178) a. GOAL ORIENTATION ([–PST, –DSJ, +CNJ] | [–PST, –DSJ, –CNJ]).

IGR: John killed the snake with this poison.

(kill (EFC ATT AFC) (EFR ASC_INS AFR))


(kill (John DEATH–1 snake) (U poison snake))

IGR: John poisoned the snake.

(poison (EFC ATT AFC) (EFR ASC_INS AFR))


(poison (John DEATH–1 snake) (U POISON–1 snake))

IGR: The snake died from the poison.

(die (CAU ATT AFC) (EFR ASC AFR))


(die (poison DEATH–1 snake) (U poison snake))

CGR: The snake is dead from the poison.

(dead (CAU ATT IPS))


(dead (poison DEATH–1 snake))

b. SOURCE ORIENTATION ([–PST, +DSJ, –CNJ] | [–PST, +DSJ, +CNJ]).

IGR: John killed the snake with this poison.

(kill (EFC NATT AFC) (EFR ASC_INS AFR))


(kill (John LIFE–1 snake) (U poison snake))

IGR: John poisoned the snake.

(poison (EFC NATT AFC) (EFR ASC_INS AFR))


(poison (John LIFE–1 snake) (U POISON–1 snake))

IGR: The snake died from the poison.

(die (CAU NATT AFC) (EFR ASC AFR))


(die (poison LIFE–1 snake) (U poison snake))

CGR: The snake is dead from the poison.

(dead (CAU NATT IPS))


(dead (poison LIFE–1 snake))
140 Chapter Two
(179) a. [–PST, –DSJ, +CNJ] | [–PST, –DSJ, –CNJ]

IGR: John got Ed into debt.

(get (EFC ATT AFC) (EFR TRM AFR))


(get (John FORM–1 Ed) (U debt Ed))

CGR: Ed is in debt./Ed has debt.

(have (U ASC APS))


(have (U debt Ed))

b. [–PST, +DSJ, –CNJ] | [–PST, +DSJ, +CNJ]

IGR: John got Ed out of debt.

(get (EFC ATT AFC) (EFR ORG AFR))


(get (John FORM–1 Ed) (U debt Ed))

CGR: Ed is out of debt./Ed has no debt.

(lack (U NASC APS))


(lack (U debt Ed))

(180) a. [–PST, –DSJ, +CNJ] | [–PST, –DSJ, –CNJ] (changes the story receives left unspecified)

IGR: They developed the story into a novel.

(develop (EFC ATT AFC) (CPS ATT RES))


(develop (they FORM–1 story) (story GROWTH–1 novel))

IGR: The story developed into a novel./The story became a novel.

(develop (U ATT AFC) (CPS ATT RES))


(develop (U FORM–1 story) (story GROWTH–1 novel))

b. [–PST, +DSJ, –CNJ] | [–PST, +DSJ, +CNJ] (changes the story receives left unspecified)

IGR: They developed a novel out of the story.

(develop (EFC ATT AFC) (CPS ATT RES))


(develop (they FORM–1 story) (story GROWTH–1 novel))

IGR: A novel developed out of the story.

(develop (U ATT AFC) (CPS ATT RES))


(develop (U FORM–1 story) (story GROWTH–1 novel))
Chapter Two 141

ENDNOTES TO CHAPTER TWO

1. For a discussion of metaphorical ([–PST]) uses of positional predicates, e.g., John put his ideas
into words, see Lakoff and Johnson 1980.

2. Sometimes a considerable amount of abstraction is required to explicate the way in which a


nonpositional predicate reduces to an expression involving possession. In a sentence like He washed
the dishes, the dishes become dispossessed of whatever is soiling them (grime, grease, etc.). In one
like He turned into a prince, he comes to possess the characteristics of a prince. For further
examples of spectrum specifications, Section 2.12, A Summary of Spectrum Specifications, Page
126 ff.

3. The close relationship between positional and nonpositional expressions is further evidenced by
the fact that the quantifiers far, farther, further, etc. are often used for both:

(i) a. John went very far into the cave.


b. John went very far into debt.

(ii) a. How far into the cave did he go?


b. How far into debt did he go?

4. Since Gruber’s dissertation (Gruber 1965), many linguists have referred to this entity with the
label THEME, the current label of choice within Government and Binding Theory (Haegeman 1994,
Chapter 1) and its descendants (Chomsky 1995: 30). Fillmore first referred to it as OBJECT, then
OBJECTIVE. It has also been called PATIENT, GOAL, and NEUTRAL.

5. I have no explanation for why sentences containing both ELATIVE and ILLATIVE themes
realized with the prepositions out of and into are better when and occurs between the themes,
whereas sentences containing the same themes realized with the prepositions from and to are worse,
if not ungrammatical, when and occurs between the themes. Consider the following in a situation
where the kitchen and the dining room are adjoining rooms:

(i) John walked out of the kitchen (and) into the dining room.

(ii) John walked from the kitchen (*and) to the dining room.

6. When themes are separated by an underscore, e.g., ASC_NASC_TRM_ORG, the notation signifies
that they are an abbreviation for a feature cluster. For example, the previous four themes are
uniquely [–PST, –PRX, –FST, –EXT].
142 Chapter Two
7. As we indicated in Section 1.12 (Page 56), words in all capital letters followed by a numerical
suffix, e.g., FORM–1, FORM–2, etc. are language independent word senses. Let us assume, for
example, that FORM–1 means ‘the spatial form of an object including any interior space(s).’ As
we noted in Chapter One, the definitions that accompany the word senses used throughout this book
are for expository purposes only. Technically, the meaning of a word sense is no more than the sum
of all the links that the word sense has in the semantic network. This applies to the word senses in
the Langtech Parser and to the entries found in other semantic networks. For example, in WordNet
(Miller and Fellbaum 1992), the word sense FORM–1, as used in the present book, is identified as
“Sense 6” of the word form: “shape, form -- (the spatial arrangement of something as distinct from
its substance).” In all, WordNet lists eleven senses for the noun form and seven senses for the verb
form. Thus, a complete printout of all the links to the word form would be very, very long. To take
a simpler and more manageable example, in WordNet, the English word piano has two senses, one
denoting the musical instrument, the other denoting softness. Traversing the links of the first sense,
one finds the following paths among others (the actual printout in my word processor is four pages):

(i) piano => stringed instrument => musical instrument => device => object => entity

(ii) piano HAS PART: keyboard


piano HAS PART: soft pedal
piano HAS PART: sounding board

Thus, a piano is a stringed musical instrument with a keyboard, soft pedal and soundboard. As this
example shows the meaning of the word piano is, in effect, derivable from the sum of the links the
word has to other nodes in the network. Since the number of links for most words is very large, the
definitions we supply, such as the definition of FORM–1 directly above, are only rough
approximations. In Chapter Five, p. 322 ff., I will discuss word senses in more detail providing
examples from the Langtech Parser and presenting further examples from WordNet beyond those
already mentioned. For some specific examples of word senses from the Langtech Parser, see
examples (115) – (119) beginning on Page 418 below.

For a very different approach to semantic categorization which attempts to account for the meaning
of all English words in terms of 118 concept categories, see Laffal 1973. For another approach that
seeks to define all the words in a language in terms of a base vocabulary of word senses, the reader
is referred to The Cambridge International Dictionary of English (Procter 1995) which defines
100,000 English words and phrases in terms of a 2000–word defining vocabulary. Compare also
the Cambridge “Word Routes” series, e.g., Cambridge Word Routes, Anglais–Français (McCarthy
1994) and Cambridge Word Routes, Inglese–Italiano (McCarthy 1995). Lastly, see Cruse (1986)
for a discussion of important relationships between lexical entries especially typological
relationships (taxonomy, hyponymy, hypernymy) and componential relationships (meronymy,
holonymy), and Lehrer and Kittay 1992 for a collection of papers on semantic and lexical
organization.

8. Of course, we have expressions like he came back from the dead. Further, modern medicine has
provided the tools to revive patients who are clinically dead. As I noted in our original discussion
Chapter Two 143
of inalienable possession, such occurrences must be viewed as requiring special circumstances
which derive from scientific advancement, not language.

9. Typically, IGR (nonstative) predicates express an activity initiated by some causer which, in the
prototypical clause, is some EFC (the agent), a willful animate being. Sometimes the EFC is a force,
e.g., A tornado destroyed the town. The passive of an EFC theme is marked by the preposition by,
whether an animate being or a force: The town was destroyed by John/a tornado.

Sometimes, the causer is not represented by the EFC relation, but by another relation that usually
functions as a modifier, in particular, by the CAUSAL and EXPEDIENTIAL (means) relations:

(i) a. Sue ran away from home out of fear. CAUSAL as MODIFIER
b. John went to the island by Ferry. EXPEDIENTIAL as MODIFIER

(ii) a. Fear caused Sue to run away from home. CAUSAL as SUBJECT
b. A ferry took John to the island. EXPEDIENTIAL as SUBJECT

When a predicate has no EFC, a CAUSAL or EXPEDIENTIAL theme can occupy the inalienable
source slot in a spectrum specification. INSTRUMENTAL themes, which can also function as
subject, tend more often to be used by an EFC and transferred by that EFC to the GOAL during the
execution of an activity. Still, they can be subjects:

(iii) a. John killed the ants with poison. INSTRUMENT as MODIFIER and
ALIENABLE SCT
b. The poison killed the ants. INSTRUMENT as SUBJECT.

We will see a variety of uses of these themes in the pages that follow. In Chapter Six, I will specify
the principles that allow various themes to assume subject position other than the typical EFC.
There, I will argue that INSTRUMENTAL themes cannot, in fact, serve as subjects when they have
a purely instrumental sense.

10. It may seem unnecessary to include so much unspecified information in a semantic


representation, but that is not the case. Without some conceptually understood cause, for example,
a sentence like The lamp accidentally fell off the table, would be hard to fathom.

With regard to the SCT, Blake, B. (1994: 69) makes the following remark: “A number of linguists
including Gruber (1976: 38) have claimed that it [THEME, our SCT] is an obligatory role, though
that would not appear to be true for a small number of one–place predicates such as SHOUT and
URINATE.” As we will see, even in these predicates there is an SCT in the spectrum specification,
but it is abstract and not instantiated as an argument in the syntax. For example, John shouted into
the well and John urinated into the well have the following representations:

(i) (shout (EFC ATT AFC) (ELA ASC ILL))


(shout (John FORM–1 well) (U SHOUT–1 well))
144 Chapter Two
(ii) (urinate (EFC ATT AFC) (ELA ASC ILL))
(urinate (John FORM–1 well) (U URINE–1 well))

John shouted and John urinated have the following representations (cf. John let out a shout that
shook the rafters and John took a leak):

(iii) (shout (EFC ATT AFC) (ELA ASC ILL))


(shout (John FORM–1 U) (U SHOUT–1 U))

(iv) (urinate (EFC ATT AFC) (ELA ASC ILL))


(urinate (John FORM–1 U) (U URINE–1 U))

Predicates with an understood body–part object like blink (one’s eyes) or cognate object like sleep
(a sleep) will be discussed in detail in Chapter Six in connection with the alternations found in Levin
1993.

11. Specifically, if the GOAL or the SOURCE is the direct object, the possession/dispossession
is viewed as complete. Compare, he sprayed the paint on the wall and he sprayed the wall with
paint. For discussion and comment see Andersen (1971) and Fillmore (1977). I will return to such
examples in Chapter Six.

12. It may appear that the SCT in these verbs is not inalienable because recovery is often possible,
that is, something that has been polished may (and probably will) lose its shine. In the next section,
I will argue that these kinds of inalienable characteristics are CIRCUMSTANTIAL, not
ATTRIBUTIVE because their possession is dynamic (see Figure Three on Page 50). For the
moment, observe that an attribute such as a shine is not reciprocally transferred, that is, the shine
does not leave some other object to become the possession of the thing polished. Nonreciprocal
transfer is the essential nature of inalienable possession (Section 1.8.1 on Page 37). Further, notice
also that both ATTRIBUTIVE and CIRCUMSTANTIAL themes are [+PROXIMAL], the feature
used (metaphorically) to express inalienable possession (Section 1.9.1 on Page 40).

13. Since there are sentences like the butler used polish to shine the silver, POLISH–1 in the
butler polished the silver is both ASC (the alienable substance transferred) and INS (the instrument),
that is, it is ASC_INS or [–PST, –DSJ, –CNJ, –FST]. Notice that secondary instruments are also
possible:

(i) The butler polished the silver with this polish.


(ii) The butler polished the silver with that cloth.
(iii) The butler polished the silver with this polish and that cloth.
(iv) The butler shined the silver with this polish and that cloth.

Some speakers may feel that SHINE–1 cannot be part of the meaning of polish because it is possible
to say The butler polished the silver, but couldn’t get it to shine. Despite the fact that standard
Chapter Two 145
dictionaries define the word polish as imparting some sort of shine, refinement or veneer to an
object, if speakers accept such sentences, we are forced to conclude that there is more than one verb
polish. In one, SHINE–1 is transferred; in the other, the inalienable attribute affected is simply the
FORM–1 of the object. We can generalize such variation over other verbs by including the
following lexical redundancy rule:

(v) Verbs which involve the transference of a FORM–2 inalienable attribute can have an
alternative meaning where the inalienable attribute affected is the simply object’s FORM–1.

This redundancy rule will account for all of the following:

(vi) The butler polished the silver, but couldn’t get it to shine.
(vii) John waxed the floor over and over, but it’s still as dull as can be.
(viii) He bleached the fabric, but none of the color came out.
(ix) The doctor anesthetized the patient; yet, the patient (claims he) was fully awake and felt
everything.

14. Recall that this was a primary concern in Chapter One. If an arbitrary device such as a
machine is to really acquire language, there must be some way to relate abstract notions to concrete
ones. We return to this matter in Chapter Five.

15. Notice that there is a direct connection always between the inalienable and alienable SCT.
In an example like he poured the water into the glass, the alienable SCT is water. The inalienable
SCT is the FORM–1 of the glass, that is, its interior space. That FORM–1 is altered in a specific
way due to the nature of water. Note the difference in he poured the sand into the sandbox, where
the sand might all be piled in the middle, a result that is possible because of the nature of sand.

Similarly, in he teaches algebra to engineers, the alienable SCT is algebra, while the inalienable
SCT is the knowledge of the engineers. Knowledge is a type of FORM–2 (inalienable aspect) of
the engineers. This is altered in a specific way due to the nature of the thing taught; specifically, in
the example, the engineers gain knowledge of algebra (or at least that is the intent). Knowledge of
algebra is different from algebra itself. Thus, a sentence like I wish I understood algebra refers to
a specific branch of mathematics of which one does not have knowledge. The distinction is essential
to the understanding of many expressions, e.g., I sort of understand algebra, meaning my knowledge
of algebra is incomplete. The thing taught is often very complex. Consider, for example, he teaches
aerobics to heart patients, where much more than the heart patients’ knowledge of aerobics is
affected. Like the discussion of water and sand above, this has to do with the difference between the
nature of algebra and the nature of aerobics. I will not discuss these complexities here since they
have more to do with (meta)physics than language.

16. In this spectrum specification, we see that the metaphorical use of the [±FST] distinction is
global and spreads over all predicates. Basically, all transfers involve a SOURCE and a GOAL
which are viewed as endpoints ([+FST]) of the transfer. The SCT is that object or attribute which
146 Chapter Two
“moves” from one point to the other.

17. A predicate like kill can be viewed as giving DEATH–1 or taking LIFE–1. Similarly, die can
be viewed as either gaining DEATH–1 or losing LIFE–1. We can account for this with the concept
of absolute opposites discussed in Section 1.5 (Page 33), from which we can form the following
equations (see also NSR in Section 2.8, Page 98 ff. directly below):

(i) DEAD = NOT ALIVE


ALIVE = NOT DEAD

Given the equations in (i), we can represent Bill died as either of the following:

(ii) CAU ATT AFC


U DEATH–1 Bill

(iii) CAU NATT AFC


U LIFE–1 Bill

Similarly, we can represent Bill is dead as either of the following:

(iv) CAU ATT IPS


U DEATH–1 Bill

(v) CAU NATT IPS


U LIFE–1 Bill

Notice that we have both Bill met his death in the war and Bill lost his life in the war, as well as
They put Bill to death and They took Bill’s life. The essential point is that dead and alive must be
related quite simply because speaker’s know that all the examples in the previous sentence reduce
Bill to the same state. For a complete specification of the alternative representations of kill, die, and
dead, see Section 2.12, A Summary of Spectrum Specifications, Page 126 ff.

Of these representations, (ii) and (iv) seem more justifiable than (iii) and (v) for the analysis of die
and dead, respectively. Notice that we have the following:

(iv) a. Death to all who disagree with me!


b. *No life to all who disagree with me!

(v) a. It is deadly to children.


b. *It is lifeless to children.

To simplify the discussion, I will therefore generally discuss kill, die and dead in terms of
representations like (ii) and (iv). However, it is important to stress that one advantage of the present
model is that it allows us to relate the alternatives in a very direct way.
Chapter Two 147
18. A dative of separation also occurs in German, though German grammarians do not ordinarily
refer to it as such. Consider the following examples from Foley and Van Valin 1985:292:

(i) Das Kind nimmt dem Mann die Gemüse


the (NOM) child take the (DAT) man the (ACC) vegetables
‘The child takes the vegetables from the man.’

(ii) Der Mann gibt dem Kind die Gemüse


the (NOM) man give the (DAT) child the (ACC) vegetables
‘The man gives the vegetables to the child.’

19. An adequate theory of thematic relations must assign a theme even to infinitives, gerunds, and
full clauses (Jackendoff 1993: 49 ff.). This is necessary to account for examples like the following.

(i) a. We forced them into reconciliation.


b. We forced them into reconciling.
c. We forced them to reconcile.

d. They were forced by us into reconciliation.


e. They were forced by us into reconciling.
f. They were forced by us to reconcile.

If into the lock in (ii) is ILLATIVE, which it most certainly is, then the SCOMP in all the examples
in (i) must also be some [+DSJ, "CNJ] theme. This includes the gerunds and the infinitives.

(ii) He forced the key into the lock.

There are many sets of examples which have nominals of various kinds alternating with infinitives
and clauses:

(iii) a. I wish them success.


b. I want them to succeed.
c. I hope that they succeed.

(iv) a. She recommends regular exercise to her patients.


b. She recommends to her patients that they exercise regularly.
c. She urges her patients to exercise regularly.

(v) a. They prefer relaxation rather than hard work.


b. They prefer relaxing rather than working hard.
c. They prefer to relax rather than to work hard.

(vi) a. They considered further discussion of the matter dumb.


b. They considered discussing the matter further dumb.
148 Chapter Two
c. They considered it dumb to discuss the matter further.

d. Further discussion of the matter was considered dumb.


e. Discussing the matter further was considered dumb.
f. It was considered dumb to discuss the matter further.

To account for such parallels, an adequate grammar must assign a thematic relation to all syntactic
arguments (subject and complements) whether they are nouns or clauses. In Chapter Three, I will
turn to a consideration of the structural representation of thematic relations. The syntactic system
used there is a variation of three level X–bar theory which represents sentences as V3. Given this,
we will be able to generalize arguments to X3 whether X is an N or a V.

For a discussion of gerunds as objects of prepositions, particularly, in, to, at, on, with, and of, see
Rudanko 1996. I will discuss embedded V3 (tensed clauses, infinitives, participles, and gerunds)
in detail in Chapter Seven.

20. It appears that structural variation has a great deal to do with ORIENTATION, that is, which
theme is the primary AFC. Thus, the real question is, Can the ORIENTATION be linked to some
meaning component of the predicate so that the structural possibilities become predictable rather
than idiosyncratic? I believe this approach is essentially correct and underlies various classes that
have been proposed, most recently in Levin (1993). For example, it may be the prefix in– in a word
like insert that determines GOAL ORIENTATION. I will return to this issue in Chapter Six.

21. Notice that without is not a possible option to express the negative element in (65) where we
might expect it. Oddly, we never find without used as an SCOMP, a strange gap with no obvious
explanation. Indeed, the differences between with and without are very fuzzy in English and
elsewhere. Consider the following:

(i) a. Paul is a man with ambition


b. Paul is a man without ambition.
c. *Paul is with ambition.
d. Paul is without ambition.

(ii) a. Paul est un homme avec de l’ambition.


b. Paul est un homme sans ambition.
c. *Paul est avec de l’ambition.
d. Paul est sans ambition.

Other languages do allow constructions like (i–c) and (ii–c). Freeze, R. (1992: 597) gives the
following examples from Portuguese:

(iii) O menino esta com fome


the child is with hunger
‘The child is hungry.’
Chapter Two 149
Bresnan and Kanerva (1989: 39) give the following from Chicheëa (the Arabic numerals designate
noun classes):

(iv) Ka–mwa–ana k–anga ka–li ndi njala


12–1–child 12–my 12subject–be with 9–hunger
‘My small child is hungry’ (literally: ‘My small child is with hunger’)

22. To take an example which might be more familiar to readers, consider the following, which
were suggested to me by Rich Campbell:

(i) Latin developed into the Romance Languages.


(ii) The Romance Languages developed out of Latin.

Of course, the development of Latin into the Romance Languages was a gradual process over several
thousand years. During the development, several intermediate stages have been identified, e.g., Old
French, Old Spanish, even Old Catalan, etc. However, in terms of examples like (i) and (ii), it is the
beginning point (the CPS theme, Latin) and the endpoint (the RES theme, the Romance Languages)
that is significant. We must therefore say that Latin underwent the changes which culminated in the
various Romance Languages, and that the Romance Languages themselves did not undergo those
changes because they did not exist. If we select an intermediate point in the development, then
matters change. Consider the following:

(iii) Latin developed into Old Italian.


(iv) Old Italian developed out of Latin.

In these sentences, Latin (CPS) undergoes the changes that culminated in Old Italian (RES), and Old
Italian does not undergo any changes because it does not exist until that point in time when it is
actually Old Italian. Note further that Latin was, like all languages, in a constant process of
development; yet, all of the examples above ignore that fact.

23. For a recent discussion of the causative use of the main verbs have and make, see Ritter and
Rosen 1993, who discuss examples like the following:

(i) Sherry had George water her plants.


(ii) Ralph made Sheila fall down.

These examples are different from the light verb use of have and make in a number of ways. Most
importantly, pairs like the following are not paraphrases:

(iii) a. John made a dash for the car. (light verb make)
b. John made himself dash for the car. (causative make)

(iv) a. John made an attempt to finish. (light verb make)


b. John made himself attempt to finish. (causative make)
150 Chapter Two
Note the following:

(v) a. John made his/*Sue’s dash for the car as soon as the rain let up.
b. John made himself/Sue dash for the car although it was raining cats and dogs.

24. For a discussion of light verbs in Japanese, see Grimshaw and Mester (1988), Miyagawa
(1989a) and Dubinsky (1990).

25. Gruber’s (1976) work on incorporation also discusses the incorporation of prepositions, e.g.,
the incorporation of THROUGH into pierce. The ideas here are not in conflict with his, though our
account of thematic relations is very different. We will discuss prepositional incorporation more
thoroughly in Chapter Five.
CHAPTER THREE

Let us now turn our attention to the question of representation, namely, how the thematic relations
are to be expressed in structural analyses. We begin with a discussion of morphosyntactic features
in an attempt to account for relationships between categories, e.g., between nouns and verbs,
between adjectives and manner adverbs, between determiners and complementizers, etc. In this
chapter, we will be concerned with defining a morphosyntactic feature space analogous to the
semantic feature space proposed in the first chapter. In the next chapter, we will examine specific
representations for thematic relations.

3.1 A FEATURE ANALYSIS FOR SYNTACTIC CATEGORIES.

Within the framework of TG, several feature systems have been proposed to specify cross–categorial
relationships among syntactic categories particularly within the framework of X–Bar Theory
(Chomsky 1970; Chomsky and Lasnik 1977; Jackendoff 1977; Hawkins 1983; Stuurman 1985;
Emonds 1985; Kerstens 1993). Generally, a feature consists of an ordered pair of the form [feature
value, feature name], such as [+POSITIONAL] used in the first two chapters or [–NASAL] used in
phonology. Feature values are drawn from a set of primitives {–, +, 0, 1, 2, 3, etc.}, as are feature
names.1 This form extends to syntax and morphology, for which we distinguish the following types
of features:

(1) a. Syntactic Feature: a feature referring to the linear or hierarchical position


that lexical items occupy in a phrase.

b. Morphological Feature: a feature referring to a property or characteristic of


lexical items independent of their position in a phrase.

An example of a syntactic feature is the feature name [POSTHEAD] indicating whether an item can
or cannot occur after the head of a phrase, e.g., in English, manner adverbs are [+POSTHEAD]
(speak softly) whereas determiners are [–POSTHEAD] (*man the). An example of a morphological
feature is the feature name [GENDER] indicating whether an item is masculine ([1GENDER]),
feminine ([2GENDER], or neuter ([3GENDER]).2

What is expressed syntactically in one language is often expressed morphologically in another, and
vice versa. For example, in English, modals, which indicate various moods like conditional, form
a separate syntactic class of verbs occupying a specific position: when they occur, they must be the
first verb in a sequence of verbs, e.g., he could have been fishing, *he has can been fishing; they can
not occur in infinitives, e.g., *I want to would go; and so on. In other languages, such as Latin,
changes in mood are signaled by a morphological change in the verb:
152 Chapter Three
(2) a. am~mus am–~–mus ‘we love’
b. am‘mus am–‘–mus ‘we could (should, would, must, may, etc.) love’

Even within English, we find variability. Future time is signaled by independent words (will, shall,
etc.) whereas present and past time are signaled by changes in the shape of words (goes, went, etc.).
Given the variable way in which morphological and syntactic features are realized in natural
languages, I will refer to features like those mentioned above as morphosyntactic features.3

Morphosyntactic features fall into three subgroups (Anderson, S. 1985): inherent, those that reflect
independent and constant properties or characteristics of lexical items like [POSTHEAD] and
[GENDER]; relational, those that reflect the relationship that lexical items have to each other like
[CASE]; and, concordant, those that are the result of agreement rules. Here too there is considerably
variability across languages. For example, in English, some verb forms can show distinctions in
properties like NUMBER and PERSON, but those distinctions are not inherent, whereas NUMBER
and PERSON in nominal forms is inherent. In English, agreement in NUMBER and PERSON
proceeds from the nominal subject to the verb, not vice versa. We see this most clearly in pronouns
which carry distinctions in NUMBER and PERSON whether or not they are the subject of the verb.
For example, consider the following in which all of the pronouns have distinctions in NUMBER and
PERSON, not just the subject pronouns:

(3) a. I am looking at myself/her/you.


b. They are looking at themselves/me/him.

Further, nominals retain their distinctions in NUMBER and PERSON even when they are in
construction with verb forms which cannot show these distinctions such as infinitives:

(4) a. I want those men to do it themselves.


b. I want that woman to do it herself.
c. I want you to do it yourself.

As the above examples show, NUMBER and PERSON in nominals is inherent and independent of
verbs, whereas NUMBER and PERSON in verbs is concordant.

One of the major problems in morphosyntactic subcategorization concerns the fact that lexical items
which clearly belong to different morphosyntactic categories often exhibit the same features. For
example, consider the words goes, woes, and those. Each of these words has an overt, unambiguous
NUMBER that is recognizable by the form of the words themselves. Yet, NUMBER is generally
cited as the distinguishing characteristic of nominals alone: “Probably the most widespread inherent
category in nouns in the languages of the world is that of number” (Anderson, S. 1985: 174).

The opposite problem also occurs, namely, that a feature which seems to be a distinguishing
characteristic of a syntactic category does not occur in every variation of that category. For
example, the words goes, went, and gone clearly are all verb forms. As Anderson, S. (1985: 190)
notes, “Perhaps the most important inherent category of verbs...is that of tense and aspect (together
Chapter Three 153
with mood).” If TENSE is a defining characteristic of verbs, then gone cannot be a verb because
it has no tense.

We can solve both of the above problems in terms of the distinction made above between inherent
features and noninherent (relational or concordant) features. Thus, adopting a rather traditional
approach, I propose here that the major syntactic categories in language are distinguished by the
following morphosyntactic features ([±NML] = [±NOMINAL]; [±VBL] = [±VERBAL]):

(5) a. [+NML]: inherently marked for distinctions in NUMBER, PERSON,


GENDER, and/or CASE.
b. [–NML]: not inherently marked for distinctions in NUMBER, PERSON,
GENDER, or CASE.

(6) a. [+VBL]: inherently marked for distinctions in TENSE, ASPECT, VOICE,


and/or MODE.4
b. [–VBL]: not inherently marked for distinctions in TENSE, ASPECT, VOICE,
or MODE.

The features NUMBER, PERSON, GENDER, CASE, TENSE, ASPECT, VOICE, and MODE have
the following realizations:5

(7) a. NUMBER: [0NUM] = [–NUM], unmarked for NUMBER


[1NUM] = [+NUM], specifically SINGULAR
[2NUM] = [+NUM], specifically PLURAL

b. PERSON: [0PER] = [–PER], unmarked for PERSON


[1PER] = [+PER], specifically FIRST PERSON
[2PER] = [+PER], specifically SECOND PERSON
[3PER] = [+PER], specifically THIRD PERSON

c. GENDER: [0GEN] = [–GEN], unmarked for GENDER


[1GEN] = [+GEN], specifically MASCULINE
[2GEN] = [+GEN], specifically FEMININE
[3GEN] = [+GEN], specifically NEUTER

d. CASE: [0CAS] = [–CAS], unmarked for CASE


[1CAS] = [+CAS], specifically NOMINATIVE
[2CAS] = [+CAS], specifically ACCUSATIVE
[3CAS] = [+CAS], specifically POSSESSIVE

e. TENSE: [0TNS] = [–TNS], unmarked for TENSE


[1TNS] = [+TNS], specifically PRESENT
[2TNS] = [+TNS], specifically PAST
[3TNS] = [+TNS], specifically FUTURE
154 Chapter Three
f. ASPECT: [0ASP] = [–ASP], unmarked for ASPECT
[1ASP] = [+ASP], specifically PROGRESSIVE
[2ASP] = [+ASP], specifically PERFECTIVE

g. VOICE: [0VOI] = [–VOI], unmarked for VOICE


[1VOI] = [+VOI], specifically ACTIVE
[2VOI] = [+VOI], specifically MIDDLE
[3VOI] = [+VOI], specifically PASSIVE

h. MODE: [0MDE] = [–MDE], unmarked for MODE


[1MDE] = [+MDE], specifically INDICATIVE
[2MDE] = [+MDE], specifically IMPERATIVE
[3MDE] = [+MDE], specifically SUBJUNCTIVE
[4MDE] = [+MDE], specifically CONDITIONAL
[5MDE] = [+MDE], specifically PARTICIPIAL
[6MDE] = [+MDE], specifically GERUNDIAL
[7MDE] = [+MDE], specifically INFINITIVAL

Given the above features, we have the following specifications:

(8) a. goes: [+VBL, –NML, 1NUM, 3PER, 1TNS, 1MDE, ...]


b. woes: [–VBL, +NML, 2NUM, 3PER, 3GEN, ...]
c. those: [–VBL, –NML, 2NUM, ...]

As we observed above, forms like goes, woes and those would fall together into the same syntactic
class if the designation [+NML] simply meant that the form showed an overt number marking. By
making a distinction between the feature names [NOMINAL] and [NUMBER], we circumvent that
obstacle. Thus, while woes has inherent plural number and third person, goes has noninherent
(concordant) singular number and third person.6

Notice that a determiner like those is marked [–NML, 2NUM] meaning that it has noninherent
(concordant) plural NUMBER, in particular, it is plural by agreement. The argument for
determiners parallels the one given above for NUMBER in verbs. Common nouns can occur with
an overt determiner (the women, the milk, etc.) or a phonologically null determiner (Ø), whereas
proper nouns cannot (*a Fred, *this Ann, *Ø John etc). In a sentence like I know a Fred, Fred is
a common noun meaning ‘person with the name Fred.’ As such, it can be pluralized as in I know
several Freds. When common nouns are used without an overt determiner, their reference is
generic, e.g., Let’s talk about vegetarians (Quirk, R. et al. 1985: 275).

Conversely, most determiners, e.g., the, a/an, no, etc. cannot occur independently. When a
determiner appears to be used independently as in (9), some noun is always understood ([u]):7

(9) I like that [u].


Chapter Three 155
The empty element [u] in (9) has very specific reference and must indicate something in the context
of the discourse: it can always be specified as in (10a), and there are no sentences like (10b).8

(10) a. I like that pen.


b. *I like that. (where that does not point or refer to something specific in the context)

In short, determiners are dependent categories that never occur in isolation. Although a word like
those is, all by itself, recognizably plural, the fact is that those never occurs all by itself; if no overt
noun occurs, one is always understood. It would be perverse for a parser not to use such overt
number marking in parsing since it provides useful information. The specification [–NML, 2NUM]
allows us to make use of the overt plurality of the word even though the NUMBER is not inherent.

Unlike determiners, pronouns are [+NML], that is, they are marked inherently for NUMBER, as
well as PERSON, GENDER and CASE. Pronouns are independent phrases which can fill any of
the grammatical positions that a noun phrase can. Although pronouns must agree with their
referents in NUMBER, PERSON, and GENDER, pronouns do not form phrases with the noun
phrases they refer to; rather, they are used in place of the noun phrases. Hence, there are no
sentences like (11), analogous to (10a).

(11) *I like that it.

As we will see in Chapter Five, the lexicon is actually a network with various nodes and pointers.
For example, the node go has pointers to go, goes, went, gone, going. Attached to the higher node
go is the specification [+VBL, –NML] which tells us that all forms to which go points are verbs
inherently marked for the verbal features TENSE, ASPECT, VOICE and/or MODE. A form like
goes points to the specification [1NUM, 3PER, 1TNS, 1VOI, 1MDE], that is, singular, third person,
present, active, indicative. Since go points to goes, we know that the present tense, active voice, and
indicative mood of goes is inherent, but the singular number and third person are not.

The features [±VBL, ±NML] define two traditional categories (Verb and Noun) as well as two
supercategories: Subjuncts, which are [–VBL]; and Characterizers, which are [–VBL, –NML] and
include determiners, complementizers, adjectives, adverbs, prepositions and subordinators
(subordinating conjunctions). The breakdown is as follows:

(12) a. Verbs: [+VBL]

b. Subjuncts: [–VBL]

1. Nouns: [+NML, –VBL]


2. Characterizers: [–NML, –VBL]

Additionally, English contains at least one category that has both inherent verbal and inherent
nominal features, namely, gerundial nominals (gerunds).9 These are classified here as [+VBL,
+NML] following their traditional description as verbal nouns. They are inherently third person
156 Chapter Three
singular [1NUM, 3PER] which makes them [+NML], but they also carry an inherently verbal
MODE (–ing). Accordingly, they are modified by adverbs and take direct objects without of:
Dismissing the proposal summarily seems unfair.10

Following Jackendoff (1977), Marantz (1980), and Borsley (1983), I have argued elsewhere (Binkert
1984, 1994) for a three level version of X–bar theory which equates V3 with S of the Standard
Theory of TG (Chomsky 1965). Adopting the three level hypothesis and the above categorial
analysis, we have parallel structures like the following ([2TNS, 1MDE] = PST = PAST TENSE,
INDICATIVE MODE; [3CAS] = POS = POSSESSIVE CASE):11

(13) a. The lawyers carefully interrogated the witness with very precise questions.
[V3 [N3 the lawyers] [C3 2TNS, 1MDE] [V2 [C3 carefully] [V1 [V0 interrogate]
[N3 the witness] [C3 with very precise questions] ] ] ]

b. The lawyers’ careful interrogation of the witness with very precise questions...
[N3 [N3 the lawyers] [C3 3CAS] [N2 [C3 careful] [N1 [N0 interrogation] of
[N3 the witness] [C3 with very precise questions] ] ] ]

As these examples illustrate, specifiers (determiners, possessives, tense/mode) occur on the X3 level,
modifiers (adjectives and adverbs) occur on the X2 level, and complements occur on the X1 level;
thus, specifiers C–command modifiers, and modifiers C–command complements.12 Notice that
lawyers, careful(ly), and witness occupy the same position in (13a) and (13b) so generalizing
relationships like subject, modifier, and object in both sentences and noun phrases is
straightforward: subjects are X3 level elements, modifiers are X2 level elements, and objects are
X1 level elements. I will discuss the status of of in (13b) in Section 3.2 below.

The C–command relations that exist between specifiers, modifiers, and complements prevent the
intermingling of levels, that is, level recursion is possible so long as each lower level is of equal or
lesser bar value than the one above. Thus, successive sequences like (14a) are possible, but those
like (14b) are not.

(14) a. [N3 John’ s [N2 pretty [N2 little [N2 yellow [N1 cape cod [N1 vacation [N0 home]]]]]]]

b. *[N3 John’s [N2 pretty [N1 cape cod [N2 little [N1 vacation [N2 yellow [N0 home]]]]]]]

The impossibility of (14b) offers strong support for the existence of three separate levels above the
head X0, an issue that we will return to in more detail below. An additional example of these
relationships and restrictions is given in on the following page in tree format (for further arguments,
details, and structures, see Binkert 1984, 1994).
Chapter Three 157
(15) The friendly flight attendant patiently described the safety precautions to the nervous
passengers in their native language.

(16) the friendly flight attendant’s patient description of the safety precautions to the nervous
passengers in their native language...
158 Chapter Three
English is a head–center language, that is, one that tolerates elements both before and after the head;
many phrases can occur alternatively in prehead or posthead position. For example, we have noun
phrase pairs like the following:

(17) a. [N3 the [N2 Spanish [N1 math [N0 teacher] ] ] ]

b. [N3 the [N2 [N1 [N0 teacher] of math ] from Spain ] ]

We have other examples of prehead/posthead alternations like the following (the full structures will
be given below):13

(18) a. V3: Ultimately, peace will prevail/Peace will prevail, ultimately.


That guy there, he’s my friend./He’s my friend, that guy there.
b. N3: enough money/money enough
as many too many marbles/as many marbles too many
c. C3: quite far down the road/down the road quite far
two miles down the road/down the road two miles

(19) a. V2: enthusiastically sang the aria/sang the aria enthusiastically


often sang the aria/sang the aria often
b. N2: a sleeping baby/a baby sleeping
a 5000 foot high mountain/a mountain 5000 feet high
a courageous man/a man of courage
c. C2: directly down the road for a mile/down the road directly for a mile
especially for Sue/for Sue especially

In English, complements are generally posthead, although there are productive alternatives in noun
phrases (history student versus student of history; *history studied versus studied history) and
participial phrases (French speaking students versus students speaking French). Depending on the
language (head center, head initial, head final), complements generally either precede or follow the
head. However, the C–command relationships between specifiers, modifiers, and complements
given above appear to hold for a variety of language types.

The three level version of X–bar theory described in Binkert (1984) has been thoroughly examined
in languages like Thai, where the head of N3 is initial, and Newari, where the head of N3 is final.
Despite the different positions of the head in the phrase, the C–command requirements regarding
specifiers, modifiers and complements are the same as in English. The data supporting this are
given in (20) and (21).14

(20) Thai (data from Deepadung, 1989).

a. nók phíraâp tua lék tua nán


bird kind of bird small that
‘that small pigeon’
Chapter Three 159
b. rôm kradaàt khan yày khan nií
umbrella paper big this
‘this big paper umbrella’

(21) Newari (data from Tuladhar, 1985).

a. Jigu thwa R~mã dek~byugu chakh~ chẽ


my this Ram build one house
‘this one house of mine which Ram built’

b. R~my~ wa murkhamha Beng~li p~s~


Ram’s that stupid Bengali friend
‘that stupid Bengali friend of Ram’s’

c. mistegu nhugu dheb~ kame y~gu hak


women’s new money earn to do right
‘women’s new right to earn money’

In these examples, we see determiners and possessives C–commanding modifiers, and modifiers
C–commanding complements and all compounds.

In Japanese, a head final language, we find the same C–command relations realized, although the
language is frequently described as nonconfigurational. The most interesting parallel involves the
postposition no (‘of’), which can signal either a possessive, an agentive modifier or a complement.
Thus, a phrase with the head e (‘picture’), like (22), can mean any of the given translations, similar
to the English noun phrase John’s picture.

(22) John–no e

a. the picture which John has


b. the picture painted by John
c. the picture with John in it

Crucially, a double occurrence of –no, as in (23), can only mean one of the three given translations
(data verified by Yukari Mori and Keiko Noji, both native speakers).

(23) Mary–no John–no e

a. the picture painted by John which Mary has


b. the picture with John in it which Mary has
c. the picture with John in it which Mary painted
d. *the picture painted by Mary which John has
e. *the picture with Mary in it which John has
f. *the picture with Mary in it which John painted
160 Chapter Three
These data are exactly what our C–command relationships predict. If possessives must
C–command modifiers and modifiers must C–command complements, then the only possible
combinations are (24).

(24) a. POSSESSIVE + MODIFIER (cf. 23a)


b. POSSESSIVE + COMPLEMENT (cf. 23b)
c. MODIFIER + COMPLEMENT (cf. 23c)

Furthermore, (25a) can only mean (25b).

(25) a. Mary–no John–no Bill–no e


b. the picture of Bill that John painted that Mary has

Given these examples, we might propose that, in the unmarked case, the C–command relations are
universal: specifiers must C–command modifiers, and modifiers must C–command complements.15
Further, on any given level, [+NML] categories generally precede [–NML] categories, the order in
noun phrases being especially rigid. In particular, the ordering restrictions seen in examples like
these five large houses are stated as a universal by Greenberg (1963:87):

(26) Greenberg’s Universal 20.

When any or all of the items (demonstrative, numeral, and descriptive adjective) precede
the noun, they are always found in that order. If they follow, the order is either the same
or its exact opposite.

Hawkins (1983: 117–120) discusses some problems with (26) and provides the following illustrative
examples:16

(27) a. Three modifiers on the left/none on the right.

Dem–Num–Adj–N English, Finnish, Hindi, Hungarian, Mandarin, Maung

b. Two modifiers on the left/one on the right.

Dem–Num–N–Adj French, Italian


Dem–Adj–N–Num No examples
Num–Adj–N–Dem No examples

c. One modifier on the left/two on the right.

Dem–N–Adj–Num Kabardian, Warao


Num–N–Adj–Dem Basque, Easter Island, Indonesian, Jacaltec, Maori,
Vietnamese, Welsh
Adj–N–Num–Dem No examples
Chapter Three 161
d. No modifiers on the left/three on the right.

N–Adj–Num–Dem Selepet, Yoruba, Akan

On the basis of the data in (27), Hawkins (1983: 119–120) revises (26) to (28).17

(28) When any or all of the modifiers (demonstrative, numeral, and descriptive adjective)
precede the noun, they (i.e., those that do precede) are always found in that order. For
those that follow, no predictions are made, though the most frequent order is the
mirror–image of the order for preceding modifiers. In no case does the adjective precede
the head when the demonstrative or numeral follow.

This revision is consistent with the observations made here. It is further supported by recent work
in generative syntax (Chomsky 1995; Haegeman 1994), the data on French and Italian adverbs just
mentioned being a notable exception apparently (see Section 3.6, Page 227 ff.). Even though
adjuncts, i.e., modifiers, are not accorded their own level distinct from complements in some other
theories of X–bar syntax, adjuncts are always on higher recursions of X' than complements.

3.1.1 THE SEPARATION OF X2 AND X1 LEVELS.

The theory of morphosyntactic categories outlined above differs from other current theories, e.g.,
Minimalism and GPSG, in recognizing an X2 Level distinct from an X1 Level. In this section, I
will present several arguments for this distinction (for more details, see Binkert 1984, 1994).

First, various proforms (one and do so) refer specifically to the X2 Level and never to the X1 Level:

(29) a. John met the young men from Cleveland, and Bill met the old ones.
b. John met the young men from Cleveland, and Bill met the ones from New York.
c. Do you know those men, the ones from New York?

d. *John met the sign language teachers, and Bill met the braille ones.
e. *John met the teachers of sign language, and Bill met the ones of braille.
f. *Do you know those teachers, the ones of braille?

(30) a. John will go to the play on Tuesday, and Bill will do so on Wednesday.
b. John watches television infrequently, and Bill does so frequently.

c. *John will go to this play, and Bill will do so to that play.


d. *John watches NBC, and Bill does so CBS.
162 Chapter Three
Second, various ambiguities and ordering restrictions can be directly accounted for by separating
the X2 and X1 Levels:18

(31) a. John met the Spanish teacher. (ambiguous)


b. John met the Spanish (origin) Spanish (language) teacher.
c. John met the Spanish braille teacher.
d. *John met the braille Spanish teacher.
e. John met the teacher of Spanish from Spain.
f. *John met the teacher from Spain of Spanish.

Notice that the first Spanish in (31b) is a modifier off N2 and must refer to the teacher’s origin; the
second is a complement (off N1) and must refer to the subject taught. Similarly, in posthead
position, the language (off N1) must precede the country of origin (off N2). These orders are
predicted by the level separation we propose.

Many adjectives can be ambiguously interpreted as either a simple descriptive modifier or as the first
element of a compound noun. For example, a straight man can refer to someone who is
heterosexual or to a kind of comedian; a practical nurse can refer to someone who is sensible and
realistic or to a kind of nurse. There are hundreds of other examples like heavy drinker, big eater,
old friend, short story, etc., so that the distinction is productive. In each case, only the use as
descriptive modifier (off N2) can be intensified, occur freely with other noun heads, and be replaced
by its opposite:

(32) a. a totally straight man/boy/doctor/nurse/etc. (straight must mean ‘heterosexual’)


b. a gay man/boy/doctor/nurse/etc.

(33) a. a very practical nurse/doctor/man/boy/etc. (practical must mean ‘sensible’)


b. an impractical nurse/doctor/man/boy/etc.

When both uses occur, the first is always a modifier (off N2), and the second is always the first
element of a compound noun (off N1). Consider the following:

(34) a. a totally straight (nongay) straight (comedian) man


b. *a straight (comedian) totally straight (nongay) man

(35) a. a very practical (sensible) practical (not registered) nurse


b. *a practical (not registered) very practical nurse.

The above distributions follow directly from the level distinctions we have made. Such distinctions
are important because the two uses of adjectives have different characteristics. An adjectival
component of a compound noun cannot be intensified or occur in the comparative or superlative (*a
very Big Mac, *really gross anatomy, *the tightest end in the league, etc.). On the other hand, the
modifier use can be specified by a degree word (a man so straight, a nurse that practical, a piano
that grand, a Big Mac as big, etc.) and can occur in the comparative and the superlative:
Chapter Three 163
(36) a. a grander grand piano/the grandest grand piano
b. *a grand grander piano/*the grand grandest piano

Third, paralleling the above, we can distinguish predicate nominatives (V2), which must agree in
number with the subject, from direct objects (V1), which do not have to agree in number with the
subject. Consider the following from Bresnan (1978: 22):

(37) a. The boys made good cooks. (good cooks is off V2)
b. The boys made good cakes. (good cakes is off V1)

c. *The boy made good cooks.


d. The boy made good cakes.

Fourth, if predicate nominatives are on a different level from direct objects, we can distinguish
phrases that refer back to the subject (V2) from phrases that refer back to direct objects (V1).
Consider the following:

(38) a. John left the house messy (ambiguous).


[V3 John PST [V2 [V1 [V0 left] [N3 the house]] [C3 messy]]] (John is messy)
. [V3 John PST [V1 [V0 left] [N3 the house] [C3 messy]] (the house is messy)

b. John left the house unlocked drunk out of his mind.


[V3 John PST [V2 [V1 [V0 left] [N3 the house] [C3 unlocked]] [C3 drunk out of his mind]]

c. *John left the house drunk out of his mind unlocked.


*[V3 John PST [V2 [V1 [V0 left] [N3 the house] [C3 drunk out of his mind]] [C3 unlocked]]

d. John ate the food raw nude.


[V3 John PST [V2 [V1 [V0 ate] [N3 the food] [C3 raw]] [C3 nude]]

e. *John ate the food nude raw.


*[V3 John PST [V2 [V1 [V0 ate] [N3 the food] [C3 nude]] [C3 raw]]

This analysis extends to resolving infinitival ambiguities as in John defied Bill to get even. If Bill
is the subject of the infinitive, the infinitive is on V1; if John is subject, the infinitive is on V2:

(39) a. To get even is a complementary infinitive with subject Bill, which C–commands the
infinitive.
[V3 John PST [V2 [V1 [V0 defy] [N3 Bill] [C3 to get even]]]]

b. To get even a purposive infinitive with subject John; Bill does not C–command the
infinitive.
[V3 John PST [V2 [V1 [V0 defy] [N3 Bill]] [C3 to get even]]]
164 Chapter Three
Putting the above arguments together, we account for the following parallels between N3 and V3:

(40) a. the young math teacher


[N3 the [N2 young [N1 math [N0 teacher]]]]

b. The teacher of math is young.


[V3 [N3 the [N1 [N0 teacher] of math] PRS [V2 is [C3 young]]]

c. He taught math young.


[V3 he PST [V2 [V1 [V0 teach] math] young]]

(41) a. the superb math teacher


[N3 the [N2 superb [N1 math [N0 teacher]]]]

b. The teacher of math is superb.


[V3 [N3 the [N1 [N0 teacher] of math] PRS [V2 is [C3 superb]]]

c. He taught math superbly.


[V3 he PST [V2 [V1 [V0 teach] math] superbly]]]

These analyses suggest that predicate adjectives are related to manner adverbs, which is the case.
Compare the following:

(42) a. His actions were courageous.


b. He acted courageously.

(43) a. Her behavior was outrageous.


b. She behaved outrageously.

Notice also that predicate adjectives and manner adverbs can be conjoined and contrasted:

(44) a. The president entered the room angrily and red as a beet.
b. The president entered the room solemnly, yet composed and poised.

Further, they both can be referenced with how:

(45) a. Red as a beet is how the president entered the room.


b. Angrily is how the president entered the room.

Fifth, although there are ordering restrictions within levels, those restrictions are very different from
the ordering restrictions between levels. For example, it is well known that multiple adjectives in
English occur in a specific order (Quirk, R. et al. 1985: 1321–1349):
Chapter Three 165
(46) a. that expensive new grand piano
b. *?that new expensive grand piano

Yet, the preferred order can be violated when modifiers and conjunctions are added or pauses are
placed between the items:

(47) a. that very new and very expensive grand piano


b. that brand–new, unbelievably expensive, grand piano

On the other hand, no amount of modification, conjunction, or pausing can allow an N1 level item
to occur between elements on N2, as we saw above in (14):19

(48) a. *that Steinway grand, very new and very expensive piano
b. *that brand–new, Steinway grand, unbelievably expensive piano

The same restrictions apply to posthead elements:

(49) a. a teacher of Spanish that young and that talented


b. *a teacher that young, of Spanish, (and) that talented

Sixth, the restrictions on whether or not an element can occur in prehead or posthead position are
quite different for the X2 and X1 levels. For example, a nonadjectival descriptive phrase in
posthead position off N2 generally corresponds to an adjective in prehead position, not a prehead
noun:20

(50) a. a man of courage/a courageous man/*a courage man/*a man courageous


b. a bouquet of flowers/a floral bouquet/*a flower(s) bouquet/*a bouquet floral
c. a man with a beard/a bearded man/*a beard man/*a man bearded

This restriction does not occur on the N1 Level:

(51) a. a teacher of history/a history teacher/*a historical teacher


b. glasses for the opera/opera glasses/*operatic glasses

Similarly, the restrictions on prehead elements off V2 are tightly constrained but nonetheless freer
than the restrictions on V1 level elements which can never occur in prehead position in English:

(52) a. He enthusiastically did the job./He did the job enthusiastically.


b. He often watches TV./He watches TV often.
c. *He TV watches./He watches TV.

Seventh, following Jackendoff (1977), we also make a distinction between restrictive relatives (off
posthead N2) and appositive relatives (off posthead N3); see Binkert 1984:
166 Chapter Three
(53) a. The flowers that/which you sent me are on the table. (restrictive)
b. The flowers, which/*that are lovely, are on the table. (appositive)
c. The flowers that you sent me, which are lovely, are on the table.
d. *The flowers, which are lovely, that you sent me are on the table.

The above distinction is important for explaining the different characteristics of restrictive and
appositive relative clauses, which I will turn to in detail in Chapter Eight. For the present, note that
both types of relative clauses can be triggered by a relative pronouns (who, which, etc.), but only the
restrictive relatives can be triggered by the complementizers that (the flowers that he bought) and
Ø (the flowers Ø he bought). Furthermore, restrictive relative clauses (off N2) must be distinguished
from complement clauses (off N1). Consider the following:

(54) a. The rumor that they fabricated has no basis in fact. (restrictive relative clause)
b. The rumor that they shook hands has no basis in fact. (complement clause)
c. The rumor that they made up has no basis in fact. (either restrictive relative clause
or complement clause)

Eighth, as Jackendoff (1990: 452–3) points out, failure to distinguish between modifier and
complement levels leaves no basis for such differences like the following:

(55) a. John, in the morning, wrote a letter (to Mary).


b. *John, to Mary, wrote a letter (in the morning).

(56) a. *It was the morning that John wrote a letter (to Mary) in.
b. It was Mary that John wrote a letter to (in the morning).

Ninth, in many languages, e.g., Latin, the Romance Languages, etc., modifiers agree with the head
of a noun phrase in CASE, NUMBER, and GENDER. Complements, however, do not. If the N2
Level (modifiers) and N1 Level (complements) are not separated, this dichotomy is left without an
explanation. A phrase such as the tall man is clearly related to the man is tall. In the languages just
mentioned, both the attributive adjective and the predicate adjective would be marked nominative,
singular, masculine. This seems entirely consistent. Likewise, it would be inconsistent for a
complement to be marked with the same case as its governor. Separating the X2 and X1 levels is
thus a straightforward way of accounting for the different status of modifiers and complements.

For all the above reasons, the position taken here is that grammars contain an X2 level distinct from
an X1 level.

3.1.2 LEXICAL DECOMPOSITION.

As we saw above, phrasal levels (X3, X2, X1) can be recursive provided that each level dominates
a level of equal or lesser bar value (cf. (14)). Since the X0 level contains the morphological head
of any given phrase, it follows that recursion of the X0 level must involve morphological derivation
Chapter Three 167
or lexical structure. Actually, we have already had examples of such recursion, but not explicitly.
As we saw in (13a), English clauses have a structure like (57a) which is parallel to (57b), a familiar
structure from the Standard Theoryof TG (Chomsky 1965) and much other work:

(57) a. [V3 N3 [C3 [C0 "TNS, $MDE ]] V0 ]


b. [S NP [AUX [TNS PST ]] VP ]

The feature cluster ["TNS, $MDE] in (57a) is abstract like PST in (57b). It is a property of the head
of an abstract tense/mode characterizer. The abbreviations PRS (PRESENT) and PST (PAST) have
generally been used for PRESENT INDICATIVE and PAST INDICATIVE, respectively, in TG.
These designations seem appropriate for English, since tense distinctions for other moods, e.g., the
subjunctive, are questionable. Grammars, e.g., Quirk, R. et al. 1985: Chapter Three, often speak of
a present subjunctive form as in (58) distinct from a past subjunctive form as in (59):

(58) a. We demand/demanded/will demand that he be investigated.


b. Jesus be praised.

(59) a. I wish he were here.


b. If only he were here.

Although forms like be in (58) and were in (59) look like present and past tenses, respectively, they
do not really indicate distinctions in the feature TENSE like He is/was here. Sentences that contain
be generally express wishes, demands, or preferences, irrespective of time; those that contain were
generally express contrary–to–fact conditions. Therefore, it does not seem appropriate to speak of
a PRESENT or PAST SUBJUNCTIVE in English, where PRESENT and PAST refer to TENSE
distinctions. Still, we must account for sentences like those in (58) and (59), which are clearly not
INDICATIVE however one chooses to classify them. As a result I will use the term “mode
characterizer,” which will allow us to include (58) and (59) as well as sentences that contain modals
like can and must, instead of “tense characterizer,” which would appear to exclude (58) and (59).
Further, given these observations, it seems more appropriate to say that every English clause must
be marked for a mode than to say that every English clause must be marked for tense.

In addition to containing an abstract head (["TNS, $MDE]), the mode characterizer can contain an
overt verb such as a modal. Consider the following, where [3TNS, 1MDE] = FUTURE,
INDICATIVE:

(60) a. [V3 N3 [C3 [C0 [V3 [V0 will]] [C0 3TNS, 1MDE ]]] V0 ]
b. [S NP [AUX [MODAL will] [TNS FUT ]] VP ]

As (60) indicates, the modal will is embedded into prehead position of the abstract mode
characterizer on the C0 level, the lexical level. The word will itself is lexically specified by the
features [+VBL, –NML, 3TNS, 1MDE,...] indicating that it is a verb with the features FUTURE and
INDICATIVE. Thus, it can appropriately occur in a structure like (60a) where the mode
characterizer is [3TNS, 1MDE].
168 Chapter Three
In addition to containing a modal, the mode characterizer in English can contain an emphatic form
of the verb do as in the following, where [1TNS] = PRS and [2TNS] = PST:

(61) a. [V3 N3 [C3 [C0 [V3 [V0 does]] [C0 1TNS, 1MDE ] V0 ]
b. [V3 N3 [C3 [C0 [V3 [V0 did]] [C0 2TNS, 1MDE ] V0 ]

The essential feature of the above structures is that a particular lexical item resides in a phrase under
co–occurrence restrictions with the abstract head ["TNS, $MDE]. The verbs does and did are
lexically specified as [1TNS, 1MDE] and [2TNS, 1MDE] forms of do, respectively. Thus, they can
occur as above.

We see identical structures in derived adjectives like charming (a charming lady) and charmed (a
charmed life). Consider the following, where [DA1] and [DA2] are abstract adjectival markers,
lexically linked to –ing and –ed, respectively:

(62) a charming lady


[N3 [C3 a] [N2 [C3 [C0 [V3 [V0 charming]] [C0 DA1 ] ]] [N0 lady] ]]

(63) a charmed life


[N3 [C3 a] [N2 [C3 [C0 [V3 [V0 charmed]] [C0 DA2 ] ]] [N0 life] ]]

Crucially, words like charming and charmed in the above examples are adjectives (modifiers), that
is, X2 level characterizers, which occur with specifiers and modifiers typical of adjectives:

(64) a. a very charming/pretty lady


b. a very charmed/long life

(65) a. a lady so charming/pretty that she captivated everyone


b. a life so charmed/long that we were amazed

Nonetheless, charming and charmed are both clearly related to the verb charm. The above
structures capture this duality. Furthermore, with such structures, lexical decomposition to the
following is straightforward:21

(66) a charming lady


[N3 [C3 a] [N2 [C3 [C0 [V3 [V0 charm]] [C0 ing ] ]] [N0 lady] ]]

(67) a charmed life


[N3 [C3 a] [N2 [C3 [C0 [V3 [V0 charm]] [C0 ed ] ]] [N0 life] ]]

Thus, charming and charmed are characterizers, specifically adjectives, derived from the verb
charm.
Chapter Three 169
Paralleling these forms, we have the derived nominal charming (the charming of snakes) with the
following structure, where [DN] is linked to the abstract derived nominal marker –ing:

(68) the charming of snakes


[N3 [C3 the ] [N1 [N0 [V3 [V0 charming]] [N0 DN] ] of snakes ]]
[N3 [C3 the ] [N1 [N0 [V3 [V0 charm]] [N0 ing] ] of snakes ]]

When a structure is embedded into prehead position of the X0 level, as in the above, it cannot have
any internal posthead elements of its own. This constraint is a very general restriction in English
that does not permit prehead elements to have their own posthead modifiers or complements:22

(69) a. the baby sleeping in the crib/*the sleeping in the crib baby
b. a teacher of the history of colonial America/*a history of colonial America teacher
c. the man on the porch/*the on the porch man

On the other hand, there are forms related to the above derived adjectives and derived nominals
which can have the full range of posthead elements. These include progressive participles (PRGP),
passive participles (PSVP) and gerundial nominals (GN). Taking advantage of the many
prehead/posthead alternations that occur in English (see the examples in (18) and (19)), suppose we
say that these forms are derived from embedding into posthead position of X0 as follows:

(70) the lady charming the snakes


[N3 [C3 the] [N2 [N0 lady] [C3 [C0 [C0 PRGP] [V3 [V1 [V0 charming] [N3 the snakes] ]] ]] ]]

(71) the snakes charmed by the lady


[N3 [C3 the] [N2 [N0 snakes] [C3 [C0 [C0 PSVP] [V3 [V2 [V0 charmed] [C3 by the lady] ]] ]] ]]

(72) charming snakes (is fun)


[N3 [N0 [N0 GN] [V3 [V1 [V0 charming] [N3 snakes]] ]]

The above structures indicate that progressive and passive participles are adjectival and that gerunds
are nominal. On the other hand, these nonfinite forms must also be classified as forms of a particular
verb (in the present case, the verb charm) because they have selectional and categorial restrictions
that are identical to that related verb. For example, snakes, children, students, etc. can be the object
of any form of the verb charm whether it be a finite form or a present participle or a gerund, whereas
desks, telephones, forks, etc. cannot be the object of any form of charm. There are many similar
relationships. For example, a finite verb that constructs with a particular particle (throw out, hand
in, call up, and so on) retains that same particle in nonfinite forms (throwing out, handing in, calling
up, and so on). In short, as traditional grammars have long observed, participles are verbal
adjectives and gerunds are verbal nouns. The above structures capture these dualities.
170 Chapter Three
Summarizing, the internal structure of all –ing and –ed forms are as follows:23

(73) Progressive Participles (PRGP) and Derived Adjectives (DA1).

a. Participle (the lady charming the man): [C3 [C0 [C0 PRGP] [V3 [V0 charming]]]]
b. Adjective (a very charming lady): [C3 [C0 [V3 [V0 charming]] [C0 DA1]]]

(74) Passive Participles (PSVP) and Derived Adjectives (DA2).

a. Participle (charmed by her flattery): [C3 [C0 [C0 PSVP] [V3 [V0 charmed]]]]
b. Derived Adjective (a very charmed life): [C3 [C0 [V3 [V0 charmed]] [C0 DA2]]]

(75) Gerundial Nominals (GN) and Derived Nominals (DN).

a. GN (charming candy from a baby): [N3 [N0 [N0 GN] [V3 [V0 charming]]]]
b. DN: (such charming of snakes): [N3 [N0 [V3 [V0 charming]] [N0 DN]]]

(76) Summary of Verbal Structures.

a. Verb resides in posthead position.

[C3 [C0 [C0 PRGP] [V3 [V0 charming]] ]]


[C3 [C0 [C0 PSVP] [V3 [V0 charmed]] ]]
[N3 [N0 [N0 GN] [V3 [V0 charming]] ]]

b. Verb resides in prehead position.

[C3 [C0 [V3 [V0 charming]] [C0 DA1] ]]


[C3 [C0 [V3 [V0 charmed]] [C0 DA2] ]]
[N3 [N0 [V3 [V0 charming]] [N0 DN] ]]

Notice, in particular, that the four possible ing–forms in English have the feature specification
[–VBL] (they are subjuncts); two are [–NML] (the derived adjective and the present participle); two
are [+NML] (the derived nominal and the gerundial nominal). Further, the two members of each
pair are mirror images of each other. Thus, all are subjuncts with a V3 embedded on their X0 level.
The nominal nature of gerunds is accounted for by embedding that V3 into an N3, and the adjectival
nature of participles is accounted for by embedding that V3 into a C3.

3.1.3 MAJOR AND MINOR MORPHOSYNTACTIC FEATURES.

The morphosyntactic feature oppositions [±VBL, ±NML] are not sufficient to distinguish the major
syntactic categories that occur in the world’s languages. For example, within the category verb,
there are subclasses which include finite verbs, nonfinite verbs (infinitives, participles, etc.),
Chapter Three 171
auxiliaries, and modals. Within the category characterizer, there are prepositions, subordinators
(subordinating conjunctions), adjectives, adverbs, determiners, and so on. To specify these
subclasses, I propose two features [±OPEN PHRASE] ([±OPH]) and [±OPEN CLASS] ([±OCL])
defined as follows:24

(77) a. [+OPH]: occurring as the head of a phrase that can contain specifiers,
quantifiers, or modifiers
b. [–OPH]: occurring as the head of a phrase that cannot contain specifiers,
quantifiers, or modifiers

(78) a. [+OCL]: unlimited in number


b. [–OCL]: limited in number

The syntactic feature specification [±OPH] separates categories whose internal phrase structure is
open in the sense that it can freely contain specifiers, quantifiers, or modifiers, from other categories
whose internal phrase structure is highly restricted.25 The [±OPH] distinction is most clearly seen
in the variety of structures possible for common nouns on the one hand, which can be specified,
quantified, and modified, and pronouns and proper nouns on the other hand, which cannot:26

(79) a. That very old woman left early./*That very old she left early.
b. All the tall women walked in./*All the tall they walked in.
c. A woman that is tall will get the job./*Mary that is tall will get the job.

Among quantifiers themselves, there are two broad classes: comparative quantifers, which are
[+OPH], like (much too) much, (a whole lot) more, (a very) few, etc.; and noncomparative
quantifiers, which are [–OPH], like (*too) all, (*very) both, (*each) some, etc. Further, I distinguish
here between absolute quantification, which does not involve partitioning, and partitive
quantification, which does (I will discuss partitives in detail in Section 7.3.1, Page 489 ff.). This
distinction is also observed most clearly in common nouns, which allow either type of
quantification, and pronouns and proper nouns, which only allow partitive quantification:

(80) Absolute Quantification:

a. He drank too much milk./He ate too many potato chips.


b. *He drank too much it./*He ate too many them./*He saw too much Mary.

(81) Partitive Quantification:

a. He drank too much of the milk./He ate too many of the potato chips.
b. He drank too much of it./He ate too many of them./He saw too much of Mary.

Given these distinctions, we have examples like the following of the interaction between the feature
[±OPH] and a category’s ability to be quantified absolutely (Q = quantifier):
172 Chapter Three
(82) [+OPH] (can be quantified absolutely):27

a. Common Verb: He works enough/(far) too much; He little realizes what


trouble he caused; The play lasted (far) too long; He weighs
(far) too much; The world will little note, nor long
remember, what we say here.

b. Common Noun: He drank enough milk; He asked many questions; Fewer


questions were asked than expected.

c. Comparative Q: He drank much too much milk; He asked far too many
questions.

d. Adjective: He is smart enough; He is much/far smarter than she is.

e. Adverb: He spoke clearly enough; He spoke much/far more clearly


than he ever spoke before.

f. Preposition: He lives a little down the road; He stepped further out of


bounds; He stayed far into the night; He is too much/far in
debt to buy it.

g. Subordinator: He left long before she arrived; He left a little after she
arrived; The accident occurred a little before the lanes
merge.

h. Particle: He lives far away; He stood a little further back.

(83) [–OPH] (cannot be quantified absolutely):

a. Modal: *He can enough work; *He enough can work.28

b. Pronoun: He drank enough *(of) it; He asked too many *(of) them;
Fewer *(of) them were asked than expected.

c. Proper Noun: He saw enough *(of) Mary; He saw a lot *(of) London.

d. Noncomparative Q: *He has enough all; *He took too much some.

e. Determiner: He has enough *(of) those.

The morphological feature [+OCL] specifies those categories which form an open class to which
an unlimited number of items may be added. Since classical antiquity, most grammarians have
observed the sharp distinction between the very large number of nouns, verbs, adjectives, and
Chapter Three 173
adverbs that occur in languages as opposed to the rather small fixed number of prepositions,
conjunctions, determiners, pronouns, etc. (for discussion, see Quirk, R. et al. 1985: 67 ff.). The
opposition [±OCL] is intended to capture this dichotomy. For the most part, in English, open class
words are marked by distinct inflectional suffixes, that is, variations in form: nouns show variations
in number and case (boy, boys, boy’s, boys’); verbs show variations in tense (plays, played); and
adjectives and adverbs show variations in comparison (fast, faster, fastest; long, longer, longest).29

Given the features [±OPH] and [±OCL], we have the following specifications for some familiar
categories (Q = quantifier):30

(84) NML VBL OPH OCL

a. Common Verb – + + + She went there a lot.


Auxiliary – + – – She has gone away.
Modal – + – – She will go away.

b. Common Noun + – + + Many women went away.


Pronoun + – – – He saw her go away.
Proper Noun + – – + John went away to London.
Noncomparative Q + – – – All the women went away.
Comparative Q + – + – Too many women went away.

c. Determiner – – – – That young woman went away.


Complementizer – – – – He knows that she went away.
Degree Word – – – – She went that far away.31

d. Preposition – – + – He went far down the street.


Subordinator – – + – Long after he went, she went.
Particle – – + – She went far away.

e. Adjective – – + + The younger women went away.


Adverb (manner) – – + + She went away a little fearfully.
Adverb (sentence) – – + + She’ll most probably go away.

The above feature space distinguishes five groups of morphosyntactic categories, with each group
specified by a unique cluster of features that distinguishes it from the other four groups. All verbs
are [–NML, +VBL], all nouns are [+NML, –VBL], all specifiers are [–NML, –VBL, –OPH, –OCL],
all modifiers are [–NML, –VBL, +OPH], and so on. Common nouns like dog and common verbs
like go are ["NML, –"VBL, +OPH, +OCL]. Given the fact that the four feature oppositions [±VBL,
±NML, ±OPH, ±OCL] define major morphosyntactic categories and supercategories, let us call
them “major morphosyntactic features.”
174 Chapter Three
Clearly, other features are needed to distinguish the individual categories within each of the five
groups above. These features, which we will refer to as “minor morphosyntactic features,” are
language specific and classified as follows (for further details, see Binkert 1984, 1994):32

(85) Linear Features ([±PRH] = [±PREHEAD]; [±PSH] = [±POSTHEAD]).33

a. [+PRH]: can freely occur before the head of a phrase


b. [–PRH]: cannot freely occur before the head of a phrase

c. [+PSH]: can freely occur after the head of a phrase


d. [–PSH]: cannot freely occur after the head of a phrase

(86) Hierarchical Features ([±X0L] = [±X0 LEVEL]; [±X1L] = [±X1 LEVEL]; [±X2L] = [±X2
LEVEL]; [±X3L] = [±X3 LEVEL]).

a. [+X0L]: can freely occur immediately dominated by an X0 level


b. [–X0L]: cannot freely occur immediately dominated by an X0 level

c. [+X1L]: can freely occur immediately dominated by an X1 level


d. [–X1L]: cannot freely occur immediately dominated by an X1 level

e. [+X2L]: can freely occur immediately dominated by an X2 level.


f. [–X2L]: cannot freely occur immediately dominated by an X2 level

g. [+X3L]: can freely occur immediately dominated by an X3 level.


h. [–X3L]: cannot freely occur immediately dominated by an X3 level

(87) Head Features ([±ENH] = [±IN THE ENVIRONMENT OF NOUN HEAD]; [±EVH] =
[±IN THE ENVIRONMENT OF VERB HEAD]; [±ECH] = [±IN THE ENVIRONMENT
OF CHARACTERIZER HEAD]).34

a. [+ENH]: can freely occur immediately dominated by a projection of N0


b. [–ENH]: cannot freely occur immediately dominated by a projection of N0

c. [+EVH]: can freely occur immediately dominated by a projection of V0


d. [–EVH]: cannot freely occur immediately dominated by a projection of V0

c. [+ECH]: can freely occur immediately dominated by a projection of C0


d. [–ECH]: cannot freely occur immediately dominated by a projection of a C0

The phrase “freely occur” is important in the above definitions. It means that the phrase can occur
in the position indicated without being bound to an [e] somewhere else. For example, a manner
adverb might occur in sentence initial position but only as a topicalized element bound to an [e] on
V2; hence, manner adverbs are [–X3L].
Chapter Three 175
Using these nine features, together with those previously discussed, we make the distinctions for
English that are specified in Figure Seven I and II.35

In Figure Seven II, a feature value of “+” is indicated when the category embraces more than one
positive value for features like [NUM], [PER], [TNS], etc. For example, the forms for auxiliaries
are specified as [+NUM, +PER, +TNS] since a form like am is [1NUM, 1PER, 1TNS] whereas was
is [1NUM, 1PER, 2TNS] or [1NUM, 3PER, 2TNS], and so on. If the value is constant, it is
indicated, e.g., will is [3TNS].In Figure Seven II, notice also that it is often not possible to assign
a value for some features of particular forms independent of context: thrown is [1VOI] when it
occurs as part of the perfective (have thrown) and [2VOI] when it occurs as a component of the
passive (be thrown). Similarly, a form like throwing is marked [1ASP], i.e., PROGRESSIVE, when
it is in construction with a form of be, e.g., She is throwing. However, as Comrie (1976: 39–40)
notes, “Although the –ing form is an essential ingredient of the English Progressive, in nonfinite
constructions without the auxiliary be, the –ing form does not necessarily have progressive meaning;
in fact, in such constructions, it typically indicates only simultaneity...” Compare the following
forms in –ing:

(88) a. The boy throwing the balls is a great pitcher.


b. The boy fell while throwing the ball.
c. The boy fainted after throwing his first pitch.
d. The boy smiled throwing the balls.

A participial form like throwing or thrown, as we have seen, is analyzed here as a characterizer
consisting of an adjectival marker and an embedded verb form, each specified by particular feature
values for ASPECT, VOICE, and MODE (cf. examples in Section 3.1.2, Page 166 ff.):

(89) a. [C3 [C0 [C0 PRGP] [V3 [V0 throwing] ]]] (progressive participle)
b. [C3 [C0 [C0 PSVP] [V3 [V0 thrown] ]]] (passive participle)
c. [C3 [C0 [C0 PFCP] [V3 [V0 thrown] ]]] (perfective participle)

[PRGP], [PSVP] and [PFCP] are abstract characterizers like the tense/mode characterizer in main
clauses. Similarly, a gerundial nominal like throwing is analyzed here as a noun phrase consisitng
of an abstract nominal marker (GN) and an embedded verb form:36

(90) [N3 [N0 [N0 [GN]] [V3 [V0 throwing] ]]] (gerund)
176 Chapter Three

FIGURE SEVEN I: FEATURES FOR ENGLISH MORPHOSYNTACTIC CATEGORIES


CATEGORIES & EXAMPLES VBL NML OPH OCL PRH PSH ENH EVH ECH X0L X1L X2L X3L

VERB: go, goes, went; am, are, + – + + – + + + + – + + +


is, was, were

VERB: gone, going; been, being + – + + – + – – + + – – –

AUX: have, has, had + – – – + + – + + + – – –

AUX: do, does, did + – – – + – – – + + – – –

MODAL: can, could, must + – – – + – – – + + – – –

NOUN: boy, milk, truck – + + + + + + + + – + + +

PRONOUN: she, he, herself – + – – + + + + + – + + +

PROPER NOUN: John, Mary, – + – + + + + + + – + + +


London

NUMERAL: one, two, ten, first, – + + – + – + – – – – + +


second, tenth

NONCOMPARATIVE Q: all, – + – – + – + – – – – – +
both, double

COMPARATIVE Q: much, – + + – + + + + + – – – +
more, most, many

DETERMINER: a, the, this, – – – – + – + – – – – – +


that, these, those, no

COMPLEMENTIZER: that, if – – – – + – – + – – – – +

DEGREE WORD: so, too, this, – – – – + – + – – – – – +


that, not

EMPHATIC: too, so, not – – – – – + – + + – – – +

NEGATOR: not – – – – + – + + + – – – +

PREPOSITION: in, out, after – – + – – + + + + – + + +

SUBORDINATOR: since, – – + – – + + + + – – + +
because, after

PARTICLE: in, out, back – – + – – + – + – – + + –

ADJECTIVE: happy, big – – + + – + + + – – + + –

MANNER ADVERB: happily, – – + + + + – + – – – + –


sadly

SENTENCE ADVERB: – – + + + + – + + – – – +
probably, ultimately
Chapter Three 177

FIGURE SEVEN II: FEATURES FOR ENGLISH MORPHOSYNTACTIC CATEGORIES


CATEGORIES & EXAMPLES VBL NML NUM PER GEN CAS TNS ASP VOI MDE

INDICATIVE (VERB1–1): throw + – + + – – 1 – 1 1

INDICATIVE (VERB2–1): throws + – 1 3 – – 1 – 1 1

INDICATIVE (VERB3–1): threw + – + + – – 2 – 1 1

AUX: have, has, had (thrown) + – + + – – + – 1 1

AUX: am, is, are, was, were + – + + – – + – 1 1


(throwing/thrown)

AUX: do, does, did (throw) + – + + – – + – 1 1

MODAL: will, shall (throw) + – + + – – 3 – 1 1

IMPERATIVE: throw + – + 2 – – 1 – 1 2

SUBJUNCTIVE: throw, be + – + + – – – – 1 3

CONDITIONAL: were + – + + – – – – 1 4

MODAL: could, would (throw) + – + + – – – – 1 4

VERB4–1a: (have) thrown, been + – – – – – – 2 1 5

VERB4–1b: (be) thrown + – – – – – – 2 2 5

VERB5–1a: (be) throwing, being + – – – – – – 1 1 5

VERB5–1b: throwing + – 1 3 3 + – – 1 6

INFINITIVE: to throw + – – – – – – – 1 7

GN (gerundial nominal marker): + + 1 3 3 + – – 1 6

NOUN: boy, milk, truck – + + + + + – – – –

PRONOUN: she, he, herself – + + + + + – – – –

OTHER NOMINALS: – + + – – – – – – –

DETERMINER: a, the, this, these – – + – – – – – – –

TENSE/MODE CHARACTERIZER: – – + + – – ± – + +

PRGP (progressive participle marker): – – – – – – – 1 1 5

PFCP (perfective participle marker) – – – – – – – 1 1 5

PSVP (passive participle marker): – – – – – – – 2 2 5

INF (infinitive marker to): – – – – – – – – 1 7

OTHER CHARACTERIZERS: – – – – – – – – – –
178 Chapter Three
Lexical items occur in tree structure in their full form: there is no rule of affix hopping in the
grammar being described here. The individual morphological variations of any particular lexical
item are specified in the lexicon with subclassifications like the following, where the labels VERB1
(VERB FORM1), VERB2 (VERB FORM2), NOUN1 (NOUN FORM1), etc. are word senses
associated with constellations of features for PERSON, NUMBER, TENSE, etc. (see Chapter Five,
Section 5.10 for further details):

(91) a. VERB1–1; present plural, all persons; present singular, first and second person.

ple+Ø play

b. VERB2–1; present singular, third person.

ple+z plays

c. VERB3–1; past, all persons and numbers.

ple+d played

d. VERB4–1a; perfective participle.

ple+d played

e. VERB4–1b; passive participle.

ple+d played

f. VERB5–1a; progressive participle.

ple+iõ playing

g. VERB5–1b; gerundial nominal.

ple+iõ playing

h. NOUN1–1; singular.

ple+Ø play

i. NOUN2–1; plural.

ple+z plays
Chapter Three 179
With the feature space in Figure Seven, we can define syntactic categories in terms of residences,
positions in syntactic structure associated with specific grammatical functions (subject, object, etc.)
or semantic relations (specification, modification, etc.). Specifiers reside on the X3 level; modifiers,
on the X2 level; and complements, on the X1 level. The process of encoding sentences, then,
involves building a structure which can “house” any arbitrarily selected item. For example, if a
manner adverb like enthusiastically is selected, the representation must include a V2. Similarly,
decoding sentences entails the same, that is, if a word like enthusiastically is encountered by a
parser, it must merge the word into a V2 structure; if there is no V2, one must be created.

Within each syntactic category, there are apparent idiosyncrasies which are marked in the lexicon.
For example, consider again the feature oppositions [±PRH, ±PSH] in terms of the following
categories:

(92) a. Specific lexical items that are both [+PRH] and [+PSH], i.e., that can occur on either
side of the head, sometimes with a variation in meaning:

1. A few adjectives: the available books; the books available


2. Manner adverbs: quickly left; left quickly
3. Sentence adverbs: probably, he will go; he will go, probably
he [probably will] go; he [will probably] go
4. Temporal quantifiers: he often sings; he sings often
he will soon leave; he will leave soon
5. Nominal quantifiers: as many too many marbles; as many marbles too
many

b. Specific lexical items that are [+PRH] and [–PSH], i.e., that can only occur in
prehead position:

1. Some adverbs: he barely finished;*he finished barely


2. Numerals: those three women; *those women three
those many women; *those women many

c. Specific lexical items that are [–PRH] and [+PSH], i.e., that can only occur in
posthead position:

1. A few adjectives: *the adrift garbage; the garbage adrift


2. Manner adjectives: *he hard threw it; he threw it hard
3. Verbal quantifiers: *he far threw it; he threw it far
4. Locative quantifiers: *he there stood; he stood there

We would like to provide an explanation for these variations and, in many cases, we can. For
example, the class of adjectives including adrift, astern, abroad, etc., which can never occur in
prehead position, are so restricted because they are equivalent to prepositional phrases which also
cannot occur in prehead position. Similarly, locative quantifiers like there are [–PRH, +PSH]
180 Chapter Three
probably because they are also equivalent to prepositional phrases, i.e., in/to/from that place.
Despite a few sporadic uses (the then president, the president then, *the then problem, the problem
then), temporal quantifiers have the same distribution.37 I will discuss such apparent idiosyncrasies
in the next section.

The feature specifications in Figure Seven mark base residences, that is, positions in which a
category is unbound. For example, the base residence for adjectives in English is [–PRH, +PSH].
There are several arguments for this specification.

First, [–PRH, +PSH] is the only possible position for adjectives of any kind in verb phrases: he is
tall/*he tall is and he threw it hard/*he hard threw it.

Second, some adjectives like astern, as we have just noted, are restricted to posthead position in N3
probably because they are actually prepositional phrases (at the stern or toward the stern).

Third, all other adjectives must occur in [+ENH, +PRH, –PSH] position except when they are
specified by an overt degree word (see Endnote 31):

(93) a. a tall woman; *a woman tall; *a that tall woman; a woman that all
b. the easiest students to teach; the students easiest to teach (easiest < –est [Q] easy)

As the above data indicate, a distinction must be made between an overt degree word like that and
an abstract degree word like [–er] or [–est]. When adjectives are not specified by an overt degree
word, they must occur in [+ENN, +PRH, –PSH] position except for a few sporadic cases like
available. Adjectives may also occur in [+ENN, +PRH, –PSH] position when they are specified by
an abstract degree word, e.g., [–er] and [–est]. Otherwise, adjectives in N3 are [–PRH, +PSH].

The real explanation for these restrictions is rooted in conditions on the form of N3 resulting from
constraints on parsing which we now consider.

3.2 THE ENGLISH NOUN PHRASE CONDITION (NPC).

As is well known, English subjects and tensed verbs must agree in number, as the following data
indicate.

(94) a. The books are good.


b. The book is good.
c. *The books is good.
d. *The book are good.

In short, one of the keys to understanding basic clausal structure in English is finding the head of
the subject noun phrase so that it and the tensed verb will agree. This is not a trivial matter.
Consider the following, where the italicized word is the main verb.
Chapter Three 181
(95) a. The school shows play here.
b. The school show plays here.
c. The school shows plays here.
d. The schools show plays here.

Despite the problems posed by such examples, English does have a number of constraints which
facilitate the location of the head of a noun phrase. Individually, the constraints appear arbitrary;
but together, they do not.

First, consider the following:

(96) If the head of a noun phrase is a singular count noun, e.g., a noun like book, then the noun
phrase must have an overt determiner (a word like the or a); if the head is plural (books),
the determiner need not be overt (it can be Ø, the phonologically null DET).

This constraint is illustrated in the following sentences:

(97) a. He is carrying the/a book.


b. He is carrying the books.
c. He is carrying Ø books.
d. *He is carrying Ø book.

Of course, the question is, Why is (97d) ungrammatical? It appears completely arbitrary.

Another constraint on noun phrases in English is the following:

(98) Between the determiner and the head noun of a noun phrase, there can be no plural noun.

This accounts for the data in (99) and (100).

(99) a. She is the teacher of history.


b. She is the history teacher.
c. She is the teacher of languages.
d. *She is the languages teacher.

(100) a. He submitted an abstract of 500 words.


b. *He submitted an abstract of 500 word.
c. He submitted a 500 word abstract.
d. *He submitted a 500 words abstract.

Again, it seems odd that English has the rule (98) and that the starred sentences in (99) and (100)are
impossible: their ungrammaticality appears completely arbitrary.

English noun phrases also obey the following constraint:


182 Chapter Three
(101) Between the determiner and the head noun of a noun phrase, no other determiner can occur.

This is borne out in (102) and accounts for the fact that adjectives containing an overt degree word
cannot occur in [+PRH, –PSH] position.

(102) a. A teacher of this language is hard to find.


*A this language teacher is hard to find.
A language teacher is hard to find.

b. A teacher that clever is hard to find.


*A that clever teacher is hard to find.
A clever teacher is hard to find.

Lastly, the English Noun Phrase Condition contains two other conditions:

(103) Any item which might occur to the left of the determiner must be separated from it by the
preposition of.38

a. A number of the systems are complicated.


b. The number systems are complicated. (here number systems is a compound noun)

(104) A noun head must be separated from posthead elements by some marker, frequently a
preposition. Often this marker is the same preposition used with the associated verb, e.g.,
against in John’s vote against gun control (cf. John voted against gun control). In other
instances it is a complementizer, e.g., that in the man that left. When the verb associated
with the nominal has no strictly subcategorized preposition, the complement of the head
is introduced by the preposition of .39

a. The student letters are here.


The student of letters is here.

b. His love stories are charming.


His love of stories is charming.

The general question is, Why does English have these constraints on the internal structure of its
noun phrases? If we represent these constraints diagrammatically, we have the following structure:

(105) N3
+))))0))))))3))))),
...of.......DET...........N0........of...
.)))0)))-
8 8 X 8 8
anchor cue head anchor
Chapter Three 183
The area marked “X” in (105) is the area in which three of the conditions on noun phrase structure
operate. Within X, there can be only one determiner and only singular nouns; if N0 is a singular
count count, then DET must be overt. Since any violation of these conditions makes it impossible
to locate the head unambiguously, the suggestion is that the conditions are not arbitrary; rather, they
exist to help speakers locate the head of a noun phrase.

Notice that, with the constraints, ambiguity disappears. First, the word of acts like anchor points
(Sternberg 1969; Anderson, John R. 1985) delineating the boundaries of the head. Second, if the
head is singular, the noun phrase must be cued by an overt determiner; we don’t have sentences like
*he is carrying book. Third, if the head is plural, the determiner need not be overt (he is carrying
books), but in such cases one knows that the plural noun must be the head, because the only
allowable plural between the DET and the head is the head. In short, the constraints appear to result
from cognitive limitations. Humans are not clairvoyant and need structural principles to locate the
heads of phrases in languages like English. Such principles are embodied in the NPC.

Given this analysis, we have an explanation for why the past tense has become regular in English
for all persons and number, but the present tense has not. Compare (106) and (107).

(106) Regular Past Tense; played for all persons and number: He/They played.

(107) Irregular Present Tense: He plays versus They play.

The basic problem is that singular and plural noun inflection is identical to verb inflection:

(108) a. play: either a singular noun or a plural present


b. plays: either a plural noun or a singular present

There are many nouns in English that also function as verbs. On the other hand, there are only a few
past tense verbs that are also nouns, and they are all irregular, e.g., cut and hit. Further, locating the
head of an English noun phrase is not a trivial matter. There are many opportunities for ambiguity.
All these potential ambiguities are eliminated by the rule of subject verb agreement. Quite simply,
without the inflectional differences between singular and plural count nouns and between singular
and plural present verbs, speakers would be unable to locate the head of a noun phrase. When these
inflections are removed from the sentences like those in (95), the result is *The school show play
here, which is not interpretable. Hence, the present tense of verbs cannot become regular.

Furthermore, the base residence of adjectives in N3 and V3 is [–PRH, +PSH, +X2L]. However, if
an adjective is not specified by an overt degree word, then it must occur in prehead position of a
noun phrase. If not, (104) will be violated.

The analysis given in this section suggests that we add one last feature opposition [±X1N] to our
feature space, to distinguish categories whose X1 Level can immediately dominate an N3 (transitive
verbs and prepositions):40
184 Chapter Three
(109) a. [+X1N]: categories whose X1 Level can immediately dominate an N3.
b. [–X1N]: categories whose X1 Level cannot immediately dominate an N3.

3.3 PHRASE STRUCTURE FRAMES.

Given the feature space in Figure Seven, it is possible to reduce all phrase structures in English to
variations of one basic schema or “frame”:41

(110) [Xn ([+NML]) ([–NML]) Xm ([+NML]) ([–NML]) ] where m # n

This frame states that each X level must dominate a level of equal or lesser bar value, as stipulated
by the C–command restrictions among specifiers (X3), modifiers (X2), and complements (X1).
Further, (110) states that there may be at most two constituents to the left and to the right of the head
on any X level of any phrase, and [+NML] categories (nouns) must precede [–NML] categories.
We see these restrictions met in all the structures given thus far, as well as more complex phrases
like the following which we will consider in detail in Chapters Seven and Eight:42

(111) a. [N3 [N3 all] [C3 those] [N2 [N3 many] [C3 presidential] [N1 [N3 affirmative action]
[N0 recommendations] [C3 to the Congress] ] [N3 last year]
[C3 to improve employment for minorities] ] ]

b. [N3 [N3 the vice president] [C3 POS] [N2 [N3 twelve] [C3 passionate] [N1
[N0 recommendations] [C3 for affirmative action] ] [N3 this past fall] ]
[V3 which turned out to be politically motivated] ]

In effect, (110) eliminates the standard phrase structure component of grammar. Structures can be
built up as a result of the residences specified in their lexical entry. For example, if the is chosen
at random from the lexicon it must be combined with whatever else has been and will be chosen so
that two conditions are met: (i) the must end up in a position that satisfies its feature specification
(see Figure Seven), and (ii) the resultant structure must obey frame (110).

The general frame specified in (110) means that syntactic categories all refer to the basic phrasal
architecture given in (112), where m # n (for further discussion, see Binkert 1983, 1984, 1994).

(112)
Chapter Three 185
From each X level (m # n), both to the left and to the right of the head, can occur at most two
elements. The first of these two is specified by the feature [+NML]; the second, by the feature
[–NML]. In short, the feature opposition [±NML] actually refers to specific linear positions in a
hierarchy of positions. Thus, [+NML] is something that occurs in position " of (113); [–NML] is
something that occurs in position $.

(113)

The feature [+NML] is the major defining feature of the English syntactic category commonly
referred to as NOUN. As we have seen, all syntactic categories are similarly defined. To take
another example, the feature opposition [±ENH] (in the environment of noun head) refers to either
" or $ in (114).

(114)

The claim here is that there can be at most five units on any one level. Although the above
structures were worked out solely on the basis of syntactic evidence, that is, autonomously, this
number is, interestingly, the lower end of human short term memory capacity (STM; Miller 1956).
One can infer from this that severe restrictions on STM demand that the syntax of human languages
be organized into hierarchical units, and that the definitions of syntactic categories make reference
to those hierarchical units. Despite this interesting correlation, the syntactic system described here
is merely “generative,” in the classical sense of that word (Chomsky 1965: 8–9), that is, the system
merely assigns structural descriptions to arbitrary sentences making no claim about how people
actually produce or understand such sentences.

There are, of course, dependencies. Consider for example the diagram (115).
186 Chapter Three
(115)

In (115), if X is [+NML], then $ is a characterizer, typically, a determiner. If X is [–NML] and *


is [+NML], then X can be a transitive verb and * is its direct object and " is its subject. These
specifications are determined by the syntactic feature matrix given in Figure Seven. From such
specificity, one derives the concept of residence. For example, one says that a determiner is nothing
more than a class of words that resides in X3 Level Prehead position of a noun phrase.

Of course it will be necessary to have certain conditions on well–formedness such as (116), which
we can derive from the morphological universal in (117).

(116) There may be only one mode characterizer on successive recursions of V3.

(117) The One Affix Condition (OAC).

A word cannot be marked by more than one grammatical marker from the same set of
mutually exclusive grammatical markers, i.e., no more than one number, no more than one
tense, no more than one case, etc.

The OAC prevents all of the following: *biggerest, *mans, *wented, *they’s, *persuadeds,
*persuadesed, *persuadinged, *persuadeding, *to went, etc.

Notice that a frame like (110) is an amalgamation of many individual details like the following each
of which can be encoded in a network (see Chapter Five, Section 5.10):

(118) a. Syntactic Feature: a syntactic feature F is a feature from the set of primitives
{NOMINAL, VERBAL, ...}.
b. Syntactic Category: a syntactic category is a syntactic feature matrix E consisting
of pairs :F, where : , {–, +, 1, 2, 3, ...} and where F is a syntactic feature.
c. Projection: a projection of a syntactic feature matrix E0, specified for a lexical
entry, is a syntactic hierarchy that includes E0 and (potentially) other syntactic
feature matrices. In English, the maximal projection of a syntactic feature matrix is
E3, and the minimal projection is E0.
d. Phrase: a syntactic feature matrix E3 representing the maximal projection of E0.
Chapter Three 187
e. Head: the terminal minimal projection E0.
f. Dominance: In a structure of the form ["...X...], if " and X are syntactic feature
matrices and if X is contained within the hierarchy ", then " dominates X. In such
a case, one also says X is bounded by ".
g. Precedence: In a structure of the form ["...X...Y...], if " and X and Y are syntactic
feature matrices and if X is to the left of Y, then X precedes Y.

The specifications in (118) combined with the feature specifications in Figure Seven allow for the
construction of a frame like (110), which is the general form for all phrases, as well as very specific
frames for different types of syntactic categories. All frames must conform to (110). In generating
a parse tree for some arbitrary input, the Langtech Parser (LTP) mentioned in the Preface and
described here first looks up each word in the input and obtains a list of all the syntactic categories
(parts of speech) to which the word belongs. From the specifications summarized in Figure Seven,
the LTP then generates a set of all the possible frames for each of the syntactic categories. For
example, from Figure Seven, the LTP generates the following frames, among others, for the lexical
items that, train, and passenger (note that each frame is a legitimate variation on (110)):

(119) a. that: [N3 [C3 [C0 that]] [N1 [N0 NOUN] ]]


b. train: [N3 [N0 train] ]
c. train: [N3 [N1 [N3 [N0 train]] [N0 NOUN] ]]
d. passenger: [N3 [N0 passenger] ]
e. passenger: [N3 [N1 [N3 [N0 passenger]] [N0 NOUN] ]]

The generation of a specific frame like (119a) for the word that follows directly from the fact that
the word that is listed in the lexicon as a DET and all DET are characterizers ([–NML, –VBL]), in
particular, specifiers of nouns ([+PRH, +X3L, +ENH]). Of course, given the lexical items in our
example, many other frames can be generated since that could also be a complementizer or degree
word, train could also be a verb, and so on.

The second step in the parsing process consists of accepting or rejecting the frames which have been
generated by matching the slots in each frame with the individual items in the input string. For
example, given the input string that passenger train, the LTP rejects (119c) because of the conflict
between the order of the words in the input and the order of the elements in the frames. Conversely,
given the input string that train passenger, the LTP rejects (119e).

At this point the merge routines begin. The LTP attempts to combine all the frames for the first
lexical item with all the frames for the second one in such a way that (110) is not violated. Given
the input that passenger, two possibilities emerge:

(120) a. [N3 [C3 [C0 that]] [N1 [N0 passenger] ]] = (119d)


b. [N3 [C3 [C0 that]] [N1 [N3 [N0 passenger]] [N0 NOUN] ]] = (119e)

The LTP proceeds to the next word, attempting to merge the two structures above with all of the
188 Chapter Three
accepted frames for the word train. In the present simplified example, there is only one frame,
(119b). Thus, the following parse tree is produced (see Chapter Five, Section 5.10 for further
details):

(121) [N3 [C3 [C0 that]] [N1 [N3 [N0 passenger]] [N0 train] ]]

Given (110) and the system we have proposed, there are essentially three possibilities for merging
adjacent frames (x) and (y). First, (x) can be merged into (y). This occurs when (119a) is merged
into (119d), given the input that passenger. Second, (y) can be merged into (x). Given the same
string, that passenger, such a merge is impossible since determiners are not open phrase categories
([–OPH]); being closed phrase categories, nothing can be merged into them. Third, (x) and (y) can
remain unmerged with respect to each other, that is, they can be placed on a stack for future merging
that involves some string (z). In the above example, this is essentially what occurs when the frames
involved are (119a) and (119e).

In a three level version of syntax where the resulting parse tree must preserve the linear order of the
input items (the system we have proposed), this means that there are essentially nine possibilities
a parser would consider: (x) is merged somewhere into prehead position on the X3, X2, X1, or X0
level of (y); (y) is merged somewhere into posthead position on the X3, X2, X1, or X0 level of (x);
and (x) and (y) remain unmerged with respect to each other. Given an arbitrary sequence of words
like that passenger, the feature system in Figure Seven eliminates all of these except two, one in
which that and passenger form an N3 with passenger as the head (120a), and another in which that
and passenger remain unmerged with respect to each other allowing for such possibilities as a
compound noun like that passenger train (120b)/(121). As a result, the parser carries only two
possibilities forward to the next word after passenger rather than nine, thereby greatly reducing the
number of potential structures it must subsequently examine. That result is very significant, since
the number of possible parse trees would otherwise increase exponentially as the parser analyzed
successive words.

Note that the number of possibilities a parser considers is directly related to the number of possible
levels the theory of syntax allows. For example, we have argued for a separation of the X2
(modifier/adjunct) and X1 (complement) levels. It would appear that the number of possibilities
could be immediately reduced if modifiers and complements were placed on the same level. But
this is only an apparent simplification; in effect, the burden of analysis must be shifted to some other
component of the grammar or parsing system to determine whether any particular phrase is a
modifier or a complement. We have argued here for the direct generation of disambiguating
structures because the syntactic specifications in the lexicon frequently make disambiguation
transparent. For example, in the overwhelming majority of cases, compound nouns consist of two
adjacent nouns. This is sufficient information for a parser to immediately place the first in prehead
position on the N1 level of the second as in math teachers (the NPC discussed in the last section
prevents the merger of the second into the first). Such a structure indicates directly that math is a
complement and not a modifier, so the parser never has to determine at any other point what the
internal syntactic structure of the N3 math teachers is. Since Spanish is listed in the lexicon as both
a adjective and a noun, two structures are immediately generated for Spanish teachers. Again, the
Chapter Three 189
parser never has to determine at any other point what the internal syntactic structure of the N3
Spanish teachers is.

Of course, the same parser will provide several possible syntactic structures for Spanish math
teachers, even though there is (presumably) no such thing as Spanish math. However, the apparent
nonexistence of Spanish math has nothing to do with the syntax of the phrase Spanish math teachers.
Since it is possible to imagine a context in which Spanish math would be appropriate, the parser
must carry forward the possibility. Still, an ideal and fully implemented parsing system would, in
fact, not generate Spanish math in the majority of contexts by somehow accessing the information
that the phrase is odd during the parsing process. That is, the goal would be to check all the
phonological, morphological, syntactic, semantic, and extra–linguistic information available to the
parser as phrase structure is built up so that only the most likely interpretations are directly
produced, that is, filtering the parse trees during the parse.

As we will see at several points below, the same strategy applies when the empty categories [u] and
[e] are inserted by the merge routines during the parsing process. For example, for the sentences
in (122), the parser provides the ambiguous readings indicated because the lexical specifications for
both promise and visit stipulate that they can have a [u] object in the given contexts.43

(122) a. Whoi did John promise [e]i that Bill would visit [u]?
b. Whoi did John promise [u] that Bill would visit [e]i?

Notice that, at the point that the parser reaches the word that in the above, parsing is effectively
delayed since all occurrences of that are [+PRH] (see Figure Seven); in short, the possible parses
for who did John promise are placed in a holding pattern, i.e., on the stack. Since the word after that
is a proper noun, that cannot be either a determiner or a degree word; it must be a complementizer
embedded in prehead position on the internal X3 level of a V3. It is at that point that frames with
either [e] or [u] in them can be merged with the items previously placed on the stack. We therefore
have the following:

(123) a. [V3 whoi did [V3 John PST [V1 promise [e]i ] [V3 that [V3 Bill...
b. [V3 who did [V3 John PST [V1 promise [u] ] [V3 that [V3 Bill...

If the complete input sentence is Who did John promise that bill, then the parser produces the
following:

(124) [V3 whoi did [V3 John PST [V1 [V1 promise [e]i ] [N3 that [N0 bill]] ] ]]

Note that (125) is not produced because there is no place for a coindexed [e], and every X3 level
WH–phrase must be bound to an [e] (see the ENC below on Page 232):

(125) *[V3 who did [V3 John PST [V1 [V1 promise [u]] [N3 that [N0 bill]] ] ]]

Declarative variants of the above, however, do tolerate a [u] in PCOMP position for some speakers:
190 Chapter Three
(126) a. John promised me that bill.
b. John promised [u] that bill. (cf. I never promised you/[u] a rose garden.)

Crucially, [e] and [u] must occur in every WH–question where a verb allows a [u] PCOMP;
otherwise, the parser would not produce the correct reading for classic examples like the following:

(127) a. Whati did the teacher read [u] to the children from [e]i?
b. *Whati did the teacher read [e]i to the children from [u]?

In their discussion of Optimality Theory, Archangeli and Langendoen (1997:viii–ix) compare the
problem of constructing a grammar to that of a fisherman trying to catch in a net only fish of a
certain type. They describe two possibilities. In one, the fisherman tries to construct an ideal net
which only captures the desired fish. However, they point out that it may not be possible to
construct such a net. Therefore, a second possibility would be to allow the net to catch everything
and construct a device (a separator) to remove all the unwanted things the net has captured. They
further describe Optimality Theory as an attempt to construct the ideal separator, one in which a
grammar generates all sentences, both grammatical and ungrammatical, and separates out the
ungrammatical ones with filters. In terms of this analogy, the LTP is largely an attempt to construct
an ideal net since, at each point in the parse, the goal is to generate and carry forward only fully
grammatical parse trees.44

We have been describing the LTP as operating on a given arbitrary input string, which we may view
either as a string that a user has typed into the parser or a string that the parser itself has constructed
by selecting items at random from the lexicon. Note that the two possibilities are equivalent: when
a parser constructs input sentences by randomly selecting items from the lexicon, it will eventually
construct sentences that are identical to all the sentences that a user might type into it. Many of
these will crash because there is no way to merge the items selected and meet the feature
specifications of Figure Seven. Others will converge, that is, produce a viable parse tree. For
example, if the LTP randomly selects the items the, man and laughed from the lexicon, it can
construct six possible input orders: the man laughed, the laughed man, man the laughed, man
laughed the, laughed the man and laughed man the. All but the first of these input orders will crash
because only the first will produce a parse tree that satisfies the feature specifications of the items
selected as given in Figure Seven, e.g., the must reside in prehead position on the X3 level of a noun
phrase ([+PRH, +X3L, +ENH]).

The one viable parse, the man laughed, is equivalent to the sentence The man laughed, which a user
might potentially type into the parser. Given that input, the LTP produces (128), which consists of
a “User Friendly Output” (UFO) and a tree diagram that specifies the residence of the lexical items.
Chapter Three 191
(128) The clause "the man laughed" is a statement.
The phrase "the man" is a noun phrase and the subject of the verb "laughed".
The word "laughed" is a past tense verb.
The word "laughed" is the main verb of "the man laughed".
The word "man" is a singular common noun.
The word "the" is a determiner specifying the noun "man".

V3
|---------|---------|
| | |
N3 C3 V0
|---------| | VERB
| | | laughed
C3 N0 C0
| NOUN PST
| man
C0
DET
the

Parse trees like (128) are reproduced here in the exact form outputted by the LTP with one
exception. The tree actually contains more specific designations of the parts of speech, e.g.,
NOUN1, which designates a singular count noun. I have replaced these codes with more readily
understandable simplified language. Such specifications identify the usage of the words in context,
e.g., in (128), man is a singular count noun whereas, in (129), it is a present tense verb.

(129) The clause "they man the boats" is a statement.


The phrase "the boats" is a noun phrase and the direct object of the verb "man".
The phrase "they" is a noun phrase and the subject of the verb "man".
The word "boats" is a plural common noun.
The word "man" is a present tense verb.
The word "man" is the main verb of "they man the boats".
The word "the" is a determiner specifying the noun "boats".
The word "they" is a third person plural subject pronoun.

V3
|---------|---------|
| | |
N3 C3 V1
| | |-------------------|
| | | |
N0 C0 V0 N3
PRO PRS VERB |---------|
they man | |
C3 N0
| NOUN
| boats
C0
DET
the
192 Chapter Three
Given a more complex arbitrary input string like The friendly flight attendant patiently described
the safety precautions to the nervous passengers in their native language, the parser produces a tree
exactly like (15), which specifies the residence of all the lexical items so that it is immediately
possible to determine the subject, direct object, modifiers, specifiers, complements, compounds, etc.
and construct the following UFO:

(130) The clause "the friendly flight attendant patiently described the safety precautions to the
nervous passengers in their native language" is a statement.
The phrase "friendly" is an adjective phrase modifying the noun "attendant".
The phrase "in their native language" is a prepositional phrase and a modifier of the verb
"described".
The phrase "nervous" is an adjective phrase modifying the noun "passengers".
The phrase "patiently" is an adverb phrase modifying the verb "described".
The phrase "the friendly flight attendant" is a noun phrase and the subject of the verb
"described".
The phrase "the nervous passengers" is a noun phrase and the object of the preposition "to".
The phrase "the safety precautions" is a noun phrase and the direct object of the verb
"described".
The phrase "their native language" is a noun phrase and the object of the preposition "in".
The phrase "to the nervous passengers" is a prepositional phrase and a complement of the
verb "described".
The word "attendant" is a singular common noun.
The word "described" is a past tense verb.
The word "described" is the main verb of "the friendly flight attendant patiently described
the safety precautions to the nervous passengers in their native language".
The word "flight" is a noun forming a compound noun with "attendant".
The word "flight" is a singular common noun.
The word "friendly" is a common adjective in the positive degree.
The word "in" is a preposition introducing the prepositional phrase "in their native
language".
The word "language" is a singular common noun.
The word "native" is a common adjective in the positive degree.
The word "native" is an adjective forming a compound noun with "language"
The word "nervous" is a common adjective in the positive degree.
The word "passengers" is a plural common noun.
The word "patiently" is a manner adverb in the positive degree.
The word "precautions" is a plural common noun.
The word "safety" is a noun forming a compound noun with "precautions".
The word "safety" is a singular common noun.
The word "the" is a determiner specifying the noun "attendant".
The word "the" is a determiner specifying the noun "passengers".
The word "their" is a third person plural possessive pronoun.
The word "to" is a preposition introducing the prepositional phrase "to the nervous
passengers".
Chapter Three 193
In addition to the above analysis, the LTP produces several other parses including those in which
friendly is analyzed as a descriptive modifier of flight rather than attendant (cf. the friendly skies of
United), native is analyzed as a descriptive adjective modifying language rather than as the
adjectival first member of a compound noun (cf. a language putatively native to America), native
is analyzed as a noun forming the compound native language meaning ‘language of a native,’ and
so on, in various combinations. Frames responsible for different analyses of native are as follows:

(131) a. Ordinary descriptive adjective off N2, e.g., Every star shines by its own native light,
She was dressed in a flamboyantly native costume, etc.:

[N3 [N2 [C3 [C0{ADJ}C0] C3][N0{NOUN}N0] N2] N3]

b. Compound noun in which the first member is an adjective off N1, e.g., His native
language is English, Students should study a foreign language, etc.:

[N3 [N1 [C3 [C0{ADJ}C0] C3][N0{NOUN}N0] N1] N3]

c. Compound noun in which the first member is a noun off N1, e.g., He speaks English
with near native competence, The native uprisings threatened our safety, etc.:

[N3 [N1 [N3 [N0{NOUN}N0] N3][N0{NOUN}N0] N1] N3]

It will not help to simply eliminate one or more of the above frames to cut down on the number of
parses; nor will it help to conflate the N2 and N1 levels. Somewhere in the grammar, we must
account for the fact that obscure language generally is not a compound whereas native language and
foreign language generally are. Nor can we treat native everywhere as an adjective or say that child
is an adjective in child language. The distinctions, however one wishes to term them, are
responsible for all the following:

(132) a. native and foreign must be adjectives (some verbs only take adjective complements):
(1) They look/sound/seem native.
They look/sound/seem foreign.
(2) *They look/sound/seem natives.
*They look/sound/seem foreigners.

b. native and child must be nouns:


(1) The natives/the children are restless.
That native/that child is restless.
(2) *That is a very child language.
*That language is much too child.

c. Modifers and compound elements are syntactically different:


(1) an obscure native language/an obscure foreign language
(2) *a native obscure language/*a foreign obscure language
194 Chapter Three
The elimination of syntactically correct but inappropriate parses is a major problem for which there
is no easy solution. For the present, observe that selecting the most relevant parse from the above
variations is more a matter of extra-linguistic information than the syntax and semantics of English
so that the objective of constructing an ideal net is mostly on target (recall the discussion of Spanish
math teachers earlier). I will return to such matters in Chapter Five, when I discuss the LTP in
greater detail.

3.4 COMPARISON WITH OTHER FEATURE SYSTEMS.

The system of features described above has a number of advantages over other systems that have
been suggested within the framework of X–bar theory. For example, Jackendoff (1977: 31–33) uses
the feature [±Obj] to specify categories “whose complements may include a surface NP direct object
after the head, i.e. V[erb] and P[reposition].” The problem is that we have intransitive verbs and
intransitive prepositions. If the distinguishing characteristic of V and P is that they can have direct
objects, then intransitive verbs and prepositions can’t be verbs and prepositions.

Similarly, Jackendoff uses [±Comp] to distinguish verbs from modals, prepositions from particles,
nouns from quantifiers, and adjectives from adverbs. The former category in each pair is [+Comp];
the latter, [–Comp]. The trouble is that there are members of the first category in each pair which
can never take a complement. An adjective like tall, which can never take a complement, must
therefore be an adverb. But that is clearly wrong.

The dominant feature space in Minimalism (Chomsky 1995: 32; Webelhuth 1995: 30) and GPSG
(Gazdar et al. 1985) has been (133):

(133) a. Noun = [+N, –V]


b. Adjective = [+N, +V]
c. Verb = [–N, +V]
d. Preposition = [–N, –V]

But the oppositions [±N] and [±V] have never been defined precisely; furthermore, (133) is
obviously deficient since it only specifies four categories, saying nothing about other phrasal
categories which have figured prominently in syntactic theory like S, IP, CP, etc.

Other than Jackendoff (1977) there has been very little exploitation of syntactic features within the
framework of TG and any of its descendants since Chomsky 1965. As Webelhuth notes (1995: 87):
“With the exception of the condition that case markers must be [–N], relatively little explanatory
usage has been made of categorial cross–classification.” This is unfortunate because, as we have
seen in semantics, features allow both generality and specificity. For example, in the present system,
all uses of the word that (determiner, degree word, demonstrative pronoun, complementizer, relative
pronoun) have the same residence [+X3L, +PRH, "ENH, –"EVH, ...]:
Chapter Three 195
(134) that: [X3 that [X0 ] ]

Given the word that, one can build the structure (134) without reference to context. The choices for
the head of the phrase which that specifies are limited as follows (as before, “[u]” = understood):45

(135) a. determiner: [N3 that [N0 noun ] ] that man


b. degree word: [N3 that [N0 quantifier ] ] that much
c. demonstrative pronoun: [N3 that [N0 u ] ] that [u] is good
d. complementizer: [V3 that [V0 verb ] ] that he went
e. relative pronoun: [V3 that [V0 verb ] ] (a guy) that I met

This level of generality is very important in parsing. A crucial purpose of features is to provide a
mechanism by which phrase structures can be built up from lexical specifications, that is, projected
from the lexicon. An arbitrary string, say, that man, can be assigned a syntactic structure by
merging the possible structures for that with the possible structures for man. Further, a structure
which is independent of context, namely (134), can be assigned to that facilitating parsing of such
examples as the following:

(136) a. He knows only that man.


b. He knows only that she went.

(137) a. He believes that man is endangered. (ambiguous)


He believes that that man is endangered.
He believes man is endangered.

b. He believes that animal is endangered. (unambiguous)


He believes that that animal is endangered.
*He believes animal is endangered.

Importantly, I am not claiming that all uses of that are exactly the same. As a result, that occurs in
several different subclasses in Figure Seven. On the other hand, all uses of that do have many
morphosyntactic features in common, namely, they are all [–VBL, –NML, –OPH, –OCL, +X3L,
–X2L, –X1L, +PRH, –PSH, –ECH]. Further, although all uses of that are [–NML], that is, lack
inherent number, the determiner that is subject to agreement rules because it specifies (noun) heads
which do have inherent number distinctions. On the other hand, the complementizer that is
invariable, because it specifies (verb) heads which do not have inherent number distinctions. We
might expect number agreement in English in the relative complementizer that, but it does not occur:

(138) a. That man/*men left.


b. Those/*that men left.
c. The man who was here left./The men who were here left
d. The man that was here left./The men that were here left.
e. That man that was here left./*Those man those were here left.
196 Chapter Three
The absence of number agreement in complementizers and the presence of number agreement in
determiners suggest that agreement is transmitted from the head of a phrase to its specifiers. Nouns
and verbs are distinguished from each other in that the former show inherent variations in number
[+NML], while the latter do not [–NML]. Thus, it is the nature of the head of a phrase that seems
to control agreement possibilities: determiners show number distinctions because the heads that they
specify have inherent number distinctions; complementizers don’t show number distinctions,
because the heads that they specify do not have inherent number distinctions. Thus, we account for
both the similarities and the differences between determiners and complementizers. The issue here
is the same issue seen in Chapter One, namely, a feature system must allow us to express generalities
across categories, such as the various thematic uses of from seen in our discussion of [+DSJ]
relations, as well as specific differences, such as the use of by to mark the agent in the passive.

3.4.1 THE DP AND CP ANALYSES.

The above feature space is, of course, in conflict with approaches to generative syntax that make
functional categories the heads of phrases. Specifically, in some recent versions (Chomsky 1995),
complementizers and determiners are heads of phrases, CP (Complementizer Phrase) and DP
(Determiner Phrase), respectively. Each head, COMP and DET, can take a complement: COMP has
IP complements, DET has NP complements.46 The structures involved are the following:

(139) a. [CP [C' [C that] [IP John saw Bill]]]


b. [DP [D' [D that] [NP book]]]

It seems to me that the CP analysis must be accepted if the DP analysis is accepted, and vice versa.47
It has long been known that there are many parallels between the internal structure of sentences and
noun phrases (cf. 13); in fact, these parallels are what motivated the original proposals for X–bar
syntax (Chomsky 1970; Jackendoff 1977). Thus, the two analyses (CP and DP) are dependent on
each other. If one is accepted and the other isn’t, it becomes difficult to generalize the relationships
between sentences and noun phrases, just as it was difficult to do so within the framework of the
Standard Theory (Chomsky 1965) when one attempted to relate S and NP. The problem is that
analyses of the internal structure of both CP and DP have not included all the internal structural
possibilities. The internal structure of the English noun phrase, for example, is extraordinarily
complex given examples like all those five–hundred very expensive office machines for advanced
computing on sale via TV ads that the university is considering buying, which I wouldn’t give you
a dime for. This NP has the following structure, which I will discuss in detail in Chapter Seven:

(140) [N3 [N3 [N3 all] [C3 those] [N2 [N2 [N3 five hundred] [C3 very expensive] [N1 [N3 office] [N0
machines] [C3 for advanced computing] ] ] [V3 that...] ] ] [V3 which...] ]

Clearly, one cannot reject proposals simply because they are incomplete. On the other hand, one
cannot ignore the fact that the proposals are incomplete and, in the case of the DP analysis, very
sketchy and controversial. The DP and CP analyses are based on many assumptions, and, to my
knowledge, there is no summary proposal of both that is agreed on by all adherents.
Chapter Three 197
The major difference between (139) and the feature specifications in Figure Seven is that the former
treats determiners and complementizers as heads, whereas the latter treats them as specifiers. There
are a number problems associated with structures like those in (139).

First, every language in the world appears to have nouns and verbs. More importantly, nouns and
verbs, whether overt or [e], are obligatory constituents of phrases. On the other hand, determiners
and complementizers are frequently optional phrasal elements. For example, although it is possible
to express definiteness and indefiniteness in Latin and Japanese, noun phrases very frequently lack
all specific reference to either. The features proposed above, specifically [+NML] and [+VBL], are
apparently universal. They define nouns and verbs, respectively. The universality and prominence
of nouns and verbs suggests that they are not dependent categories. Yet, the structures in (139)
place them in complement position, which is a dependent position: one cannot have a complement
without a head. It is inconceivable that a language will have complementizers and determiners but
lack verbs and nouns. Yet, the reverse is conceivable. Further, if the presence of a noun in
structure is dependent on the presence of a determiner, what accounts for the fact that nominal
inflections like number are generally, if not universally, inherent features of nouns rather than
determiners? Why are there no languages in which all nouns are invariable as regards number and
all determiners always inflect for number distinctions?48

Notice that the issue is not simply whether determiners and complementizers, on the one hand, are
different from nouns and verbs, on the other. They clearly are, even in the Minimalist Program
(Chomsky 1995). The problem is the structural configurations in (139) which place the determiner
and complementizer in head position. How do we reconcile those configurations with the following
parallel structure which TG and related theories assign to prepositional phrases:

(141) [PP [P' [P with] [XP him]]]

As Chomsky has observed (1995: 53), the notions specifier, adjunct and complement are “functional
(relational)”; thus, we speak of “a relation specifier–of, and so on.” This is exactly what we have
described in the proposals we have made: the three relations, specifier, adjunct (=modifier), and
complement, are those that exist between the head of a phrase and its X3, X2, and X1 level elements,
respectively. X3 level residents are the specifiers of the head, X2 level residents are the modifiers
of the head, and X1 level residents are the complements of the head. However, given structures like
those in (139) and (141), how are these relational concepts to be generalized across categories?
Clearly, the relationship between that and book in (139b) is not the same as the relationship between
with and him in (141). Moreover, given such structures, what do typological classifications like
head–final language and head–initial language mean? For example, English is clearly not a
head–initial language as that phrase is ordinarily used; also, phrases like that John saw Bill and that
book are clearly separate constituents, and separate constituents clearly must have a head. Given
structures like (139), the head of that John saw Bill is the complementizer and the head of that book
is the determiner. Thus, English must be a head–initial language in some new sense of that phrase.

Second, as the heads of phrases, both DET and COMP in (139) have complements off their X'
projection making them transitive. This raises an important question: What examples are there of
198 Chapter Three
intransitive DET and COMP? Although I know of no proposals regarding intransitive COMP, as
far back as Postal (1969), it has been suggested that pronouns are intransitive DET. More recently,
Abney (1987) has made the same suggestion. He argues (Pages 281–282) that “it is mysterious why
pronouns do not appear with any noun specifiers: determiners, possessives, adjectives, quantifiers,
measure phrases are all prohibited,” e.g., *the she that I talked to was nice. But this is not
mysterious at all: personal pronouns refer to noun phrases (the maximal projection of N0) not to
nouns; thus, they cannot be specified or modified the way that nouns can.49

Yet, the lack of intransitive DET and COMP calls for explanation. Alongside of transitive verbs and
prepositions, languages generally have intransitive members of the same categories; often, the same
word can be used both transitively and intransitively. Further, such words, whether transitive or
intransitive, show the same syntactic and semantic variations. For example, both transitive and
intransitive verbs can be subgrouped into those that are positional (transitive put and intransitive go)
versus nonpositional (transitive give and intransitive have), phrasal (transitive eat up and intransitive
die out) versus nonphrasal (transitive ingest and intransitive expire), gradable (transitive completely
overestimate the job and intransitive completely misbehave) versus nongradable (transitive
*completely estimate the job and intransitive *completely behave), and so on. Why aren’t there any
parallel sets of words for the categories DET and COMP?

More challenging to the Postal/Abney analysis is the fact that the inflectional categories associated
with pronouns and determiners are very different even when they appear to be the same form. For
example, in Italian the object pronoun la is marked for person and case, contrasting with other
pronouns like mi, ti, io, tu, etc. Conversely, the Italian determiner la is not marked for either person
or case; none of the determiners in Italian show these distinctions. If the pronoun and the determiner
are related, why don’t they show the same inflectional variations? The reason seems simple:
pronouns and determiners are different in distribution and use, so that one cannot be considered the
intransitive variation of the other.

Notice also that pronouns in many languages fall into a variety of subclasses like personal pronouns,
reflexive pronouns, intensive pronouns, etc., subclasses which appear not to exist for determiners.
If determiners and pronouns are members of the same category, why don’t they show the same
variations the way, say, transitive and intransitive verbs do? According to Greenberg (1963: 96),
“all languages have pronominal categories involving at least three persons and two numbers.”
Nothing similar can be said about determiners.

All the above facts and problems suggest that pronouns and determiners are not members of the
same category. Thus, we are left with a curious gap: although other categories with transitive
members (verbs and prepositions) also have intransitive members, DET and COMP do not. More
importantly, given the DP/CP analysis, DET and COMP are unique categories in English in that they
are the only heads of phrases which require a complement. There are noun phrases that only contain
a noun, e.g., Mary saw John, adjectives phrases that only contain an adjective, e.g., Mary is tall,
prepositional phrases that only contain a preposition, e.g., Mary went out, and so on. But there is
no DP that only contains a DET,50 and no CP that only contains a COMP:
Chapter Three 199
(142) a. *I want the.
b. *I wonder if.

A third problem with the DP and CP analyses concerns extraction. Complements of verbs and
prepositions can generally be extracted, which means that the heads of VP and PP can license trace:

(143) a. It is [those proposals]i that he reviewed/criticized [e]i.


b. It is [those proposals]i that he objected to [e]i.
c. It is [to those proposals]i that he objected [e]i.
d. It is [those proposals]i that he is unhappy with [e]i.
e. It is [those proposals]i that he is unsure/critical of [e]i.

On the other hand, attempts to extract the complement of a DET or COMP always fail:

(144) a. *It is [book]i that I read that [e]i.


b. *It is [he went]i that she said that [e]i.

The examples in (144) are not simply ungrammatical; they are barely interpretable. If complements
of other categories can be extracted, why can’t the complements of DET and COMP be similarly
extracted? Notice that we cannot account for the ungrammaticality of (144) by stipulating that DET
and COMP are not case assigners, since extraction of the complements of nouns and adjectives,
which also do not assign case (Chomsky 1995: 112), often produces much better results:51

(145) a. It is [to those proposals]i that he has objections [e]i.


b. It is [with those proposals]i that he is unhappy [e]i.
c. It is [in those proposals]i that he has confidence [e]i.

Similarly, (144) cannot be related to proper government. Following Chomsky (1995: 78ff.), let us
assume that there are two main categories of proper government: antecedent government, where a
trace is governed by an antecedent, and head government, where a trace is governed by a head.
According to Chomsky’s categorization, verbs and prepositions are proper governors, but COMP
is not.52

Consider now the following examples from Chomsky (1995:85) slightly modified to conform with
preceding representations:

(146) a. *We decided John to leave at noon.


*we decided [CP [e] [IP John to leave at noon]]

b. We decided to leave at noon.


we decided [CP [e] [IP PRO to leave at noon]]

In these examples, according to Chomsky, [e] is not a proper governor; consequently, John cannot
receive case, and PRO is allowed. Now consider the following:
200 Chapter Three
(147) a. *We plan the family to leave at noon.
*we plan [CP [e] [IP the family to leave at noon]]

b. We plan to leave at noon.


we plan [CP [e] [IP PRO to leave at noon]]

c. We plan the family reunions to coincide with vacations.


we plan [CP [e] [IP the family reunions to coincide with vacations]]

In these examples, if we say that the family cannot receive case in (147a) because it is not properly
governed and that PRO is allowed in (147b) because it lacks case, then what accounts for the
grammaticality of (147c)? Clearly, the structure of (147a) and (147c) is the same. It seems to me
that the explanation for (147) must be derived from semantic considerations, not syntactic
considerations. Simply put, one can plan events, but not people (I will return to such examples in
Chapter Seven where I will discuss PRO and infinitives in detail).

A fourth problem with the DP/CP analysis concerns case assignment itself. Notice that transitive
governors like verbs and prepositions assign case to their complements, whereas DET and COMP
do not. For example, in a phrase like find the boy, case is assigned to the complement by find, not
by the. What is the explanation for this disparity? Why can pronouns be the direct object of verbs
and prepositions, but not DET and COMP? Consider the following:

(148) a. I saw them.


b. I gave it to them.
c. *Look at the them.
d. *Sue knows that Bill will go, and I know that it too.

In terms of case assignment, then, DET and COMP fall in with ADJ and NOUN, a curious
constellation of four categories that needs some principled explanation. None of the four categories
assigns case; however, DET also apparently “transmits” case to its complement while COMP, ADJ
and NOUN do not. In languages like German where determiners agree with the nouns they specify,
both determiners and nouns have the same case. This is not what one would expect in a
representation that places the noun in complement position of the determiner. Specifically, one
would expect the noun to have a case (accusative) and the determiner either to have no case at all,
like a governing verb or preposition, or to have a case assigned on completely independent grounds.
Thus, one might expect the head of a DP in subject position to have nominative case, but the
complement of that head to still have accusative case akin to examples like Who of them is healthy.

A fifth problem with the DP/CP analysis concerns pronominalization. If pronouns and determiners
are not members of the same syntactic category as I suggested above, then pronominalization
becomes an aberrant process because a pronoun will refer to a DP rather than an NP even though
a pronoun agrees in gender with the noun that is the head of the NP complement inside of the DP.
Consider the following:
Chapter Three 201
(149) a. [the boy]i said that [he]i wants to go.
[DP [D' the [NP boy]]] said that [NP he] wants to go.

b. [The boy’s [mother]]i said that [she]i wants to go.


[DP [DP [D' the [NP boy]]] [D' POS [NP mother]]] said that [NP she] wants to go.

The head of the subject phrase in (149a) is the; in (149b) it is the possessive determiner represented
as POS. The problem with the above examples involves accounting for the possible coreference
between the pronoun he and its antecedent the boy in (149a) and the possible coreference between
the pronoun she and its antecedent the boy’s mother in (149b). As we saw above in (148c), personal
pronouns cannot be the complements of determiners; they refer to maximal projections. Thus, it
seems that we must conclude that pronouns like he and she above match the gender of the DP as a
whole or the head of the DP. At the same time, we must say that a DP with a DET head is somehow
different from one with a POS head, since any mechanism which is used to match the gender
between he and its antecedent in (149a) cannot also be used to match the gender between she and
its antecedent in (149b). For example, suppose that gender is either an inherent property of the DP
head or an “inherited” property which the DP head receives from its complement. Under either
proposal, there is a problem with POS. It is generally accepted in movement approaches to syntax
(see Abney 1987: 64–65 and Radford 1990: 86 ff.) that POS cliticizes to the preceding possessor
noun phrase. Given this, when POS is cliticized to the boy in (149b), it will carry the gender of
mother in addition to its own gender. But a genitive pronoun, unlike a possessive adjective, always
agrees in gender with the possessor, never the possessed. This is true even in English where
pronouns must agree with their antecedent in gender. Note that the gender, as well as the number,
of the genitive pronouns her and his in examples like (150) has nothing to do with the nouns that
follow them.

(150) a. Maryi loves heri brother’s daughter(s)/son(s)/car(s).


b. Johni loves hisi sister’s daughter(s)/son(s)/car(s).

Thus, gender cannot be assigned, inherited, or transmitted to POS. In fact, POS must have no
gender at all. Since the head POS cannot have a gender, we cannot assume that gender is a feature
of the entire DP either without violating principles regarding the endocentric nature of phrases. As
a result, how do we account for the possible coreference between she and its antecedent in (149b)?
With what does she agree in gender? The answer seems fairly clear: with mother, the head of the
phrase the boy’s mother.

A sixth problem with the DP/CP analysis concerns movement. Making COMP the head of CP and
governor of IP entails that modals and other verbs will move from an I position to a C position
(I–to–C Movement) to generate a question like will he go (see Roberts 1997 and Radford 1997 for
discussion). The derivation proceeds from (151a) to (151b):

(151) a. [CP [C' [C [e] ] [IP [DP he] [I' [I will [VP go ] ]]] ]]
b. [CP [C' [C willi ] [IP [DP he] [I' [I [e]i [VP go ] ]]] ]]
202 Chapter Three
The derivation in (151) requires a verb (will) to move into a nonverb (COMP) position. But verbs
and complementizers have very little in common. If this sort of movement is allowed then principles
must be found to prevent, say, the movement of adverbs into adjective positions, the movement of
prepositions into quantifier positions, and so on. And, if those movements are banned, then why is
the movement in (151) allowed?

Given the status of present research, the structures in (139) would appear to be highly speculative.
Yet, in a surprising statement, Webelhuth (1995: 54) offers the following summary: “The analysis
of Comps, Infls, and Dets as X–bar–theoretic heads is by now generally accepted.” That summary
is offered despite the fact that many fundamental issues are unresolved and unaccounted for, and that
the structures in (139) are based on many assumptions. It is important to remember that the DP/CP
proposals are just that, proposals. I am not suggesting that assumptions are inappropriate in
linguistic analysis. Scientific investigation often proceeds from assumptions. But clearly one must
not lose sight of what the assumptions are.53

3.4.2 RADFORD’S ACCOUNT OF THE ACQUISITION OF ENGLISH SYNTAX.

In his analysis of the acquisition of English syntax in young children, Radford (1990) classifies DET
and COMP as functional categories. He observes that the early speech of children, between 18 and
24 months of age (±20%), is characterized by the absence of such functional categories.54 This
observation, in itself, does not entail that we incorporate a DP/CP analysis into our description of
language development in children as Radford does. In this section, I will argue that here is no
reason to suppose that children move from an NP to a DP analysis, reversing their conceptualization
of noun phrases as the heads of phrases that fill argument positions, as Radford’s analysis demands.

Radford asserts (1990: 70) that “the head/complement parameter” (the positioning of a complement
after the head) is “correctly set at an early age.” Actually, by 24 months, children appear to evince
knowledge of basic argument structure as the following examples attest (Radford 1990: 84):

(152) a. Paula good girl. (= ‘Paula is a good girl.’)


b. Haley draw boat.
c. Yellow crayon there.
d. Help cow in table.
e. Man drive truck.
f. Wayne in garden.
g. Want chocolate biscuit.
h. Daddy want golf ball.
i. Lady get sweetie now.

Given thousands of examples like the above in many studies (see, especially, Wells 1985 and
Tomasello 1992), it is clear that many two–year–olds understand that English is an SVO language,
however they conceptualize S, V, and O. They also understand that the S and O positions can be
filled by noun phrases, which, in turn, minimally consist of a noun. Further, anything that is part
Chapter Three 203
of a noun phrase must precede the noun. As Radford notes (1990: 63): “There seems to be abundant
evidence that children do indeed ‘know’ at a very early age that adjectives can be used to premodify
nominal constituents.”

Since the head/complement parameter seems to be set at an early age, one can say that many
two–year–olds seem to understand that noun phrases can fulfill the relation complement–of –verbs
in the sense of Chomsky 1995: 53. Further, it seems that such children understand the selectional
relationship between verbs and their complements: they do not say things like *Man drive biscuit.55
In short, the use of a noun as the head of a noun phrase complement is dependent on the verb which
precedes it. Given Radford’s data and analysis, one can also say that such children understand the
selectional restrictions between adjectives and nouns: they say things like Big heavy book, but not
*Big heavy garden. Thus, adjectives fulfill the relationship modifier–of –nouns, that is, the use of
an adjective depends on the noun that follows it. Essentially then, the child’s conceptualization of
grammatical relationships is traditional in the sense that it conforms to traditional grammars going
back to the Greeks and Romans.

In his overall assessment of early child English, Radford (1990: Chapter 9, p. 242) makes the
following proposal: “the nonacquisition of determiners and case are inter–related phenomena if we
posit that case is an inherent property of the determiner system: we could then say that the absence
of case constraints on (pro)nominals in early child English follows from the fact that case is a
property of the D–system, and early child (pro)nominals have the status of NPs rather than DPs.”
Thus, under Radford’s analysis, children move from a conceptualization in which nouns are the
heads of phrases occupying complement position to one in which determiners are the heads of
phrases occupying complement position. Further, while adjectives are constituents of noun phrases,
determiners are not; rather, nouns are the complements of determiners. What is the evidence for
these conceptual shifts? On what basis would children make them? I find no substantive answers
to these questions in Radford’s work. It seems, therefore, that he offers a DP analysis because it
conforms to current descriptions in movement based models of grammar. In my view, this is not
sufficient motivation for assuming such dramatic conceptual shifts.

As an alternative to Radford’s account, we might simply appeal to the linear order of phrasal
constituents. At the predeterminer stage, noun phrases have the following linear constraints, among
others:

(153) a. ADJ – NOUN: yellow crayon


b. NOUN – NOUN: golf ball
c. ADJ – ADJ – NOUN: big heavy book

At the determiner stage, children begin to produce sentences like the following (from Radford 1990:
284–288):

(154) a. We saw the lighthouse.


b. The ten little ducks.
c. I’m drinking my cup of tea there.
204 Chapter Three
d. My pretty frock.
e. All the green faces.
f. Jean wants a green one.
g. I’m drinking my cup of tea.
h. He’s granny’s dog.
i. Every single one.

We can account for such data by saying that they conform to the following linear sequences, which,
in fact, conform to adult speech as we have seen (QUANT = quantifier; NUM = numeral):56

(155) a. (QUANT) (DET) (NUM) (ADJ) (ADJ) (NOUN) NOUN (PP)

b. (NOUN + POS) (NUM) (ADJ) (ADJ) (NOUN) NOUN (PP)

Nothing more need be said; in particular, we need not postulate any conceptual shifts in the
dependency relationships which exist between verbs and their complements or nouns and their
modifiers.57

In the present framework, adjectives and determiners are characterizers; in adult speech, the former
are [–X3L], the latter are [+X3L]. The transition from a rule system like (155) based only (or
perhaps primarily) on linear order to one based on both linear and hierarchical order, such as the one
we have proposed for adult speech, requires nothing more than level separations. We might
propose that, at the predeterminer stage, children simply cannot process phrases requiring the
[±X3L] projection: their phrases are still hierarchically rudimentary. Later, as they mature, the
determiner system is acquired and they add the [±X3L] distinction defining DET as [+X3L] and
ADJ as [–X3L]. Nothing else has changed; in particular, nouns are still heads of N3; all categories
are still endocentric; and nouns and verbs retain their central position in syntax. The later
development simply marks both specifiers and modifiers as dependent categories in an expanding
hierarchy that now includes a maximal projection of X3.

It seems reasonable to relate this growth in hierarchical organization to changes in children’s


cognitive abilities, in particular, their ability to manage more complex phrases within the confines
of Short Term Memory (STM) limitations. Thus, in the developing child, the STM “workspace”
may increase because an older child can manipulate items better, that is, has better informational
processing skills, including better skills for the identification of items, the association of items with
each other, the encoding of ordering information, the development of rehearsal strategies, as well
as better integration of STM elements with general knowledge from Long Term Memory and greater
experience with memory tasks. Olson (1973:153) sums up the matter well: “The changes [in STM
capacity] are associated with the child’s ability to recode or encode, to plan and monitor, to integrate
and unitize. Broad limits of information processing capacity, which may be biological in origin, are
relatively constant, but how the child operates within these limits undergoes systematic and
profound development.”
Chapter Three 205
It is important to emphasize that the features presented in the present framework are proposed for
English, and adult English at that. There is no reason to believe that the features proposed for one
language will be relevant for all languages or even to all variations of the same language.
Hierarchical features like [±X3L], though relevant for adult English, may not be relevant for
languages with “flatter” phrasal architectures. Such languages might use features based on
elaborate classifier or agreement systems to maintain the integrity of phrases instead of rigid
hierarchical and linear constraints. Further, children learning English apparently cannot cope in the
early stages with phrases that have several distinct levels. Initially, it appears that children have
only a very rudimentary understanding of the hierarchical structure of English phrases, perhaps
limited to X1 over X0, where X1 is the maximal projection of X0 as follows:

(156) a. [X1 mommy [X0 coat ] ]


b. [X1 pretty [X0 baby ] ]
c. [X1 more [X0 milk ] ]
d. [X1 more [X0 tickle] ]
e. [X1 [X0 see ] truck ]
f. [X1 [X0 want ] crayons ]
g. [X1 [X0 need ] it ]

Only latter can children cope with the distinctions between higher levels, consistently managing
phrases in which specifiers C–command modifiers and modifiers C–command complements, thereby
utilizing all level distinctions such that the maximal projection of X0 ultimately becomes X3.58

As we have remarked above (see Endnote 32), the parallel with phonological features is
significant.59 The human vocal apparatus is capable of executing a multitude of phonological
features. All features do not appear in every language, nor do all languages necessarily make use
of any particular feature in the same way. For example, although most languages select the feature
opposition [±NASAL], some don’t. In English, nasality is distinctive for consonants, but not for
vowels; in French, it is distinctive for both. In Sanskrit, aspiration is distinctive for stops; in
English, it is nondistinctive. Further, children, regardless of the language they are acquiring, do not
master all the phonological feature distinctions at the same time. The proposals made here are in
agreement with these facts since they stipulate only that a language must select its features from a
universal pool of features defined in terms of the human language apparatus. We should not be
surprised if some syntactic features are irrelevant for this or that language or if some syntactic
features appear during acquisition at later stages than others. Indeed, we should expect such
variation.
206 Chapter Three
3.5 THE AUXILIARY SYSTEM IN ENGLISH.

Within the Standard Theory of TG and its descendants, there has been a major effort to provide an
account of the various positions different elements can assume in surface structure syntax, that is,
to motivate movement. In this context, the analysis of the English auxiliary system, together with
other data, has lead to proposals regarding verb movement (the movement of a verb) and head
movement (the movement of a head) from its underlying positions to its surface positions (for a
representative sample of papers, see Lightfoot and Hornstein 1994; see also Pollock 1989, Chomsky
1995, Lasnik 2000). Given the importance of the issues, it seems appropriate to describe how the
feature system proposed here will handle the various restrictions among the elements of the English
auxiliary. Furthermore, an analysis of the English auxiliary is necessary to further explicate the
feature space in Figure Seven and to independently motivate the structures necessary to express
thematic relations and case in Chapter Four.

3.5.1 PRELIMINARIES.

Let us begin the investigation of the English auxiliary with some well known facts.

First, every English clause must contain a subject N3, a mode marker, and a main verb. Thus, our
representations above are all variations of the following in accordance with (110) and the
specification ( , {1, 2, 3, 4} (see (7h)):

(157) [V3 N3 [C3 [C0 [(MDE]]] V0]

As we have noted before, the structure in (157) is essentially the same as the phrase structure for
declarative sentences in the Standard Theory of TG (Chomsky 1965: 85) and much other work.
Compare the following:

(158) a. [V3 N3 [C3 [C0 2TNS ]] V0]

b. [S NP [AUX [TNS PST ]] VP]

Like all characterizers, the mode characterizer has the full range of morphosyntactic features we
have proposed, namely, [–VBL, –NML, –OPH, –OCL, +PRH, –PSH, –ENH, +EVH, –ECH, –XIL,
–X2L, +X3L] in addition to a particular realization of the feature MODE, i.e., [(MDE]. The feature
system we have proposed will allow the mode characterizer in (158a) to contain concordant features
of TENSE, NUMBER, PERSON, etc. even though it is a characterizer [–VBL, –NML], and, as such,
cannot have inherent TENSE, NUMBER, PERSON, etc.

Crucially, we want to relate the structure in (158a) to the internal structure of noun phrases as
follows, where [3CAS] = POSSESSIVE (see (7d) and the pair of structures in (13)):
Chapter Three 207
(159) a. [V3 [N3 John] [C3 [C0 2TNS, 1MDE ]] [V0 depart ] ] (John departed)

b. [N3 [N3 John] [C3 [C0 3CAS ]] [N0 departure] ] (John’s departure)

Second, the verb that is marked for tense/mode in English is also the verb that is marked for
person/number agreement with the subject. Since English has several tense distinctions, three
person distinctions, and two number distinctions, it is clear that the mode characterizer is a
composite category. We have represented some of the inflectional options it encodes as follows:

(160) a. NUMBER: [0NUM] = [–NUM], unmarked for NUMBER


[1NUM] = [+NUM], specifically SINGULAR (SG)
[2NUM] = [+NUM], specifically PLURAL (PL)

b. PERSON: [0PER] = [–PER], unmarked for PERSON


[1PER] = [+PER], specifically FIRST PERSON (1ST)
[2PER] = [+PER], specifically SECOND PERSON (2ND)
[3PER] = [+PER], specifically THIRD PERSON (3RD)

c. TENSE: [0TNS] = [–TNS], unmarked for TENSE


[1TNS] = [+TNS], specifically PRESENT (PRS)
[2TNS] = [+TNS], specifically PAST (PST)
[3TNS] = [+TNS], specifically FUTURE (FUT)

d. MODE: [0MDE] = [–MDE], unmarked for MODE


[1MDE] = [+MDE], specifically INDICATIVE
[2MDE] = [+MDE], specifically IMPERATIVE
[3MDE] = [+MDE], specifically SUBJUNCTIVE
[4MDE] = [+MDE], specifically CONDITIONAL
[5MDE] = [+MDE], specifically PARTICIPIAL
[6MDE] = [+MDE], specifically GERUNDIAL
[7MDE] = [+MDE], specifically INFINITIVAL

We can express the person/number agreement between the subject and the mode characterizer with
the following frame, where the Greek letters represent {1, 2, 3, 4}.

(161) [V3 [N3 [N0 "NUM, $PER]] – [C3 [C0 (MDE, "NUM, $PER]] – V0]

Third, English requires the mode characterizer to contain a verb to “support” the tense and
agreement features. The support verb (henceforth, SV) can be a modal like will or could, or a form
of the verbs be, have, or do. I will argue that a verb must have one of two characteristics to be an
SV, that is, to reside in the mode characterizer. I will express these restrictions in the following
form:
208 Chapter Three
(162) The Support Verb Condition (SVC).

A verb can function as a support verb if it is [+VBL, –OPH, –OCL] and, further, has either
one of the following characteristics:

a. The verb must assign no theta–roles, which means it must have no local subject or
complements.
b. The verb must be “morphologically heavy,” which means it must carry overt
markings for PERSON, NUMBER, and TENSE.

In English, verbs which satisfy condition (162a) include modals, perfective have, and do; verbs
satisfying condition (162b) include only the verb be in the forms am, is, are, was, and were.60 All
of these verbs are [–OCL], that is, closed class verbs.

Consistent with structures given above, when the SV occurs in the mode characterizer, it has the
following residence:

(163) [V3 N3 [C3 [C0 [V3 [V0 SV ]] [C0 [(MDE]]]] V0]

As above, we can express the agreement between an SV and [(MDE] with the following frame:

(164) [V3 N3 [C3 [C0 [V3 [V0 ["NUM, $PER, (MDE]]] [C0 ["NUM, $PER, (MDE]]]] V0]

Frames like (161) and (164), which I first discussed in Binkert 1984, work like co–occurrence
checkers.61 Notice that the frame for agreement between the subject and the head of the mode
characterizer (161) is separate from the frame for agreement between the SV and the head of the
mode characterizer (164). The former is violated in (165); the latter, in (166).

(165) *He don’t like it here.

(166) *He thought she is here.

It is important for a grammar, in particular a parser, to deal with ungrammatical input. A sentence
like *He don’t like it should not simply be thrown out; it should be marked as deviant in a specific
way. In addition to the above examples, we have violations of case frames, which I will discuss in
the next chapter, like the following:

(167) *There is no difference between John and I.

To deal effectively with ungrammatical examples like the above, we cannot handle agreement by
simply copying the features from one item to another, e.g., the person/number features from the
subject to the SV. Rather, we must allow lexical items to be merged together both with and without
consideration of such matters as agreement, that is, both with an without consideration of frames like
(161) and (164). For example, if the grammar is presented with a string like they does, it can
Chapter Three 209
construct both general frames and very specific frames. A general frame takes into consideration
only the major categorial assignments, e.g., the fact that they is a type of Noun ([–VBL, +NML])
and does is a type of Verb ([+VBL, –NML]):

(168) a. they: [V3 [N3 [N0 they]] C3 V0]


b. does: [V3 N3 [C3 [C0 [V3 [V0 does]]] C0] V0]

A more specific frame takes into consideration subcategorial details, e.g., the fact that they is third
person plural ([–VBL, +NML, 2NUM, 3PER, ...]) and does is third person singular ([+VBL, –NML,
1NUM, 3PER, ...]):

(169) a. they: [V3 [N3 [N0 [2NUM, 3PER]]] [C3 [C0 [2NUM, 3PER]]] V0]
b. does: [V3 N3 [C3 [C0 [V3 [V0 [1NUM, 3PER]]] [C0 [1NUM, 3PER]] ]] V0]

Since the structures in (168) match, they can be merged together to form the following phrase:

(170) they does: [V3 [N3 [N0 they]] [C3 [C0 [V3 [V0 does]]] C0] V0]

On the other hand, the structures in (169) cannot be merged because the two specifications for C0
do not match. Although (170) is structurally coherent, it will be marked as deviant during a final
check of the structure which takes agreement constraints like (161) and (164) into consideration.

There are several observations which motivate the structure in (163). First, note that the V3 is
embedded in prehead position on the C0 level, the level of morphological derivation mentioned
above (see Page 166 ff.). With this representation, we relate (163) to other characterizer compounds
involving a verbal marker like the following (DA1 = derived adjective suffix –ing; DA2 = derived
adjective suffix –ed/–en):

(171) ... [C3 [C0 [V3 [V0 charming]] [C0 DA1]]] ... (cf. a charming woman)

(172) ... [C3 [C0 [V3 [V0 charmed]] [C0 DA2]]] ... (cf. a charmed life)

Second, notice that the SV contains no mode characterizer of its own and, in fact, is constrained
from containing its own mode characterizer by the OAC (see (117) above). Since the V3 in (163)
forms a kind of compound with a MODE, it cannot contain another MODE on its own internal V3
level. Further, since it lacks a local MODE (a prehead V3 level mode characterizer), it also must
lack a local subject since the agreement frame (161) requires a local subject whenever there is a V3
mode characterizer.

Consider now the nature of the SV. As we noted above, it can be a modal like will or could, or a
form of the verbs be, have or do. The choice for SV is not free. Given any arbitrary sequence of
auxiliary verbs, the SV residence must be filled in accordance with the order given in (173).
210 Chapter Three
(173) a. Modal
b. have
c. be
d. emphatic do
e. [do] (a dummy verb do)

Thus, if there is a modal, it must be the SV; if there is no modal but there is a form of the verb have,
then the form of have must be the SV; and so on. To see why the SV must be filled in accordance
with (173), we must examine several aspects of the English auxiliary in detail.

3.5.2 THE DISTRIBUTION OF AUXILIARY ELEMENTS.

Consider first the fact that auxiliary elements (tense, modal, perfective, progressive, passive) do not
have the same distribution. In particular, the following split exists:

(174) Neither TENSE nor a modal can occur in infinitives (to go) and participles (going):

a. I had been there for two hours before he arrived.


*I wanted to had been there before he arrived.

b. I wanted to be able to drive.


*I wanted to can drive.

c. Being in town at the time, I was able to go to the party.


*Wasing out of town, I missed the party.

d. Being able to drive is useful.


*Canning to drive is useful.

(175) PROGRESSIVE, PERFECTIVE and PASSIVE can occur in infinitives and participles:

a. PROGRESSIVE: I want [to be working] when he arrives./[Being hunting] when


you should be working is unwise.

b. PERFECTIVE: It was fun [to have done that]./[Having done that] he left.

c. PASSIVE: He tried [to be seen]./[Being invited to such parties] is not


important.

The explanation for this distribution is rooted in the OAC (see Page 186). Infinitives and participles,
in fact, all verbal adjectives and nouns, already contain a MODE marker: the progressive participle
is marked by –ing ([PRGP]), the passive participle is marked by –ed ([PSVP]), the infinitive is
marked by to ([INF]), etc. Since the OAC prevents a word from being marked by more than one
Chapter Three 211
marker from the same category, verbal adjectives and verbal nouns cannot have a V3 level
characterizer containing their own MODE (INDICATIVE, SUBJUNCTIVE, etc.). Further, since
modals are a composite of a verb and a MODE (INDICATIVE, CONDITIONAL, etc.), modals also
cannot occur in infinitives, participles and gerunds. On the other hand, modals must be the SV when
they occur: they assign no theta–roles and have no local subject or complements.

The split between the mode characterizer and the verb phrase in (174) and (175) is confirmed by a
number of additional facts. First, note that the negative not can reside in both the mode characterizer
and the verb phrase:62

(176) a. He can’t just not go; he has to RSVP.


b. He didn’t just not have enough money; he had no charge cards either.

The two occurrences of not in such examples have distinct residences. When not resides in the
mode characterizer, it occupies the same position as the emphatics so and too. Consider the
following data and the structures provided:

(177) a. He will so go.


[V3 [N3 he] [C3 [C0 [V3 [V0 will]] [C0 FUT]] [C3 [C0 so]]] [V0 go]]

b. He will too go.


[V3 [N3 he] [C3 [C0 [V3 [V0 will]] [C0 FUT]] [C3 [C0 too]]] [V0 go]]

c. He will not go.


[V3 [N3 he] [C3 [C0 [V3 [V0 will]] [C0 FUT]] [C3 [C0 not]]] [V0 go]]

This specialized use of not in the mode characterizer is, therefore, like an emphatic. Given our
analysis, this is not peculiar. Observe that not and the emphatics too and so are elsewhere degree
words (too many men, so much milk, not much progress, etc.; see Endnote 31).63 Thus, we include
not in the categories degree word and emphatic given in Figure Seven. When not is part of the verb
phrase, it has the following structure:

(178) [V3 [N3 he] [C3 [C0 [V3 [V0 will]] [C0 FUT]] [C3[C0 probably]]] [V3 [C3 not] [V0 go]]]

This use parallels the use of not as a negator (see Figure Seven) in other phrases like the following:

(179) a. Not one word was spoken.


b. Not a creature was stirring, not even a mouse.
c. Not wanting to upset her further, he left.

Thus, the uses of not all have the following features in common: [–VBL, –NML, –OPH, –OCL,
–X1L, –X2L, +X3L].
212 Chapter Three
The full range of possibilities for emphatics and the negator not in sentence internal position is as
follows, as the feature specifications in Figure Seven stipulate:

(180) a. You can’t go.


b. You can so go.
c. You can too go.

(181) a. You can’t not go.


b. You can so not go.
c. You can too not go.

(182) a. *You can’t so go.


b. *You can’t too go.

Further confirmation of the split between the mode characterizer and the verb phrase comes from
the distribution of adverbs and quantifiers:

(183) Manner adverbs (diligently, fearfully, willingly, happily, etc.) and temporal quantifiers
(often, never, always, sometimes, etc.) can occur in infinitives and participles, but sentence
adverbs (probably, apparently, evidently, surely, etc.) can’t.64

a. Students are expected to study diligently/often/*apparently.


b. Glancing over his shoulder fearfully/often/*probably, he left the room

(184) When a sentence adverb and either a manner adverb or temporal quantifier occur together
in preverbal position the former must precede the latter:

a. He will surely willingly comply with all our requests.


*He will willingly surely comply with all our requests.

b. He will probably never go.


*He will never probably go.

The feature system we have proposed allows us to capture the difference between sentence adverbs
([+X3L, –X2L]), manner adverbs ([–X3L, +X2L]), and adverbial quantifiers ([–X3L, +X2L]).
Consider the following examples:

(185) They do so – often study diligently.


[V3 [N3 they] [C3 [C0 [V3 [V0 do]] [C0 PRS]] [C3 so]] [V2 [N3 often] [V0 study] [C3 diligently]]

(186) He will surely – willingly comply.


[V3 [N3 he] [C3 [C0 [V3 [V0 will]] [C0 FUT]] [C3 surely]] [V2 [C3 willingly] [V0 comply]]
Chapter Three 213
(187) He will probably – never go.
[V3 [N3 he] [C3 [C0 [V3 [V0 will]] [C0 FUT]] [C3 probably]] [V2 [N3 never] [V0 go]]

(188) He does too – deliberately avoid her often.


[V3 [N3 he] [C3 [C0 [V3 [V0 do]] [C0 PRS]] [C3 too]] [V2 [C3 deliberately] [V1 [V0 avoid] [N3 her]]
[N3 often]]

3.5.3 THE CONSTITUENCY OF AUXILIARY ELEMENTS.

A major problem with previous analyses of the English auxiliary involves the constituency of the
various elements. In particular, analyses often leave the following facts unexpressed:

(189) Forms in –ing and –ed/–en can occur, as participles, without an auxiliary verb (be):

a. The man lurking in the shadows is the culprit.


The man who is lurking in the shadows is the culprit.

b. The man discovered in the bushes is a flasher.


The man who was discovered in the bushes is a flasher.

(190) Forms in –ing occur even in verbs which are not found in the PROGRESSIVE ASPECT:

a. The students knowing the answer raised their hands.


*The students who were knowing the answer raised their hands.

b. Anyone weighing over two hundred pounds was told to diet.


*Anyone who was weighing over two hundred pounds was told to diet.

(191) Forms in –ed/–en can occur in passives with get rather than be:

a. He got stabbed in the back by an assailant.


He was stabbed in the back by an assailant.

b. She got invited to the party by the hostess.


She was invited to the party by the hostess.

(192) Forms in –ing and –ed/–en are ambiguous:

a. an imposing Avon lady


an Avon lady deliberately imposing on her neighbors (PARTICIPLE)
an Avon lady so imposing in size (ADJECTIVE)
214 Chapter Three
b. a broken vase
a vase accidentally broken by a child (PARTICIPLE)
a vase so broken that it can’t be fixed (ADJECTIVE)

These facts can be accommodated within the framework we have developed by noting first that
forms in –ing and –ed/–en can occur independent of any auxiliary like be or get. Second, participles
behave like characterizers, specifically phrases with an adjectival meaning. Often, they can be
paraphrased by various other adjectival phrases:

(193) a. He was at work./He was working.


b. He was on vacation in Europe./He was vacationing in Europe.
c. It was in sight./It was visible./It could be seen.
d. It was unavoidable./It could not be avoided.
e. He was under attack./He was being attacked.
f. He was under investigation./He was being investigated.

As before, if we treat be as a main verb and treat PRGP and PSVP as characterizers, we account for
the above data. Specifically, we take advantage of the fact that the system described above makes
transparent the many left–of–head/right–of–head alternations that occur in English (cf. (18) and
(19)):65

(194) a. The lady is imposing (ADJECTIVE). [C3 [C0 [V3 [V0 imposing]] [C0 DA1]]]
b. The lady is imposing (PROGRESSIVE). [C3 [C0 [C0 PRGP] [V3 [V0 imposing]]]]

(195) a. The jars were broken (ADJECTIVE). [C3 [C0 [V3 [V0 broken]] [C0 DA2]]]
b. The jars were broken (PASSIVE). [C3 [C0 [C0 PSVP] [V3 [V0 broken]]]]

Given the above analysis, we have examples like the following:

(196) a. He will probably never be meditating (exactly when you are).


[V3 [N3 he] [C3 [C0 [V3 [V0 will]] [C0 FUT]] [C3 probably]] [V2 never [V0 be] [C3 [C0 [C0
PRGP] [V3 [V0 meditating]]]]]]

b. He will probably be quietly meditating (when you arrive).


[V3 [N3 he] [C3 [C0 [V3 [V0 will]] [C0 FUT]] [C3 probably]] [V2 [V0 be] [C3 [C0 [C0 PRGP]
[V3 [V2 [C3 quietly] [V0 meditating]]]]

3.5.4 THE PERFECTIVE.

Consider now PERFECTIVE have, which occurs in either the verb phrase or the mode characterizer.
Clearly, have must be part of the verb phrase when it occurs in infinitives and participles because,
as we have seen, a V3 mode characterizer cannot occur in verbal adjectives and verbal nouns:
Chapter Three 215
(197) a. [For him [to have done that]] is awful.
b. [Having finished his supper] he left.

To locate the residence of have inside the verb phrase, let us consider the following examples which
use sentence adverbs and emphatics as a diagnostic:

(198) a. They might perhaps not have left yet.


b. They might perhaps have not left yet.

(199) a. They may too not have left yet.


b. They may too have not left yet.

Since not is a V3 level resident when it is not part of the mode characterizer, the data in (198) and
(199) suggest that have is also a V3 level resident. This residence appears to be confirmed by the
preference for have before temporal quantifiers and manner adverbs, which are V2 level residents.
However, placing have after temporal quantifiers and manner adverbs seems marginally
grammatical. Consider the following:66

(200) a. They couldn’t have often studied diligently.


b. ??They couldn’t often have studied diligently.

(201) a. He may so have quite deliberately concealed the truth.


b. ??He may so quite deliberately have concealed the truth.

The conclusion appears to be that have, like not, resides on a recursion of V3 below the mode
characterizer preferably, but that it can reside on the V2 level also with marginal grammaticality.
The preferred structures are as follows:

(202) a. They couldn’t have often studied diligently.


[V3 they [C3 couldn’t] [V3 have [V2 often studied diligently]]]

b. He may so have deliberately concealed the truth.


[V3 he [C3 may so] [V3 have [V2 deliberately concealed the truth]]]

The vagabond nature of have in the verb phrase extends to its residence outside of the verb phrase.

To help locate the residence of have when it is inside a mode characterizer that already contains a
modal, consider the following, where too has emphatic reading:

(203) a. He may have unfortunately deliberately concealed the truth.


b. He may have too quite deliberately concealed the truth.

(204) a. He could too have unfortunately deliberately concealed the truth.


b. He could unfortunately have too concealed the truth.
216 Chapter Three
As in the verb phrase, have seems comfortable floating among X3 level elements of the mode
characterizer.

There do not appear to be very many modifiers (X2 level elements) that reside specifically within
the mode characterizer which we can use as a diagnostic for the residence of have. One possibility
is the use of the quantifier well in the following:

(205) a. He well may not go.


b. He may well not go.

Now consider the following:

(206) a. He may very well have unfortunately deliberately concealed the truth.
b. He may very well have too concealed the truth.

(207) a. He could very well have not told the truth.


b. ??He could have very well not told the truth.

Again, the preferred residence for have inside of a mode characterizer that also contains a modal is
the X3 level. Examples of these preferences are as follows:

(208) a. He may have so not concealed the truth


[V3 he [C3 [C0 may] have so] [V3 not [V1 concealed the truth]]]

b. He could unfortunately have too concealed the truth.


[V3 he [C3 [C0 could] unfortunately have too] [V1 concealed the truth]]

What is the explanation for have, which appears to be the linguistic manifestation of the uncertainty
principle? I believe it is as follows. Perfective have, when it occurs with a modal, is about as
unmarked as an English verb can be. It has no discernible affix and it carries no features for person,
number or tense. In short, it has no markers to anchor it to a position. Further, it occurs between
two verbs with very fixed anchors, the modal which is bonded to [MDE] and the perfective
participle which functions as the main verb. The structure we are dealing with is as follows
([4MDE] = CONDITIONAL):

(209) He could have gone.


[V3 [N3 he] [C3 [C0 [V3 [V0 could]] [C0 [4MDE]] ]] – have – [V0 gone]]

Thus, have is a constituent in search of a residence; we will call this use of have “homeless have.”

Perfective have can never function as the main verb; that position must be occupied by the perfective
participle which the perfective aspect requires (see the examples with the floating quantifier all in
(213) below, as well as the residence of the perfective participles in all the structures in this
section).67 On the other hand, a modal is an optional element. As expected, if there is no modal
Chapter Three 217
have occupies its residence as follows:

(210) He has gone.


[V3 [N3 he] [C3 [C0 [V3 [V0 has]] [C0 PRS]]] [V0 gone]]

The relationship between perfective have and a simple tense (PRS or PST) is therefore symbiotic:
the MDE/TNS needs a verb to support it, and homeless have needs a fixed residence. Thus, if a
sentence does not contain a modal to support the tense and the sentences contains a perfective, then
have is the SV. Note that do–support does not occur with perfective have:

(211) *He does have gone.

In the absence of a modal, if the only problem were to find a verb to support the MDE/TNS, then
we would expect do–support to apply. But, as the above data indicate, there is an additional
problem, namely, finding a residence for homeless have. Thus, do–support does not apply in
deference to solving both problems. Further, note that do–support need not apply because perfective
have meets one of the requirements for an SV, namely, it marks no theta–roles; it has no local
subject and no complements. Basically, since perfective have can be an SV, do can’t occur with it.

In part, this account has the same flavor as the Minimalist principle GREED (move " only for "’s
sake; Chomsky 1995 and the references cited there; Wilder and ‚avar 1994). However, there is no
movement entailed here. An inflected form of perfective have always resides in prehead position
of the mode characterizer in accordance with the feature space given in Figure Seven. The
uninflected form of perfective have occurs only with a modal and is marked with the varying
residences discussed above. Further, there is no rule of affix hopping involved; specifically, a
perfective participle, when it occurs, always resides in its participial form in main verb position.
Frames, such as those above, ensure that perfective participles co–occur with a form of perfective
have. Beyond this, the principal reason perfective have can be an SV is that it assigns no
theta–roles.

3.5.5 THE VERB be.

Returning to the matter of the support verb (SV) for tense, consider again the following hierarchy:

(212) a. Modal
b. have
c. be
d. emphatic do
e. [do] (a dummy verb do)

Thus far, we have offered a possible explanation for the first two elements in (212): modals and
perfective have must be the SV when they occur because they assign no theta–roles and have no
local subjects or complements. Thus, they satisfy the first condition of the SVC.
218 Chapter Three
Consider now the verb be. If a sentence contains a modal, then the verb be is always in main verb
position, whether or not perfective have also occurs. In support of this claim, let us consider the
behavior of floating quantifiers in the following noting that such quantifiers can float up to the main
verb and not beyond:68

(213) a. All the men could have gone fishing.


b. The men all could have gone fishing.
c. The men could all have gone fishing.
d. The men could have all gone fishing.
e. *The men could have gone all fishing.

(214) a. All the men could have been six–feet tall.


b. The men all could have been six–feet tall.
c. The men could all have been six–feet tall.
d. The men could have all been six–feet tall.
e. *The men could have been all six–feet tall.

(215) a. All the men could have been aware of a problem.


b. The men all could have been aware of a problem.
c. The men could all have been aware of a problem.
d. The men could have all been aware of a problem.
e. *The men could have been all aware of a problem.

(216) a. All the men could have been fishing.


b. The men all could have been fishing.
c. The men could all have been fishing.
d. The men could have all been fishing.
e. *The men could have been all fishing.

(217) a. All the men could have been seen.


b. The men all could have been seen.
c. The men could all have been seen.
d. The men could have all been seen.
e. *The men could have been all seen.

(218) a. All the jars could have been all broken.


b. The jars all could have been all broken.
c. The jars could all have been all broken.
d. The jars could have all been all broken.
e. *The jars could have been all all broken.

In (214) through (218), be is the main verb. Accordingly, all floats up to be but not beyond just as
it does when other verbs like go occur in place of be.69 There are, thus, four possible syntactic
positions for floating quantifiers:
Chapter Three 219
(219) All the jars could have been broken.

[V3 [N3 [N3 all] [C3 the] [N0 jars]] [C3 [C0 [V3 [V0 could]] [C0 CND]]] [V3 have [V2 [V0 been] [C3
broken]]]]

(220) The jars all could have been broken.

[V3 [N3 [C3 the] [N0 jars]] [C3 [N3 all][C0 [V3 [V0 could]] [C0 CND]]] [V3 have [V2 [V0 been] [C3
broken]]]]

(221) The jars could all have been broken.

[V3 [N3 [C3 the] [N0 jars]] [C3[C0 [V3 [V0 could]] [C0 CND]] [N3 all]] [V3 have [V2 [V0 been] [C3
broken]]]]

(222) The jars could have all been broken.

[V3 [N3 [C3 the] [N0 jars]] [C3 [C0 [V3 [V0 could]] [C0 CND]]] [V3 have [N3 all] [V2 [V0 been] [C3
broken]]]]

When a sentence contains neither a modal nor perfective have, be must reside in the mode
characterizer in the same position occupied by modals and have, that is, be is the SV. Consider the
following:

(223) a. John probably is meditating.


b. John is probably meditating.

In (223b), the verb is must be in the mode characterizer; there is no other way for it to appear to the
left of a sentence adverb probably. Since sentences must have a main verb, suppose we say that is
in (223) is in the mode characterizer bound to an [e] in main verb position. That is, suppose we
account for the distribution of probably with the following structures:

(224) a. John probably is meditating.


[V3 John [C3 [C3 probably] [C0 isi [C0 PRS]]] [V2 [V0 [e]i] [C3 meditating]]]

b. John is probably meditating.


[V3 John [C3 [C0 isi [C0 PRS]] [C3 probably]] [V2 [V0 [e]i] [C3 meditating]]]

In short, be must reside in the mode characterizer if it possibly can. This occurs whenever be is
inflected (am, is, are, was, were), precisely because the sentence contains no modal or perfective
have to act as SV. Note that (224b) would be impossible if be could not reside in the mode
characterizer. Thus, in addition to serving as SV, be occupies this residence for the sake of
probably. We see a similar presence of be in the mode characterizer when a sentence contains an
emphatic or a negative:
220 Chapter Three
(225) a. *John so is meditating.

b. John is so meditating.
[V3 John [C3 [C0 isi [C0 PRS]] [C3 so]] [V2 [V0 [e]i] [C3 meditating]]]

(226) a. *John too is meditating. (too =/ also)

b. John is too meditating.


[V3 John [C3 [C0 isi [C0 PRS]] [C3 too]] [V2 [V0 [e]i] [C3 meditating]]]

(227) a. *John not is meditating.

b. John is not meditating.


[V3 John [C3 [C0 isi [C0 PRS]] [C3 not]] [V2 [V0 [e]i] [C3 meditating]]]

Additionally, the verb be, when it is the SV and only then, is morphologically heavy: it is the only
verb in English that is marked contrastively for person, number, and tense. It is this distinctive
property that allows it to reside in SV position. No other main verb can. Generally, an SV must
assign no theta–roles. This is essential, since the SV is not in a position where it governs any subject
or complements. The verb be does assign theta–roles; however, the forms of be that reside in SV
position are bound to an [e] which, in fact, is in a position to have both a subject and a complement.
When a sentence contains no modal or perfective have, the inflected forms of be can “escape” from
main verb position because they are morphologically heavy. Thus, be satisfies the second condition
of the SVC. However, be also satisfies the first condition of the SVC since it alone can occur in SV
position; complements of be cannot occur with be in SV position:70

(228) a. He is so/not a good teacher.


b. *He is a good teacher so/not.

In part, the above account has the flavor of ALTRUISM (cf. Wilder and ‚avar 1994; move " for $’s
sake) except that, as before, no movement is entailed here. An inflected form of be always resides
in prehead position of the mode characterizer in accordance with the feature space given in Figure
Seven. When be does not show person/number distinctions, it resides in main verb position; this
occurs just in case the sentence contains a modal and/or a perfective.

The distributional constraints on inflected forms of have and be are, therefore, not identical. In
particular, perfective have is never a main verb and be always is. The position taken here is that the
have/be raising rule (Jackendoff 1972, Emonds 1976) which moves have and be into AUX is not a
legitimate rule since it treats have and be alike. The inflected forms of have and be must reside in
the mode characterizer if that residence would otherwise be unfilled. Beyond that, the two verbs
have very different properties. When have is the SV it is not bound to an [e]; when be is the SV, it
is always bound to an [e] in main verb position. In addition, perfective have can be in the mode
characterizer along with a modal but be cannot. The following data involving gapping further
support these differences between the two verbs (note that homeless have, and not be, can be in the
Chapter Three 221
mode characterizer when it also contains a modal71):

(229) a. John could have been fishing, and so could have Bill (been fishing).
John could have been fishing, and so could Bill have (been fishing).

b. John could have been injured, and so could have Bill (been injured).
John could have been injured, and so could Bill have (been injured).

c. John could have been being stalked, and so could have Bill (been being stalked).
John could have been being stalked, and so could Bill have (been being stalked).

(230) a. *John could be fishing, and so could be Bill (fishing).


John could be fishing, and so could Bill be (fishing).

b. *John could be injured, and so could be Bill (injured).


John could be injured, and so could Bill be (injured).

c. *John could be being stalked, and so could be Bill (being stalked).


John could be being stalked, and so could Bill be (being stalked).

Consider now the following sentences which appear to present a problem for our analysis:

(231) a. The jars were all broken. (ambiguous)


b. The jars were all all broken.

In (231), it appears as though the quantifier all has floated beyond the main verb. However, that
would be the case only if were were in main verb position. As above, suppose we say that were in
(231) is in the mode characterizer bound to an [e] in main verb position. That is, suppose we
account for the ambiguity and distribution of all with the following structures:

(232) The jars were all broken. [= All of the jars were broken.]
[V3 [N3 the jars] [C3 [C0 werei [C0 PST]] [N3 all]] [V2 [V0 [e]i] [C3 broken]]]

(233) The jars were all broken. [= The jars were totally broken.]
[V3 [N3 the jars] [C3 [C0 werei [C0 PST]]] [V2 [V0 [e]i] [C3 [N3 all] broken]]]

(234) The jars were all all broken. [= All of the jars were totally broken.]
[V3 [N3 the jars] [C3 [C0 werei [C0 PST]][N3 all]] [V2 [V0 [e]i] [C3 [N3 all] broken]]]

Given these structures, the examples in (231) are not a problem. Other examples also fall into place
such as the contrast between There is probably a problem and *There could have been probably a
problem; in the former, we have a structure paralleling (224b); in the latter, there is no possible
position for probably between been, which must be in main verb position, and the complement.
222 Chapter Three
3.5.6 THE VERB do.

Consider now the following sentences, which have often been derived by a rule that inserts do to
support the TNS/MDE (the do–support transformation):

(235) a. John does meditate.


b. John did meditate.

(236) a. John does not/so/too meditate.


b. John did not/so/too meditate.

The representations for sentences like (235) and (236), in the current framework, are as follows (cf.
(163)):

(237) a. [V3 John [C3 [C0 [V3 [V0 does ]] [C0 PRS]] ([C3 [C0 not/so/too]]) ] meditate]
b. [V3 John [C3 [C0 [V3 [V0 did ]] [C0 PST]] ([C3 [C0 not/so/too]]) ] meditate]

It seems to me that the representations in (237) must be considered “base generated,” that is, they
are not the result of a transformation which inserts do to avoid stranding the MDE/TNS. Quite
simply, the reason is that the forms of do in (237) mean something. They are not empty morphemes:
notice, for example, that the forms of do in (237) express an emphatic assertion or denial. Therefore,
let us call this use of do “emphatic do.”

It is tempting to consider emphatic do a modal because it cannot occur in participles, infinitives, etc.:

(238) a. *Doing singing all night, he became hoarse.


b. *Of course he really wants to do sing.

Further, emphatic do cannot occur with modals:

(239) a. *He does will sing.


b. *They really do can sing.

However, modals can occur with have and be, whereas emphatic do cannot:

(240) a. John could/*does (not/so/too/probably) have meditated.


b. John could/*does (not/so/too/probably) be meditating.

The explanation for (240) seems to be more a matter of semantics than syntax. In many instances,
emphatic do appears to require the presence of contexts which allow for emphasis. Notice that we
cannot simply mark all occurrences of do with have or be ungrammatical. Consider the following:
Chapter Three 223
(241) a. Do be careful.
b. Don’t be such a jerk.
c. Please don’t be upset by what I am about to tell you.
d. *Do be six feet tall.
e. *Don’t be a mammal.

There are, apparently, some English dialects which extend these contexts to include all uses of be.
According to Wilder and ‚avar (1994: 84), the following sentences are attested in Irish English
dialects:

(242) a. John does be singing.


b. John does be a teacher.

Further, Pollock (1989: 372) claims that the following sentences are acceptable, though I personally
find them rather strange:

(243) a. Don’t (you) have finished your work when I come back!
b. Don’t (you) be singing when I come back.

It may be necessary to distinguish copular be from progressive and passive be, the way one must
distinguish the main verb have from perfective have. Yet, the following examples indicate that the
facts are far from clear:

(244) a. Don’t be so noisy.


b. Don’t be drinking wine when he calls. (example from Quirk, R. et al. 1985: 134)
c. ?Don’t be smoking in this house.
d. Don’t be photographed/seen with her.
e. ?Don’t be arrested in that town. (cf. Don’t get arrested in that town.)

(245) a. Don’t have your father committed.


b. Don’t have such a fit./Don’t have that operation.
c. ?Don’t have such a car./?Don’t have that medication.
d. ?Don’t have ever smoked in this house even once.

The variability in such forms suggests that the occurrence of do with various forms of be and have
involves issues that go beyond simple syntax. Thus, I will leave the matter unresolved.

Consider finally sentences with simple tenses like the following:

(246) a. John meditates.


b. John meditated.

These sentences appear to have no verb at all in their mode characterizers. Of all the examples we
have investigated during this discussion of the English auxiliary, this is the first time that the mode
224 Chapter Three
characterizer appears to be null. In fact, in all other cases that I know of, the mode characterizer
must contain an SV. Following Pollock (1989) and Wilder and ‚avar (1994), suppose we say that
such sentences contain a dummy verb do, that is, forms of the verb do with tense, person, and
number features that are the same as the real verb do except that they have no phonological content.
Under this proposal, we have the following representations, where the bracketed forms of do, in
italics, are the dummy verb do:

(247) a. [V3 John [C3 [C0 [V3 [V0 does ]] [C0 PRS]]] meditates]
b. [V3 John [C3 [C0 [V3 [V0 did ]] [C0 PST]]] meditated]

Note that (247) parallels (237). Given (247), we need only assume that rules in the phonological
component will obligatorily convert (247) into (246) by simply deleting the dummy do.

3.5.7 RESOLUTION.

Given the analysis of the English auxiliary we have proposed, all finite clauses have the same
representation (163) repeated here as (248); further, all clauses contain an SV filled in accordance
with the hierarchy (173) repeated here as (249) under the constraints of the SVC.

(248) [V3 N3 [C3 [C0 [V3 [V0 SV ]] [C0 (MDE]]] V0]

(249) a. Modal
b. have
c. be
d. emphatic do
e. [do] (a dummy verb do)

Note that the list of verbs in (249) is not a list of items that move into the mode characterizer from
somewhere else. Each verb in (249) is “base generated” in the SV residence specified in (248) in
accordance with its syntactic feature matrix. Whether one is encoding sentences at random or
decoding arbitrary input, (248) forms the basis for the operation. Other specifications are of course
needed, such as where have can reside outside of SV position, when be must be bound to an [e], and
so on. But the crux of the English auxiliary is the structure in (248).

The position taken here is that it is incorrect to treat all the components of the auxiliary in like
fashion using either the classical affix hopping analysis (Chomsky 1955) or a Minimalist approach
involving Verb Movement (Chomsky 1995). In particular, be must always be the syntactic main
verb of any sentence in which it occurs. The affixes associated with the progressive and the passive
are, like the use of to in the infinitive, prepositional in nature. Perfective have is not associated with
an affix that “hops” to the following verb; rather, it is associated directly with the perfective
participle. Lastly, every sentence must contain a verb in the mode characterizer to act as SV. The
order in which the SV slot must be filled is as follows: modal, inflected forms of have, inflected
forms of be, inflected forms of do, and inflected forms of dummy–do.
Chapter Three 225
Given the above analysis, the abstract representation of the English auxiliary contains all lexical
items in the same position as the corresponding phonetic representations. There is no movement of
any elements including affixes. All items, including the SV, emphatics, sentence adverbs, manner
adverbs, temporal quantifiers, and so on occupy residences specified by their syntactic feature
matrices in Figure Seven.

Perhaps the most crucial innovation in the above analysis is our characterization of the SV. It must
be a [–OCL] verb, that is, a verb that is not an open class verb. English does not tolerate a [+OCL]
verb within the mode characterizer. Note that [+OCL] verbs are high content verbs with widely
varying theta–marking properties. The number of verbs which can function as an SV is in fact very
small: can, could, will, would, shall, should, may, might, must, have, has, had, am, is, are, was,
were, do, does, did, [do], [does], and [did]. These are the so–called helping verbs of traditional
grammar. They function to indicate mood, tense, aspect, emphasis and the like. The semantic effect
of such verbs is to color the meaning of a sentence. Further, except for the verb be, they lack
theta–marking properties. The meaning contributed to a sentence by a verb like fish or meditate is
far different in character from the meaning contributed by a helping verb. Lastly, every SV must
have one of the characteristics specified in the SVC.

In summary, the complete English auxiliary has the following structure when have is part of the
mode characterizer:

(250) The jars could have been being broken.

[V3 [N3 the jars] [C3 [C0 could [C0 CND]] have ] [V2 [V0 been] [C3 [C0 [C0 PRGP] [V3 [V2 [V0 being]
[C3 [C0 [C0 PSVP] [V3 [V0 broken]]]] ]]]] ]]

In the LTP, the structure produced for the above example contains an abstract empty noun phrase
([e]) inserted into the object slot of the verb break as follows:
226 Chapter Three
(251)

The clause "the jars could have been being broken" is a statement.
The phrase "being broken" is a predicate adjective phrase referring back to the subject phrase "the jars".
The phrase "the jars" is a noun phrase and the subject of the verb "been".
The phrase “[e]" is a noun phrase and the abstract empty direct object of the passive verb "broken"
The word "been" is a perfective participle.
The word "been" is the main verb of "the jars could have been being broken".
The word "being" is a progressive participle (verbal adjective).
The word "broken" is a passive participle (verbal adjective).
The word "could" is a modal auxiliary modifying the meaning of the verb "been".
The word "have" is the bare perfective auxiliary verb.
The word "jars" is a plural common noun.
The word "PRGP" is the abstract marker ([-ing]) of the progressive participle "being".
The word "PSVP" is the abstract marker ([-en]) of the passive participle "broken".
The word "the" is a determiner specifying the noun "jars".

V3
|-------------------|-------------------|
| | |
N3 C3 V2
|---------| |---------| |---------|
| | | | | |
C3 N0 C0 V3 V0 C3
| NOUN |---------| | VERB |
| jars | | | been |
C0 V3 C0 V0 C0
DET | MPT AUX |---------|
the | have | |
V0 C0 V3
MODAL PRGP |
could |
V2
|---------|
| |
V0 C3
VERB |
being |
C0
|---------|
| |
C0 V3
PSVP |
|
V1
|---------|
| |
V0 N3
VERB |
broken |
N0
[e]

The analysis of the English auxiliary that we have proposed deals with a wider range of data than
any available within recent Minimalist proposals. In particular, in addition to examining all
elements of the auxiliary, we have accounted for the varying positions of sentence adverbs, manner
adverbs, temporal quantifiers, emphatics, the negator not, and floating quantifiers. All of this has
been achieved without any movement rules including affix hopping. Further, and from our point
of view most important, the abstract representations contain all lexical items in exactly the same
order that they appear in phonetic form.
Chapter Three 227
3.6 ADVERBS IN FRENCH AND ITALIAN.

As a final topic in this section, let us consider the apparent C–command violations in the position
of manner adverbs and temporal quantifiers in French and Italian.72 Basically, the problem is that
these languages permit manner adverb and temporal quantifiers to occur between a verb and its
direct object, an apparent violation of the C–command relation that exists between modifiers and
complements as stated above. Consider the following examples:73

(252) a. Jean embrasse Marie souvent.


b. Giovanni bacia Maria spesso.
c. John kisses Mary often.

(253) a. Jean embrasse Marie passionnément.


b. Giovanni bacia Maria appassionatamente.
c. John kisses Mary passionately.

(254) a. Jean embrasse souvent Marie.


b. Giovanni bacia spesso Maria.
c. *John kisses often Mary.

(255) a. Jean embrasse passionnément Marie.


b. Giovanni bacia appassionatamente Maria.
c. *John kisses passionately Mary.

Examples (252), (253), (254c) and (255c) do not present any problems. They follow the
C–command relation we have articulated, namely, modifiers must C–command complements. The
question is, How to analyze (254a), (254b), (255a) and (255b). Basically, we have two options
given the structures we have proposed.

First, following William’s analysis of French (1994: 174 ff.), we might say that the modifiers in
(254a), (254b), (255a) and (255b) reside in an “intraposed” position as follows, where the modifier
is bound to an [e] on the V2 level:

(256) [V2 [V1 [V0 [V0 verb] [X3 modifier]i ] [N3 complement] ] [e]i ]

An intraposition analysis, with or without an associated [e], is certainly justifiable for some English
sentences. Consider the following:

(257) a. John pushed the door open.


[V3 [N3 John] [C3 PST] [V1 [V0 push] [N3 the door]] [C3 open]]
b. John pushed open the door.
[V3 [N3 John] [C3 PST] [V1[V0 [V0 push] [C3 open]] [N3 the door]]
228 Chapter Three
(258) a. John took the trash out.
[V3 [N3 John] [C3 PST] [V1 [V0 take] [N3 the trash]] [C3 out]]
b. John took out the trash.
[V3 [N3 John] [C3 PST] [V1[V0 [V0 take] [C3 out]] [N3 the trash]]

Notice that it is not necessary to assume a movement analysis in the above, that is, we do not have
to say that characterizers open and out are generated in one position from which they are moved by
transformation to the other. On the other hand, there is reason to assume that English resultative
expressions and particles have the “base home” in (257a) and (258a), respectively.

First, such an account accords with the C–command violations we have suggested. But there is
independent motivation as well. Notice that the positions in (257a) and (258a) are the most
unconstrained. If the direct object is a pronoun or the following characterizer phrase contains a
modifier, then the structural alternatives in (257a) and (258a) are the only ones possible:

(259) a. John pushed it open./John took it out.


b. *John pushed open it./*John took out it.

(260) a. John pushed the door right open./John took the trash right out.
b. *John pushed right open the door./*John took right out the trash.

Further, the “intraposition” of a C3 is only obligatory when the direct object is heavy:

(261) a. John heroically pushed open the door that was nailed shut from the inside by a
maniac on the run from the police for having committed some terrible crimes.
b. *John heroically pushed the door that was nailed shut from the inside by a maniac
on the run from the police for having committed some terrible crimes open.

(262) a. John has finally taken out the trash which had accumulated during his illness and had
become a health hazard for all of the people living with him.

b. *John has finally taken the trash which had accumulated during his illness and had
become a health hazard for all of the people living with him out.

Despite the availability of an intraposition analysis, the data suggest that we not use it to analyze the
apparent C–command violations under discussion for two reasons.

First, while English push open and take out seem like composite predicates, the French and Italian
examples above do not. Indeed, there may be a universal that prevents manner adverbs and temporal
quantifiers from forming composite predicates with a verb.

Second, while English does not tolerate multi–word phrases in intraposition (260), French and
Italian do. Consider the following:
Chapter Three 229
(263) a. Jean embrasse très passionnément Marie.
b. Giovanni bacia molto appassionatamente Maria.

As an alternative to an intraposition analysis, suppose we say that French and Italian follow the
second condition of the SVC and place their main verbs in the mode characterizers bound to an [e]
in the manner proposed above for inflected forms English be. Note that main verbs in both French
and Italian are morphologically heavy (inflected for PERSON, NUMBER, and TENSE).

(264) [V3 subject [C3 [C0 verbi [C0 MDE]]] [V2 [X3 modifier] [V1 [V0 [e]i] [N3 complement]]]]

Given (264), we conclude that the French and Italian examples do not violate the universal
C–command relations we have proposed.74 Apparent counterexamples parallel previously discussed
examples like the following, where it only seems that the C–command relations have been violated.

(265) a. John is not/so/too/probably meditating.


b. The jars were (all) all broken.

We can extend the above analysis to account for the position of negatives and quantifiers in French
(see Pollock 1989). Consider the following.

(266) a. Jean n’aime pas Marie.


John likes not Mary
‘John doesn’t like Mary.’
b. [V3 [N3 Jean] [C3 ne [C0 aimei [C0 PRS]] [C3 pas]] [V1 [V0 [e]i] [N3 Marie]]]

As before, we do not need to assume any movement of the verb in the above structure. Similarly,
we can account for the position of tous ‘all’ to the right of the verb:

(267) a. Mes amis aiment tous Marie.


my friends like all Mary
‘My friends all like Mary.’
b. [V3 [N3 mes amis] [C3 [C0 aimenti [C0 PRS]] [N3 tous]] [V1 [V0 [e]i] [N3 Marie]]]

The structures in (266) and (267) are parallel to those proposed above for the following (cf. (225b),
and (232)):

(268) a. John is not meditating.


[V3 John [C3 [C0 isi [C0 PRS]] [C3 not]] [V2 [V0 [e]i] [C3 meditating]]]
b. The jars were all broken. [= All of the jars were broken.]
[V3 [N3 the jars] [C3 [C0 werei [C0 PST]] [N3 all]] [V2 [V0 [e]i] [C3 broken]]]

Thus, we arrive at the same conclusion as Chomsky (1995:195): “French–type and English–type
languages now look alike...” Only we have achieved the same result as Chomsky without moving
anything anywhere.
230 Chapter Three
3.7 CONDITIONS ON REPRESENTATIONS.

Since empty categories have been and will be a major focus of our investigation of syntax and
semantics, it is appropriate before proceeding to summarize some of the structures we have already
discussed and to outline an inventory of the kinds of structures we will be considering in later
chapters.

Our description of syntax thus far has confirmed that there are basically two empty morphosyntactic
categories: [u], which is unbound, and [e], which is bound (the symbol Ø is used for expository
purposes only, that is Ø = [u], an unbound empty category, specifically, a null determiner or
complementizer). The difference in binding between [u] and [e] is responsible for the fundamental
difference between them, namely, that the position occupied by [u] can be filled with a lexical item
without otherwise altering the form of the sentence in which it occurs, whereas the position occupied
by [e] cannot contain an overt phrase because it is already filled by its “displaced” referent.
Consider the following:75

(269) a. John will visit us.


b. John will visit [u].
c. *John will visit [e].

(270) a. *Who will John visit us? (cf. Will John visit us?)
b. *Who will John visit [u]? (cf. Will John visit [u]?)
c. Whoi will John visit [e]i?

A major insight of TG has been to show that, in a structure like (270c), who is associated with the
empty position [e] so that the position cannot be filled without altering the form of the sentence,
specifically, without deleting the who. As a result, any structure like (270a) or (270b) will be
ungrammatical since either one position would have to be associated with two distinct phrases or
WH–phrases would not need to be bound. Of course, we have been arguing that movement rules
are not necessary to capture that insight and will continue to do so. Still, it is important to keep in
mind that the above data derive from the fact that [u] is unbound and [e] is bound.76

Notice also that there is a fundamental difference between the [e] in (270c), which is an instance of
WH–Movement in movement theories (Chomsky 1981, 1995), and examples like the following:

(271) a. Johni was visited [e]i.


b. Johni is easy to please [e]i..

Whether or not movement is assumed, the referent for [e] in the WH–Movement examples is not in
a position that receives case; rather, the case of a WH–pronoun is determined by the position of [e].
On the other hand, the referent for [e] in both examples in (271) is in a position that receives case
(SUBJECT position receives nominative case). The problem is the position of [e] itself in (271).
In recent movement analyses, the [e] in passive examples like (271a) is not in a position that
receives case (passive participles are not case assigners; Jaeggli 1986).77
Chapter Three 231
Conversely, the [e] in (271b) must be in a position that receives case (cf. It is easy to please
John/him). There is, therefore, a conflict in the two examples in (271). In our analysis of both
(271a) and (271b), there is no conflict: the referent for [e] and the [e] itself are both in positions that
receive case. Specifically, the referent in SUBJECT position will receive nominative case, and [e]
in PCOMP position will receive accusative case (cf. (251)). Importantly, whether or not one
assumes a movement analysis, [e] and its referent do not have identical morphosyntactic feature
matrices; rather, they have identical morphosyntactic feature matrices with the exception of those
features determined by “surface” position, that is, case features. That fact is incorporated into the
Empty Category Condition given directly below in (278).

Given the discussion thus far, the inversion that occurs in English questions like (272a) can be
represented structurally as (272b).

(272) a. Couldi they [e]i have gone?


b. [V3 [C3 could]i [V3 [N3 they] [e]i [V3 have [V0 gone]]]]]

Notice that (272b) contains a recursion of V3. In Chapter Eight, I will present evidence for formally
distinguishing these two X3 levels in both sentences (V3) and noun phrases (N3) as follows (see
Page 536):78

(273) Immediate Neighborhood.

a. The immediate neighborhood is a functional unit of syntax consisting minimally of


an X3 that most immediately dominates both of the following two elements:

1. A V0 or N0 head (= ["NML, –"VBL]).


2. A MODE or DETERMINER or POSSESSIVE.

b. Phrases are in the same immediate neighborhood when they are most immediately
C–commanded by the same MODE or DETERMINER or POSSESSIVE that is in
an immediate neighborhood.

(274) Extended Neighborhood.

The extended neighborhood includes all items immediately dominated by an X3 which


immediately dominates the immediate neighborhood.

Evidence for the structure (272b), which contains the overt mode characterizer in the extended
neighborhood bound to an [e] in the immediate neighborhood, derives from the fact that contraction
of they and have is blocked by the intervening [e]: *Could they’ve gone.

A question like (275a) has the structure (275b), where both the WH–phrase and the overt mode
characterizer are in the extended neighborhood.
232 Chapter Three
(275) a. What i couldj they [e]j have bought [e]i? (cf. *What could they’ve bought?)

b. [V3 [N3 what]i [C3 could]j [V3 [N3 they] [e]j [V3 have [V1 [V0 bought] [e]i]]]]]

A similar analysis can be proposed for topicalized or focused constituents, which will be discussed
in detail in Chapter Six:

(276) a. John must read this book.


[V3 [N3 John] [C3 must] [V1 [V0 read] [N3 this book]]]

b. This book, John must read.


[V3 [N3 this book]i [V3 [N3 John] [C3 must] [V1 [V0 read] [e]i]]]

We need not assume that any movement occurs in the formation of (272b), (275b), or (276b); rather,
as before, the structures can be built up from lexical specifications.

Assuming that empty categories are freely inserted into structures as the structures are built up, we
need conditions to specify the possible residences for empty categories. Four such conditions
together with relevant example are (277), (278), (279), and (280).79

(277) EXTENDED NEIGHBORHOOD CONDITION (ENC).

A WH–phrase or focused phrase residing in the extended neighborhood must be bound to


an [e] it C–commands.

a. *Whoi doj they [e]j admire [Bill]i?


b. *Who doj they [e]j admire [u]?
c. *Johni, you just have to admire [Bill]i.
d. *John, you just have to admire [u].

Note that the following are acceptable, where John is the addressee:

e. John, you just have to admire Bill.


f. John, you just have to visit [u].

(278) EMPTY CATEGORY CONDITION (ECC).

An empty morphosyntactic category can only reside in a licensed position. The licensing
of empty categories depends on specific structures and principles such as the following:

a. [X3 u] (or more simply, [u]) is an unbound empty category licensed only in positions
that can be filled by overt phrases of the same category X without otherwise altering
the sentence in which it occurs.
Chapter Three 233
[1] [C3 u] (abbreviated as Ø for expository purposes) is licensed in a position that
can be filled by an overt determiner or complementizer, namely, [X3 Ø...X0 ],
where X = ["VBL, –"NML], that is N or V.

[a] John told us Ø/those stories.


[b] John told us Ø/that Bill went.

[2] [N3 u] is licensed as an understood direct object if a verb’s subcategorization


stipulates it.

[a] Let’s eat [u]/dinner.


[b] They are hiring [u]/people.
[c] She shrugged [u]/her shoulders.
[d] John is eager to please [u]/everyone.

[3] [N3 u] is licensed as the understood SUBJECT of an imperative.

[a] [u]/you take care of yourself.


[b] [u]/you take care of yourselves.

[4] [N3 u] is licensed as the empty subject in highly inflected languages.

[a] Io vengo.
[u] vengo.
‘I come.’
[b] Pedro llega.
‘Pedro arrives.’
[u] llega.
‘he/she arrives.’

[5] [N3 u] is licensed as the head of an N3 provided it is preceded and/or followed


by some X3 or X2 level resident in that N3.

[a] Look at that [u]/thing.


[b] Look at those [u]/things.
[c] Give me some [u]/chips.
[d] He has more [u]/things than everyone else.
[e] Where is John’s [u]/stuff?
[f] Bill read these (three) [u]/books.
[g] I’ll take two [u]/hot dogs.
[h] The rich [u]/people get richer.
[i] Youth is wasted on the young [u]/people.
[j] She is the best [u]/student in the class.
[k] I like those [u]/things that John has.
234 Chapter Three
[6] [N3 u] is licensed in partitive constructions (a variation of [5]).

[a] Some [u]/bottles of that wine spoiled.


[b] Six [u]/groups of the students picketed.
[c] Which [u]/one of the students did you see?

[7] [V3 u] is licensed in sentences with adverbial subordinate clauses if the V3


containing [u] does not both precede and C–command its referent.

[a] John will go, if/when you ask him to [u]/go.


[b] *John will *[u]/go, if/when you ask him to go.
[c] If/when you ask him to [u]/go, John will go.
[d] If/when you ask him to go, John will [u]/go.

[8] [V3 u] is licensed in comparative clauses.

[a] John works harder than Bill [u]/works.


[b] John attends more meetings than Bill [u]/attends.
[c] John is as sad as Bill is [u]/happy.

b. [e] is a bound empty category licensed only in base positions (Page 86), that is,
MAIN VERB, AUX, SUBJECT, PCOMP, SCOMP, or MOD, the basic elements of
simple declarative sentences. The position occupied by [e] cannot be filled by an
overt phrase without otherwise altering the sentence in which it occurs. The
morphosyntactic features of [e] are identical to those of its referent in all regards
except features determined by position, e.g. case features.

[1] The referent for [e] is in the immediate neighborhood.

[a] The referent for [e] is an N3 in SUBJECT or PCOMP position.

1. Hei is admired [e]i. (cf. People admired him.)


2. Hei is easy to please [e]i. (cf. It is easy to please him.)
3. Into the room, [e]i ran a childi.
4. We have Johni to thank [e]i.

[b] The referent for [e] is a morphologically heavy verb in SV position


(V–to–I Movement in an MA).

1. They arei all [e]i going.


2. They arei so [e]i going.
Chapter Three 235
3. Jean embrassei souvent [e]i Marie. ‘John kisses Mary often.’
4. Giovanni baciai spesso [e]i Maria. ‘John kisses Mary often.’

5. Jean n’aimei pas [e]i Marie. ‘John doesn’t like Mary.’


6. Mes amis aimenti tous [e]i Marie. ‘My friends all like Mary.’

[2] The referent for [e] is in the extended neighborhood.

[a] The referent for [e] is a WH–phrase or focused phrase.

1. Whoi should John meet [e]i?


2. I know whoi John met [e]i.
3. I saw the mani whoi John met [e]i.
4. This mani, John really must meet [e]i.
5. Happyi, John will never be [e]i.

[b] The referent for [e] is the mode characterizer (I–to–C Movement in an
MA).

1. Couldi they [e]i have gone?


2. Whati couldj they [e]j have bought [e]i?

(279) DISTINCT REFERENCE CONDITION (DRC).

No N3–[e] chain can fulfill more than one grammatical function for the same verb; rather,
when the complement of a predicate refers to the same entity as the subject, English
demands a reflexive pronoun ([u] = [unbound]):

a. Theyi are hiring *[e]i/[u]/themselves.


b. We tried to keep themi from hiring *[e]i/[u]/Bill/themselves.

(280) CONTRACTION BLOCK CONDITION (CBC).

Contraction is not possible over an empty category.

a. Couldi we [e]i have gone there? > *Could we’ve gone there?
(cf. We’ve gone there.)
b. Hei was dared [e]i to challenge her. > *He was [dærDc] challenge her.
(cf. Did he [dærDc] challenge her?)

c. They eat [u] to live. > *They [iDc] live.


d. Sue will nod [u] to express approval. > *Sue will [naDc] express approval.
236 Chapter Three
Chapter Three 237

ENDNOTES TO CHAPTER THREE

1. One can replace minus and plus as feature values with integers alone as follows:

(i) 0 = –
1 = + with the value 1
2 = + with the value 2
3 = + with the value 3

For example, we might represent a feature like GENDER as follows:

(ii) [0GENDER] = unmarked (unspecified) for GENDER


[1GENDER] = marked for GENDER specifically MASCULINE
[2GENDER] = marked for GENDER, specifically FEMININE
[3GENDER] = marked for GENDER, specifically NEUTER

The notation in this book conforms to the following equivalences, where “F” is a feature name:

(iii) [–F] = [0F]


[+F] = [nF] where n $ 1

2. The description of features here has much in common with the description in Generalized Phrase
Structure Grammar (GPSG, Gazdar et al. 1985). One trivial difference is the order of elements in
the pair: here the value precedes the name; in GPSG, the name precedes the value. A further
difference involves the treatment of features like CASE: here the feature value for CASE like the
feature values for all features is an atomic symbol (–, +, 0, 1, 2, 3, etc.); in GPSG, the feature value
for CASE is a category (NOMINATIVE, ACCUSATIVE, etc.). It is not clear to me why individual
cases in GSPG are considered categories whereas, for example, individual persons are represented
as atomic symbols. In a notation like <PER, 3> or [3PER], the element “3” does not refer to the
number three itself but to the designation third person. Similarly, <CASE, 1> or [1CAS] might be
used for the nominative case in GPSG as it is here.

3. The variability is considerable. For example, in Bambara, the past is expressed by an auxiliary
(ye) with transitive verbs but by a suffix (–la) with intransitive verbs (examples from Schachter
1985: 10–11):

(i) a. U ye a san
they PAST it buy
‘They bought it’
238 Chapter Three
b. U boli–la
they walk–PAST
‘They walked’

In Tongan, the function word §oku denotes present tense, while na§e denotes past tense (examples
from Finegan 1994: 175):

(ii) a. §oku §alu e fine§eiki ki kolo


PRES go the lady to town
‘The lady is going to town.’

b. Na§e §alu e fine§eiki ki kolo


PAST go the lady to town
‘The lady was going to town.’

In some languages, plurality, as opposed to singularity, is indicated by separate particles. For


example, in Quiché, inanimate nouns “may be preceded by the particle taq that indicates plurality”
(Croft 1990:216). In other languages, plurality is indicated by a reduplication of the stem (Frawley
1992: 85). In Latin, plurality is indicated by a suffix which also marks the case of a noun, that is,
plurality and case cannot be separated into distinct affixes. In English, plurality alone is generally
indicate by a suffix (boy/boys); however, sometimes overt plurality is indicated by the determiner
or quantifier system: this/every deer, those/many deer.

Other distinctions are also coded in various ways in different languages. For example, in English,
definiteness is mainly indicated by the determiner system (a/the/this/that), whereas in other
languages it may be signaled by word order variations (Newari and Mandarin) or affixes (Hawaiian
Creole) as discussed in Givón (1984, Section 11.4).

4. The term MODE, as used here, embraces the traditional moods (indicative, subjunctive, etc.) as
well as specialized forms like participles, gerunds, and infinitives, and forms that occur with modal
auxiliaries, e.g., must go, should go, etc. Classical and traditional grammarians generally consider
the indicative, subjunctive, optative and imperative as moods; many also classify the infinitive and
participle as a mood (Allen and Greenough 1931; Smyth 1956; Lightfoot 1975). Participles and
gerundives are generally classified as verbal adjectives, while the gerund and supine are classified
as verbal nouns.

The basis for including all these forms in the same feature group in this book is their mutual
exclusivity: any particular form is one or the other, that is, there is no such thing as an imperative
participle, an indicative gerund, a subjunctive infinitive, etc. On the other hand, in various
languages, we do find perfective infinitives, passive participles, present subjunctives, etc., that is,
MODE does combine with various realizations of TENSE, VOICE, and ASPECT. In English, a
complex verbal sequence like was invited is analyzed here as having two modes: the was is
INDICATIVE and the invited is PARTICIPIAL. Thus, each form that is [+VBL] must be marked
for some MODE.
Chapter Three 239
Despite my inclusion of all these forms under the general rubric of MODE, I will make a distinction
in later sections and chapters between those forms that function as verbal adjectives, i.e., participles,
and those forms that functions as verbal nouns, i.e., gerunds. For discussion of the complex issues
involved in the use of the terms mood, mode and modality see Palmer 1986: Chapter One; see also
Bybee and Fleischman 1995.

5. The feature CASE will be broadened in later chapters to include other cases like dative, ablative,
instrumental, and so on. I will postpone discussion of a number of details regarding features like
ASPECT and MODE until Chapter Five, Section 5.10; see also Appendix C, Page 623 ff. Such
details include the fact that the present tense in English may have a habitual reading (He works in
a factory) or a punctual reading (I need five dollars) and that modal verbs express a variety of
distinctions like the following:

(i) POSSIBILITY: may, might, can, could


(ii) NECESSITY: must
(iii) ABILITY: can, could
(iv) PERMISSION: can, could, may, might
(v) OBLIGATION: must, should

6. Hudson (1990: Section 8.2, Page 172 ff.) makes a similar distinction between an inherent
classification of words (our [VBL, NML]) and feature distinctions that are added to these (our
[NUM], [PER], [TNS], etc.).

7. One indication that there is an understood noun in examples like (9) is that contraction with the
infinitive marker to is prevented after the so–called demonstrative pronouns, whereas it occurs freely
with personal pronouns. Consider the following:

(i) a. Do you believe it to be a good idea?


b. Do you believe [wDcbi] a good idea?

(ii) a. Do you believe that [u] to be a good idea?


b. *Do you believe [ðæDcbi] a good idea?

(iii) a. Do you believe this [u] to be a good idea?


b. *Do you believe [ðwscbi] a good idea?

In Chapter Seven (Page 508), I will propose THE CONTRACTION BLOCK CONDITION, which
stipulates that contraction is not possible over an empty category.

Throughout this book, I will continue to use the symbol “U” for a theme that is unspecified in
semantic representations, but one that is understood conceptually. The upper case symbol “U” is
intended to be consistent with the representations for themes which are also given in upper case.
In discussions of syntax, I will use the symbol “[u]” in contrast with the familiar [e]. “U” and “[u]”
240 Chapter Three
are not equivalent: the former represents an understood semantic category (thematic relation); the
latter, an understood syntactic category (phrase).

More specifically, the symbol “[u]” represents an empty element which can be replaced with a fully
specified phrase without altering the form and grammaticality of a sentence. The symbol “[e]”
represents an empty element whose position CANNOT be filled without altering the form and
grammaticality of a sentence. Typical examples of [u] and [e] are as follows:

(iv) a. I like those [u].


b. I like those [books].

(v) a. John read those books, and Mary read these [u].
b. John read those books, and Mary read these [books].

(vi) a. John will sing if you as him to [u].


b. John will sing if you ask him to [sing].

(vii) a. These books, you really must read [e].


b. *These books, you really must read [these books].
c. You really must read [these books].

(viii) a. I wonder which books John read [e].


b. *I wonder which books John read [which/these books].
c. I wonder whether John read [these books].

(ix) a. These books are easy to read [e].


b. *These books are easy to read [these books].
c. It is easy to read [these books].

8. As Jackendoff 1992: 201–202 notes, “Each conceptual category supports the encoding of
information not only on the basis of linguistic input, but also on the basis of the visual (or other
sensory) environment.” He offers the following examples:

(i) That is a robin.


(ii) There is your hat.
(iii) Can you do this?
(iv) The fish was this long.

In (i), that points out a thing in the environment; in (ii), there points out a place; in (iii), this refers
to a demonstration of an action; and, in (iv), this refers to a demonstration of distance.

9. To avoid confusion with the terminology of classical scholarship, I use the phrase “gerundial
nominal” instead of “gerundive nominal,” which has been used in the more recent linguistics
literature, e.g., Chomsky 1970, Schachter 1976. Strictly speaking, a gerundive is a verbal adjective,
Chapter Three 241
whereas a gerund is a verbal noun. The structures I will investigate here are nominal, not adjectival;
hence, my choice of terminology.

10. In Latin, the supine carries an inherent feature of number (it is always singular) and also
carries an inherent verbal affix (MODE). Thus, I would also classify it as [+NML, +VBL]. Consider
the following where te is the direct object of the accusative supine admonitum.

(i) Admonitum venimus te (accusative case).


to remind we have come you
‘We have come to remind you.’ (Cicero, De Oratore, 3, 17)

The essential verbal nature of the supine is clear from the fact that it constructs with objects and
modifiers associated with the corresponding verb as follows:

(ii) Legatos ad Caesarem mittunt rogatum auxilium


envoys to Caesar they send to ask for help
‘They send envoys to Caesar to ask for help.’ (Caesar, Bellum Gallicum, 1, 11, 2)

Thus, the supine has both verbal characteristics (it takes a direct object) and nominal characteristics
(it is inherently singular).

The Latin supine also occurs in the ablative case in expressions like mirabile dictu ‘wonderful to
relate.’ In both the accusative and the ablative, the stem of the supine is identical to the past
(passive) participle stem (the fourth principle part of the Latin verb) except that it has the vowel
characteristic of the fourth declension [u] rather than the vowel of the first and second declensions,
[a] and [o], respectively. Consider the following where the marker for the accusative singular is “m”
and the marker for the ablative singular is lengthening the declensional vowel:

(iii) Venimus visum/auditum. (vis–u–m and audit–u–m)


‘We come to see/hear.’

(iv) Mirabile visã/auditã. (vis–u–) and audit–u–))


‘It is wonderful to see/hear.’

(v) femin~ vis~/audit~... (vis–a–) and audit–a–))


‘the woman having been seen/heard...’

(vi) puerÇ visÇ/auditÇ... (vis–o–) and audit–o–))


‘the boy having been seen/heard...’

11. Note that the possessive marker POS in N3 is a separate constituent following the possessor
phrase and occupying the same position as TNS/MDE in V3 and DET in other noun phrases (see
further examples in this section). Two arguments supporting this representation of POS are the
following:
242 Chapter Three
First, the examples in (i) and (ii) indicate that POS is not inside the possessor noun phrase:

(i) [the man wearing the red hat]’s mother


*the man’s wearing the red hat mother

(ii) [the man over there]’s decision to go


*the man’s over there decision to go

Second, the examples in (iii) indicate that English does not permit both a POS and a DET in prehead
position:

(iii) *my that book/*that my book


that book of mine

The present analysis accounts for these examples by making POS a separate element in
complementary distribution to DET:

(iv) Nonquantifier Noun + POS [N3 [N3 the boy] POS new toys] (the boy’s new toys)
Quantifier + DET [N3 [N3 all] the new toys] (all the new toys)
Nonquantifier Noun + DET *[N3 [N3 the boy] the new toys] (*the boy the new toys)
Quantifier + POS *[N3 [N3 all] POS new toys] (*all’s new toys)

Other languages, e.g., Italian, do allow both a DET and a possessive (adjective) in prehead position
(il mio caro marito ‘the my dear husband’). Even English contains adjectives following the
determiner which have an essentially possessive or agentive meaning: the president’s motorcade
versus the presidential motorcade, the president’s decision on that issue versus the presidential
decision on that issue, and so on. These examples are not in conflict with the present analysis. I
will discuss the internal structure of N3 in greater detail in Section 7.3.1, Page 489 ff.

I will represent tree structures as labeled brackets, sometimes in simplified form to make them easier
to read. For example, all of the following are equivalent:

(v) [V3 [N3 [C3 [C0 the ] ] [N0 boy ] ] [C3 [C0 [2TNS, 1MDE] ] ] [V0 go ] ]
(vi) [V3 [N3 [C3 the ] [N0 boy ] ] [C3 PST ] [V0 go ] ]
(vii) [V3 [N3 the boy ] PST [V0 go ] ]

In general, I will use a detailed form like (v) when I am discussing issues concerning the internal
structure of a phrase. If the internal structure is not at issue, I will use a form like (vii).

12. A node X C–commands a node Y if X does not dominate Y, if Y does not dominate X, and
if the first branching node dominating X also dominates Y. For further details, see Appendix A:
Outline of Technical Terms (Page 607 ff.).
Chapter Three 243
13. It is important to note that I am not suggesting that prehead elements are transforms of
posthead elements or vice versa. The level distinctions simply indicate general semantic
interpretation, e.g., specifier, modifier, and complement. Sometimes subtle meaning differences are
connected with these prehead/posthead alternations. For example, consider (i).

(i) a Quechua speaking student/a student speaking Quechua


a hard working student/a student working hard

Generally, present participles have a progressive meaning in posthead position (a student who is
speaking Quechua) and an absolute meaning in prehead position (a student who speaks Quechua).
In both instances, however, the words speaking and working are modifiers of the head noun student.

In other languages, the meaning differences associated with prehead/posthead positions is often quite
distinct. Consider the following differences from three Romance languages:

(ii) PREHEAD POSTHEAD

a. Spanish: pobre miserable/unfortunate poor (=not rich)


French: pauvre miserable/unfortunate poor (=not rich)
Italian: povero miserable/unfortunate poor (=not rich)

b. Spanish: rico delicious rich


French: cher dear (=beloved) expensive
Italian: gentile noble kind/courteous

I will not be concerned with such meaning differences here. For further examples in Spanish, see
Butt and Benjamin 1988:70; in French, Lang and Perez 1996:44; in Italian, Graziano 1987:123.

14. In addition to C–commanding complements, modifiers C–command all compound nouns.


Thus, alongside of that new taxi driver we have that new taxi cab; alongside of that expensive rain
coat we have that expensive leather coat. We do not find either *that taxi new cab or *that leather
expensive coat. Deepadung (1989) and Tuladhar (1985) provide examples showing that the same
C–command constraints exist in Thai and Newari, respectively.

15. As with most linguistic generalizations, one can find apparent violations all too easily. For
example, in French and Italian, adverbs can come between a verb and its direct object, seemingly
violating the C–command relation between modifiers and complements. I will discuss these
apparent violations below in Section 3.6, Page 227 ff.

16. Note that Greenberg and Hawkins are calling a demonstrative a modifier, whereas I have
referred to a demonstrative as a specifier. Regardless of the name, the C–command relations hold
in all the cases cited, specifically, the demonstrative/specifier is always at the extreme left or right
further from the head than the numeral and adjective.
244 Chapter Three
17. For a discussion of the universals proposed by Greenberg and Hawkins, see Rijkhoff 1990,
which contains an analysis of apparent counterexamples from several African languages.

18. Observe that English phrases are like an onion with constituents appearing on opposite sides
of the head in mirror image of each other, as is expected from the C–command relations we have
proposed.

19. Similarly, consider these examples which follow from the level distinctions being made here:

(i) a hot, dry desert wind


(ii) a hot and dry desert wind
(iii) *a hot, dry and desert wind
(iv) *a hot, desert dry wind

20. The only possibility of N2 prehead nouns that I am aware of are those that express source or
material. Note the ambiguity of a cotton sack which can mean either ‘a sack made of cotton’ or ‘a
sack for cotton.’ In a cotton cotton sack, the first instance of cotton must refer to the material.
Further, notice that adjectives must precede both uses of nouns like cotton. We have a large cotton
sack (still ambiguous), but not *a cotton large sack.

In the model being described, these differences can be directly related to the level distinctions we
have made. A word like cotton, though a noun, can be assigned the interpretation of a descriptive
modifier when it occurs off N2, that is, a phrases which describes the head. When it occurs off N1,
on the other hand, it is interpreted as the first element of a compound noun. This analysis has the
virtue of accounting directly for the same ambiguity that occurs in posthead position (a sack of
cotton). Further, it will allow us to specify the interpretation of examples like the following:

(i) a. [N3 a [N2 wood [N0 fence]]] [N3 a [N2 [N0 fence] of wood]]
b. [N3 a [N1 wood [N0 pile]]] [N3 a [N1 [N0 pile] of wood]] / [V1 [V0 pile] wood]

(ii) a. [N3 a [N2 pearl [N0 necklace]]] [N3 a [N2 [N0 necklace] of pearls]]
b. [N3 a [N1 pearl [N0 gatherer]]] [N3 a [N1 [N0 gatherer] of pearls]] / [V1 [V0 gather] pearls]

21. Since forms ending in affixes like –ing and –ed have such a large number of uses, I will
generally represent them with an abstract suffix name (DA1, DA2, etc.) as in (i) rather then in
decomposed form as in (ii).

(i) a. a charming lady


[N3 [C3 a] [N2 [C3 [C0 [V3 [V0 charming]] [C0 DA1 ] ]] [N0 lady] ]]
b. a charmed life
[N3 [C3 a] [N2 [C3 [C0 [V3 [V0 charmed]] [C0 DA2 ] ]] [N0 life] ]]
Chapter Three 245
(ii) a. a charming lady
[N3 [C3 a] [N2 [C3 [C0 [V3 [V0 charm]] [C0 ing ] ]] [N0 lady] ]]
b. a charmed life
[N3 [C3 a] [N2 [C3 [C0 [V3 [V0 charm]] [C0 ed ] ]] [N0 life] ]]

22. I will explore the reasons for this restriction in my discussion of the English Noun Phrase
Condition (NPC) below.

23. The original motivation for these structures appears in Binkert 1984. For a recent account of
auxiliary elements which discusses structures for participles that are virtually identical to those here
and in Binkert 1984, see Lasnik 2000, especially Chapter 3, Pages 140 ff.

24. Representative examples of these categories, which we will discuss in detail as we proceed,
include the following:

(i) Specifiers ([-OPH, -OCL]):


a. Determiners: the, this/these, that/those, a/an
b. Degree Words: this, that, so, as, too
c. Complementizers: that, if

(ii) Quantifiers ([-OCL]):


a. Definite Noncomparative quantifiers ([-OPH]): all, both, double
b. Indefinite Noncomparative quantifiers ([-OPH]): some, enough
c. Comparative quantifiers ([+OPH]): much, many, far, long

(iii) Modifiers ([+OPH, +OCL]):


a. Descriptive Adjectives: curious, happy, fearful, etc.
b. Manner Adverbs: curiously, happily, fearfully, etc.

25. As we will see, the distinction between open phrase categories ([+OPH]) and closed phrase
categories ([–OPH]) is very important in parsing, particularly in building up phrase structure from
arbitrary input. Closed phrase categories minimize the options that a parser must consider because
surrounding lexical items cannot be merged into them, that is, cannot become part of the phrase of
which they are the head.

26. Notice that we do have examples like the following, where Sue is a common noun:

(i) Will all the Sues please stand up.


(ii) The Sue that took her clothes off at the party last night is not the Sue that I know.
(ii) Another Sue just arrived.

It is incorrect to say that Sue is a proper noun in the above, just as it is incorrect to say that Fred
Astaire is a proper noun in the following:
246 Chapter Three
(iv) He Fred Astaired her around the room.

Proper nouns cannot be tensed. They also cannot occur with specifiers and modifiers except when
such elements are part of the noun itself, e.g., The Hague (*that Hague), the Alps (*an Alp), the
White House (*a White House), etc. When a word that looks like a proper noun occurs as above,
it is not functioning as a proper noun, that is, the designation of a single individual or thing. I
believe that this extends even to cases like the following (For discussion, see Quirk, R. et al. 1985:
Page 288 ff.):

(v) A weary Queen Elizabeth II boarded the plane.


(vi) A very svelte Maria Callas sang a beautiful Amina last night at a celebrity packed La Scala.

What makes a sentence like (vi) good is that it contains deviations from some norm: Callas had a
well-publicized weight problem, her performances were not always considered “beautiful,” La Scala
is not always packed with celebrities, and so on (cf. *a female Callas).

Phrases with heads that are pronouns or proper nouns can contain appositives like the following
which I will discuss in Section 8.21, Page 547 ff.:

(vii) a. We, the people of the United States, object.


b. George Washington, who was the first US president, slept everywhere.

27. The use of particular quantifiers is constrained by the semantic class of the word or phrase
quantified, so that the meaning of any particular quantifier often varies depending on the class. For
example, far is generally acceptable with expressions that are [+PST, ±TMP], where it signifies a
great extent in space or time: They journeyed far; He ran far down the street; She stayed far into the
night. The quantifier long seems to be restricted to expressions that are [+PST, +TMP]: The storm
didn’t last long; He left long before she did; She stayed long into the night; *He walked long down
the street.

With verbs, the meaning of quantifiers frequently varies depending on whether the verb is gradable
or nongradable (Quirk, R. et al. 1985, Section 8.108, Pages 594–5). Quantifiers used with gradable
verbs express amount, as in the following examples where a lot means ‘very much’:

(ii) a. He misses her a lot. (miss = ‘feel the absence of’)


b. He likes her a lot.
c. He suffered a lot.
d. He misjudged the situation a lot.

With nongradable verbs, quantifiers generally express frequency, as in the following examples
where a lot means ‘very often’:

(iii) a. He misses his train a lot. (miss = ‘fail to meet’)


b. He drinks beer a lot.
Chapter Three 247
c. He (mis)judges people a lot.

The gradable nature of the quantified word or phrase extends to other categories:

(iv) a. John is more masculine than Bill.


b. ?John is more male than Bill.
c. Some hermaphrodites are more male than female.

28. In Binkert 1984:132, I classified pretty much, well, and very well as modal quantifiers in
sentences like the following:

(i) a. He pretty much can do as he likes.


He can pretty much do as he likes.

b. He (very) well may go.


He may (very) well go.

This classification still seems to me to be correct, although such forms are not productive;
substitution with other quantifiers or some other modals is not possible:

(ii) a. *He little can do as he likes. (cf. He is little able to do as he likes.)


b. *He a lot may go.
c. *He very well will go.

Importantly, the quantifiers in (i) are not inside the V3 that contains the modal; note that they can
be separated (See Section 3.1.2 and Section 3.5.2 for the internal structure of modals):

(iii) a. Can he pretty much do as he likes?


b. They may all very well go.

Thus, modals are [–OPH].

The word well itself has a variety of syntactic functions. It is clearly an adjective in He is not a well
man and a manner adverb in He behaves well. On the other hand, it functions like a quantifier in
They are well out of the way, He stayed well into the night, and in (i–b). Note incidentally that other
adjectives/adverbs can have a quantitative meaning: I clean forgot; He lives deep in the woods; He
is flat broke.

29. Of course, there are irregular nouns (woman, women), verbs (go, went), and adjectives and
adverbs (good/well, better, best). Further, many adjectives and adverbs require comparison with
more and most, e.g., more/most beautiful/beautifully). A few adverbial quantifiers allow inflectional
comparison (soon, sooner, soonest), but most don’t (seldom, *seldomer, *seldomest). As is usual,
we can view individual deviations from the feature specifications given as marked exceptions listed
in the lexicon.
248 Chapter Three
30. The major gap in the classification presented here is the absence of a category that is [–NML,
–VBL, –OPH, +OCL]. Perhaps interjections should be so classified: Wow, *Awesome wow; Holy
Moses, *Holier Moses; Phew, *Lots more phew. I will not pursue the matter here.

31. I follow Bresnan (1973) in the analysis of degree words. She provides paradigms like the
following:

(i) a. this much more bread


b. so much more bread
c. this much more beautiful(ly)
d. so much more beautiful(ly)

(ii) a. this much bread


b. so much bread
c. *this much beautiful(y)
d. *so much beautiful(ly)

Given these examples, Bresnan argues for a rules which deletes much before adjectives and adverbs.
Since there are no deletion rules in the system under proposal, let us assume that phrases like so
beautiful(ly) are actually (iii), where [Q] stands for a phonologically empty quantifier morpheme.

(iii) so [Q] beautiful(ly)

Bresnan also presents evidence for the following representations:

(iv) a. more < –er + much


b. most < –est + much
c. easier < –er + much + easy
d. easiest < –est + much + easy

I adopt here all of these very well motivated analyses with the exception just noted, i.e., that
structures contain [Q] and that the grammar has no deletion rules.

32. The linear and hierarchical features mentioned in the present section may not be necessary to
specify the inventory of syntactic categories in some other languages. For example, feature
oppositions like [±PREHEAD] and [±POSTHEAD] are relevant for English, but may not be relevant
for some highly inflected languages like Latin.

The parallel here with phonology is important. There is a pool of phonological features, e.g.,
[±VOICED], [±SONORANT], [±ASPIRATION], etc., based on the human articulatory apparatus.
Not every language uses the same features and distributes them in the same way. Similarly, there
is a pool of morphosyntactic features containing the features mentioned in this chapter which may
or may not occur in the inventory of another language. Further, the specification of syntactic
categories is not expected to be the same in every language. For example, in English, determiners
Chapter Three 249
are [+PREHEAD] meaning they must occur before a noun head; in Thai, determiners are
[–PREHEAD] meaning they cannot occur before a noun head. Similarly, a few adjectival
expressions aside (an off–color joke; an out–of–the–way place), English does not tolerate
prepositional phrases in prehead position between a determiner and a noun head (*the on the porch
(sitting) man), although other languages like German (i) and Ancient Greek (ii) do:

(i) das auf dem Tische liegende Buch


the on the table lying book
‘the book lying on the table’ (Curme 1964: 588)

(ii) a$ pò tÇn e$ n t‘ $Asía póleÇn %Ell‘nídÇn


from the in the Asia cities Greek
‘from the Greek cities in Asia’ (Smyth 1956: 294, §1164)

33. It may appear redundant to include both [±PRH] and [±PSH]; however, it isn’t. In English,
there are parts of speech for all four possible variations. For example, determiners can only occur
in prehead position [+PRH, –PSH], particles (out in wear out) can only occur in posthead position
[–PRH, +PSH], manner adverbs can occur in both positions [+PRH, +PSH], and interjections like
Ugh! can occur in neither position [–PRH, –PSH]. I will provide further examples of these feature
oppositions below.

34. We define a projection as follows (see (118c) directly below):

A projection of a syntactic feature matrix E0, specified for a lexical entry, is a syntactic hierarchy
that includes E0 and (potentially) other syntactic feature matrices. In English, the maximal
projection of a syntactic feature matrix is E3, and the minimal projection is E0.

For further discussion of technical terms like feature matrix, dominate, immediately dominate, etc.
see Appendix A on Page 607 ff.

35. In Figure Seven I and II, I have included a number of categories which we have not yet
specifically mentioned, for example, the emphatics too, so, and not. These will be discussed at
various points below. In particular, in Section 3.5, I will discuss the progressive, passive, and
copular uses of the verb be, and the perfective use of the verb have.

36. In Section 3.5, in connection with the structure of the English auxiliary, I will return in greater
detail to a discussion of markers like PRGP (–ing), PSVP (–ed) PFCP (–ed) and GN (–ing) as well
as the internal structure of participles, infinitives, gerunds and related forms. In Chapter Five, Page
366 ff., the component parts of the progressive, perfective, passive, etc. will be specified in terms
of a network, which includes other details such as the fact that a progressive reading is only possible
for NONSTATIVE (["DSJ, –"CNJ]) verbs.
250 Chapter Three
37. For arguments concerning the analysis of temporal and locative quantifiers as nouns, see
Binkert 1984: Chapter Four]. Temporal quantifiers include words like often, then, when, sometimes,
someday, nowadays, Sundays, weekends, etc.; locative quantifiers include words like far, there,
where, everywhere, someplace, overseas, outdoors, upstairs, etc.

38. Not wanting to contribute to what Langacker (1992a: 484) terms a “pattern of of–abuse” in
grammatical analyses, I leave open the question of the meaning of the preposition of. Langacker
(1992b: 296) argues that of “profiles an intrinsic relationship between two entities” (italics his). He
sights such examples as the following:

(i) the palm of his hand


(ii) a slab of meat
(iii) a man of great dignity
(iv) the crime of treason
(v) the king of Sweden
(vi) the signing of the treaty

The claim that of has meaning in all these examples is not in conflict with my remarks here. Simply
put, of falls in with the group of markers, including other prepositions like against (cf. a vote against
gun control below) and complementizers like that, which, in addition to whatever meaning they
bring to phrases, mark the boundaries of the head.

39. The only apparent exception to this constraint that I am aware of involves restrictive relative
clauses without an overt relative pronoun or complementizer. Compare the following:

(i) a. The student teachers praise progress.


b. The student (that) teachers praise progresses.

In fact, this is not an exception. As we will see in Chapter Eight, examples like (i–b) have a Ø
complementizer analogous to the Ø determiner in noun phrases.

40. In Section 3.4 (just below), I will argue that a feature opposition based on transitivity, e.g.,
Jackendoff’s feature opposition ±Obj, cannot be used to distinguish major categories like verbs and
prepositions because there are intransitive verbs and intransitive prepositions. Indeed, the only
reason for the opposition [±X1N] is to distinguish transitive categories from intransitive categories;
hence, we do not include it in Figure Seven.

While the NPC in English provides independent motivation for why nouns are [–X1N], that is,
always intransitive, I am unaware of any similar independent motivation for why adjectives are also
[–X1N] or, in Minimalist terminology, why adjectives are not case assigners. Perhaps, as traditional
grammarians have long observed, nouns and adjectives belong to the “supercategory” substantives.
In the system here, substantives are [–VBL, +OPH, +OCL]. In languages like Latin and German,
this could be simplified to [+OCL, "GEN], where " is an integer, since nouns and adjectives in
Chapter Three 251
those languages are the only open classes marked for the syntactic feature [GENDER]. We might
then say that all substantives are [–X1N].

Still, this “solution” is basically terminological. What is needed is a real explanation for why
adjectives in English do not assign case. The feature [–X1N] is not a universal attribute of
substantives. As Allen and Greenough (1931: 242) note regarding Latin: “in early and popular
usage some nouns and adjectives derived from transitive verbs retain verbal force sufficient to
govern the accusative” (see also Bennett 1910: Vol 1, p. 252; Kühner and Stegmann 1966: Part 2,
Band 1, p. 696).

41. This frame can be interpreted as a node admissibility condition in the sense originally
suggested by Richard Stanley (see McCawley 1976: 39). See also the discussion of node
admissibility in GPSG (Sells 1985: 79 ff.). Note that the frame corresponds to a labeled bracket in
TG, e.g., [S NP – AUX – VP]. However, the syntactic category labels used here are merely
convenient abbreviations for morphosyntactic feature constellations; they are not atomic categories.

42. In the phrase structure system being described, there is nothing to prevent us from modifying
(110) in such as way that branching is always binary. For example, rather than analyzing those three
tall men as (i), we could analyze it as (ii).

(i) [N3 [C3 those] [N2 [N3 three] [C3 tall] [N0 men]]]
(ii) [N3 [C3 those] [N2 [N3 three] [N2 [C3 tall] [N0 men]]]]

However, the facts of English suggest that a prehead numeral followed by a prehead adjective
should be on the same level. For example, we have (iii), but not (iv).

(iii) John saw those eight tall men, and I saw these four short ones.
(iv) *John saw those eight tall men, and I saw these four ones.

On the other hand, we have (v) suggesting that (ii) is also needed.

(v) John saw those four tall men, and I saw these four [u].

In short, the decision whether or not to recurse a level is entirely empirical. The phrase structure
frame (110) is meant to express the maximum number of elements for any one recursion of any one
level that appears both possible and justifiable. Further, the frame is purposely stated to allow the
same linear string to be analyzed into different hierarchical levels. The facts regarding reference
demand that. What we have here a kind of quantum linguistics: a node becomes a node just in case
something references it; in other words, the only justification for any node in any structural
representation is that some linguistic process (pronominalization, deletion, movement, etc.) mentions
it. Compare the following in which the head is grouped first with prehead elements, second with
posthead elements, and third with both:

(vi) John saw the tall men from Detroit, and I saw the ones from Ann Arbor. (ones = tall men)
252 Chapter Three
(vii) John saw the tall men from Detroit, and I saw the short ones. (ones = men from Detroit)
(viii) John saw three tall men from Detroit, and I saw four [u]. ([u] = tall men from Detroit)

43. Active transitive verbs such as promise, visit, or eat require one of three types of N3 objects:

(i) He ate [N3 the apple]. (the N3 is lexical)


(ii) Whati did he eat [N3 e]i. (the N3 is a bound anaphor)
(iii) He ate [N3 u]. (the N3 is understood)

Given the lexical specifications for such verbs, the parser merges an N3 into object position, the
content of that N3 varying: it is either lexical or [e] or [u]. Thus, the “insertion” of empty categories
is a variation on the merging of fully lexical N3; only the content of the merged N3 is different.

44. The LTP does have a few very generalized filters which apply only to the final parse trees
generated after the last word of the input. These filters check the gross structure of the final parse
trees to ensure, for example, that all WH–phrases are bound to an [e], that all [e] have an antecedent,
and so on. At present, it is not clear whether it is either possible or desirable to attempt to
incorporate these filters into the merge operation itself thereby having a parser that consists entirely
of an ideal net. I will return to the issue of filtering in Section 8.2.4, The Ordering of V1
Constituents in Italian and Hebrew (Page 565 ff.).

45. One might propose that it is a complete accident that all the uses of that are spelled and
pronounced the same. On the other hand, the distributional properties of that suggest that the forms
are indeed related. The very fact that one can propose a coherent analysis which generalizes all the
uses of that suggests that we are dealing with more than an accident. One of the important
achievements of modern grammatical theory has been to provide coherent analyses which relate
lexical items, e.g., the noun pocket and the verb pocket, the adjective happy and the adverb happily,
the preposition after and the subordinating conjunction after, and so on. The analysis of that
presented here is an instance of such a search for underlying relationships. Whether or not any two
forms are spelled and/or pronounced the same is not the real issue. The question is, Are the forms
related in a systematic way?

46. For a discussion of CP see Stowell 1981; Koopman 1984; Chomsky 1986b; and the reviews
in Radford 1988: Section 9.10, and Haegeman 1994: Section 3.3. For DP, see Abney 1987: Chapter
II, Section 3; Rouveret 1991; Giorgi and Longobardi 1991: Chapter 4; and the review in Haegeman
1994: 607–611.

47. The DP/CP analysis should be extended to include adjective phrases (AP) as well. As we saw
above in (102), degree words function in AP like determiners function in NP. Specifically, they obey
the same constraints on position:

(i) a. a teacher of that language/a (*that) language teacher


b. a teacher that young/a (*that) young teacher
Chapter Three 253
We see the same constraints on the position of degree words in adverb phrases (ADVP):

(ii) She finished the assignment that quickly./She (*that) quickly finished the assignment.

Consistency demands that we give AP and ADVP structures like the following, where DGRP =
degree phrase:

(iii) a. [DGRP [DGRP' [DGRP that] [AP young]]]


b. [DGRP [DGRP' [DGRP that] [ADVP quickly]]]

Given (iii), the positive degree of adjectives and adverbs would presumably be embedded into an
abstract (null) DGR as follows:

(iv) a. [DGRP [DGRP' [DGRP Ø] [AP young]]]


b. [DGRP [DGRP' [DGRP Ø] [ADVP quickly]]]

48. I have in mind contrasts like the following:

(i) TYPE I: both determiners and nouns have inflections that boy/those boys
(ii) TYPE II: only nouns have inflections; determiners are invariable the boy/the boys
(iii) TYPE III: only determiners have inflections; nouns are invariable that deer/those deer

Why are the majority of the world’s languages TYPE I and TYPE II. Indeed, are there any TYPE
III languages at all?

49. Note, however, that it is possible to add a descriptive expression to a pronoun:

(i) a. We, the people of the United States, want other options.
b. I, Claudius, want/*wants to be king.
c. You, the guy chewing gum in the back row, are/*is asking for trouble.

The agreement restrictions in the above examples suggest that the phrases surrounded by commas
are appositive phrases like the following:

(ii) a. John, our first grade teacher, has a headache.


b. Our first grade teacher, John, demanded quiet.

In Binkert 1984, appositive phrases are related to nonrestrictive relatives: both reside on a recursive
X3 level in posthead position:

(iii) a. [N3 [N3 we] [the people of the United States]]


b. [N3 [N3 John] [our first grade teacher]]
c. [N3 [N3 the teacher] [whom I found to be very patient]]
254 Chapter Three
For discussion, see Binkert 1984: Chapter Two. We will return to appositives here in Chapter Eight.

Notice that there are other pronominal forms which can indeed be specified and modified such as
one and ones:

(iv) a. Mary likes that yellow dress and Sue likes this red one.
b. John met the young men from Cleveland and I met the old ones from New York.
c. Those linguistics teachers are the ones that I admire.

50. As we have seen, the deictic determiners in English can be used without an overt noun
provided that some lexically appropriate noun can be supplied from the context ([u] represents an
unbound empty category):

(i) Look at that [u]/thing.


(ii) I don’t believe that [u]/statement.

If a lexically appropriate noun cannot be supplied from the context, then the demonstrative
determiners must precede an overt noun. Since some noun must be supplied from the context of the
utterance, representations with empty categories like the above seem well motivated. Along with
such examples, I will also propose representations like the following containing an unbound empty
category ([u]):

(iii) Youth is wasted on the young [u].


(iv) The rich [u] get richer, and the poor [u] get poorer.
(v) She’s the best [u] in the class.

If a phonologically empty noun head is not assumed to occur in the above examples, then all
adjectives like young, rich, poor and best must also be listed in the lexicon as nouns in all three
degrees (positive, comparative and superlative), a highly undesirable result.

51. Attempts to extract complements of nouns and adjectives marked by the preposition of
generally produce questionable results:

(i) *?It is [of those proposals]i that he gave a review [e]i.


(ii) *?It is [of those proposals]i that he is unsure/critical [e]i.

In Binkert 1984, I attributed the infelicity of these examples to the fact that of is not a full
preposition but a phonological anchor marking the right boundary of the head of the N3 and C3, in
accordance with the Noun Phrase Condition (NPC) we discussed above. I still believe that that
argument has merit, but I will not pursue it here.

52. Several types of government have been proposed, e.g., lexical government, head government,
canonical government, antecedent government, theta–government, etc. For a discussion of various
Chapter Three 255
proposals, see Rizzi 1990 and Hornstein and Weinberg 1995. With regard to Rizzi’s class of lexical
governors, Hornstein and Weinberg (1995: 296) offer the following comment: “The choice of lexical
governors is empirically justified throughout Rizzi’s book. One wonders about its conceptual
naturalness, though. The class of proper governors now consists of a subset of non–lexical and
lexical categories, with no unifying feature. Crucially, tense and agreement, but not C0 [COMP0],
must count as lexical governors in this system.”

53. It seems to me that this is an extremely important matter. Science often operates from
assumptions, but serious theorists will re–examine those assumptions in making new proposals
based on them. In such an examination, they consider all objections to previous assumptions fully.
Among other things, failure to do so prejudices one’s orientation, what one considers, what one
looks for, and what one attempts to explain.

In recent years, the number of assumptions and alternative proposals in various movement
approaches to syntax has reached such epidemic proportions that theorists appear to have insulated
themselves from criticism. Whatever objections one might raise, there always seems to be some
proposal somewhere which purports to speak to a specific issue. Such alternative proposals are
often merely cited; the objections themselves are actually not addressed. The various problems with
the DP/CP analysis that I have mentioned are not addressed by citing isolated, disconnected
proposals in this or that paper which speak to the individual questions raised. Rather, they are
addressed only when an alternative, unified proposal is made. The difficulty in this is that there
simply is no unified statement of the DP/CP analysis.

A new proposal regarding something as specific as the DP analysis, for example, should at least aim
for comprehensiveness as regards core issues, e.g., agreement. Yet, new proposals regarding the DP
analysis are frequently not cumulative. For example, Kerstens 1993 offers an alternative to Abney’s
DP analysis citing data from Dutch. Ritter 1995 offers still another alternative citing data from
Hebrew. Yet, Kersten’s work is not even mentioned in Ritter’s proposals. Thus, Ritter’s proposals,
though provocative, do not really add to our overall understanding of noun phrase structure. Instead,
they supply us with still more data that is yet to be incorporated into a unified DP analysis. If
anything, the DP analysis is not suffering from a paucity of data to consider. What is sorely needed,
however, is a unified proposal which integrates the data already amassed.

54. For a similar observation regarding the loss of function words in certain types of
agrammatism, see Caplan and Hildebrandt 1988: 59 ff.

55. The understanding of selectional restrictions, of course, develops with age. When my own
son Kevin was two, he said things like Apple dirty when I failed to completely peel the skin off an
apple and Open pencil when he wanted me to sharpen a pencil. Ultimately, such overgeneralizations
are eliminated in ordinary, as opposed to figurative, speech.

56. The Bristol language development study (Wells, 1985), one of the most ambitious longitudinal
studies of language ever undertaken, reports that noun phrases consisting of a DET + ADJ + NOUN
256 Chapter Three
occur in 50% of all the children in their sample by 39 months (128 children examined from 15
months to 60 months). Noun phrases with two modifiers between the determiner and the head reach
the 50% criterion by 54 months.

57. We see in the data the rudimentary beginnings of one–pronominalization as well as a


distinction between nouns used as a possessor (granny’s dog), a source (chocolate biscuit) and the
first element of a compound (golf ball). Such usages and distinctions figured into our separation of
the three levels of phrases in our discussion of adult English. However, it is not clear how
productive such examples are in the speech of three–year–old children so I will not argue for such
a hierarchical breakdown of phrases.

58. At several points below, particularly in Chapter Eight, I will argue that determiners and
complementizers are cueing devices which serve to cue N3 and V3, respectively. A special
characteristic of cues is that they have the simplest possible internal structure and a very rigid
position. After all, what good is a cue if it’s hard to locate? In the present system, determiners and
complementizers have no internal structure: they are [C3 [C0 ...]], that is, “head–only” phrases
([–OPH]). Further, the position of DET/CPL is fixed to [+X3L, +PRH] as we have noted. It would
be hard to consider DET and COMP cueing devices in recent Minimalist proposals, since their
internal structure and external position are so complex, undermining the idea of what a cue is.

59. It has been pointed out to me by several readers of this book in manuscript form that there is
no a priori reason for assuming that the features in phonology, syntax, and semantics behave in a
parallel fashion. This is correct, and I have not proceeded from such an assumption. On the other
hand, if it turns out from independent work in phonology, syntax, and semantics that all linguistic
features are organized and constrained in similar ways, as we have indicated at several points with
the comparisons we have made, we certainly have lost nothing. In fact, we may have discovered
a significant generality.

60. The verb be is the only verb in English which has different forms for first, second, and third
persons (I am, you are, she is, etc.). A verb that only shows distinctions between third person
singular and all other persons and numbers (do, does; have, has; go, goes) is not considered
morphologically heavy here.

61. Notice that frames like (161) and (164) which specify the residence(s) of arbitrary categories,
can be directly constructed from the morphosyntactic feature specifications Determiners are
specified lexically as [–VBL, –NML, +PRH, +ENH, +X3L]. From this specification, we can
construct the following frame:

(i) [N3 [C3 [C0 DET]] [N0 NOUN]]

We have observed that determiners are marked for noninherent number. The lexical network for
the determiner that contains the following specification:
Chapter Three 257
(ii) [–VBL, –NML, 1NUM, +PRH, +ENH, +X3L]

Given (ii), a parser can construct the following:

(iii) [N3 [C3 [C0 [1NUM]] [N0 NOUN]]

Similarly, a word like week has the specification [–VBL, +NML, 1NUM, ...]. Given the complete
specifications for that and week, the words can be merged to form the following noun phrase:

(iv) [N3 [C3 [C0 that]] [N0 week]]

If the merge routines of a parser allow forms to be merged both with and without consideration of
constraints like number agreement, the following noun phrase can also be constructed:

(v) [N3 [C3 [C0 that]] [N0 weeks]]

Since (v) violates the constraint on number agreement between determiners and the nouns they
specify, the parser will mark (v) as deviant unless some other conditions apply, e.g., a mass
interpretation of weeks in the following:

(vi) That beautiful two weeks in Hawaii was/*were just wonderful.

In a similar manner, we can deal with examples like the following:

(vii) Three cups of beans is sufficient.

62. English is of course not the only language that permits negative of an auxiliary element as well
as the main verb. Consider the following Yoruba examples from Payne 1985: 241:

(i) Ade kò lè kor? in


Ade NEG may/can sing
‘Ade cannot sing.’

(ii) Ade lè má kor? in


Ade may/can NEG sing
‘Ade may not sing.’ (=it is possible he will not)

(iii) Ade kò lè má kor? in


Ade NEG may/can NEG sing
‘Ade cannot not sing.’

63. The negative not can be inverted with the auxiliary in questions, but the emphatics too and so
can’t:
258 Chapter Three
(i) Didn’t he go?
(ii) *Did too/so he go?

I suspect that there are two reasons for this asymmetry. First, inversion with the subject in questions
must involve an AUX that is one word:

(ii) *Did not he go?

Here in Michigan, I have heard people ask questions like (iii) but never like (iv).

(iii) Could’ve he gone?


(iv) *Could have he gone?

Since there is no contraction possible with too and so, they can’t be preposed in questions.

Second, emphatics are used in responses to express denial of a previous statement. Generally, one
says something like John did too go only if John went and someone has suggested that he didn’t go.
Such responses are incompatible with questions, which express uncertainties.

64. Sentence adverbs can occur in final position in English only if they are preceded by a pause:

(i) He probably will go.


(ii) He will probably go.
(iii) He will go, probably.
(iv) *He will go probably.

Manner adverbs and temporal quantifiers, on the other hand, require no such pause in final position:

(v) He will go willingly.


(vi) He will go often.

Note also the following:

(vii) *He will go probably and willingly./*He will go willingly and probably.

In examples like (viii), which are parallel to (ix), it seems that the sentence adverb is outside of the
V3, that is, the structure is (x):

(viii) a. He left the room, apparently glancing over his shoulder.


b. He left the room, apparently fuming.

(ix) a. He left the room, apparently angry.


b. He left the room, apparently in a huff.
Chapter Three 259
(x) a. [V3 he PST [V2 [V1 left [N3 the room]] [C3 apparently [C0 [C0 PRGP] [V3 glancing over his
shoulder]]]]]

b. [V3 he PST [V2 [V1 left [N3 the room]] [C3 apparently [C0 [C0 PRGP] [V3 fuming]]]]]

For a discussion of the different types of adverbs in English, in particular their placement in varying
positions, see Jackendoff 1972: Chapter Three and Binkert 1984: Chapter Four.

65. As above, notice that participles occur in tree structure in their full participial form.
Co–occurrence restrictions specify that PRGP must C–command VERB5–1, e.g., imposing in (194),
that PSVP must C–command VERB4–1, e.g., broken in (195), and so on. The PSVP must also
C–command an empty category bound to a fully specified noun phrase as follows:

[V3 [N3 the jars]i [C3 PST] [V2 [V0 were] [C3 [C0 [C0 PSVP] [V3[V2 [C3 purposely] [V1 [V0 broken] [e]i] ]]
]] ]]

This detail is not important for the present. In Chapter Seven, I will discuss structures like the above
in detail.

66. When examining various possible orders of elements in cases like the ones we are considering,
it is important to be alert to ambiguity. For example, although the emphatic so is generally a good
word to use to clearly establish the right boundary of the mode characterizer, ambiguity is very
common. Consider (i) where so is either an emphatic in the mode characterizer or a degree word
specifying completely or exhausted (cf. (ii)).

(i) I am so (completely) exhausted.

(ii) I am so – so (completely) exhausted.


I am too – so (completely) exhausted.
I am so – just (completely) exhausted.

67. The feature system we have proposed allows us to deal effectively with this apparent
contradiction. The perfective participle has the following features: [+VBL, –NML, 0TNS, 1VOI,
2ASP, 4MDE, 0PER, 0NUM]. It occurs in main verb positions (V0) but itself does not carry any
TENSE. Thus, it is marked [+VBL, 0TNS]; it is still a verb even though it has no tense. This is
another example of why [+VBL] and not, say, [+TENSE] must be the defining feature for a verb.

68. In Chapter Seven (Page 515), I will account for this distribution with the principle of
L–command: A node X L–commands a node Y, if the first branching category Z above X dominates
Y and if Y is to the left of the head of Z. Floating quantifiers must be L–commanded by their
referent.
260 Chapter Three
69. I interpret the data involving floating quantifiers to mean that the verb be is always the
syntactic head of any sentence in which it occurs. Thus, in a sentence like He could be fishing, the
main verb, from the point of view of syntax, is be, not fish.

70. Observe that we have the following, but too is in postverbal position meaning also:

(i) He is a good teacher too.

(ii) [V3 [N3 he] [C3 isi ] [V3 [V2 [V0 [e]i] [N3 a good teacher]] [C3 too]]]

71. Again, note that homeless have is “attracted” to any available fixed residence precisely
because it has no fixed residence of its own when a modal occurs with it. On the other hand, when
be occurs with a modal, it is not homeless; it resides, as always, in main verb position.

72. Examples from French seem to have been discussed much more frequently than the
corresponding examples from Italian. Further, the focus is generally on temporal quantifiers and
not manner adverbs. For a discussion of the differences on modifier placement in English and
French and other related issues, see Pollock 1989 and Chomsky 1995: 134 ff. For related issues in
Italian, see Rizzi 1990.

73. I am grateful to Professor Nicole Buffard–O’Shea, a native speaker, for help with the French
examples discussed in this section, and to Ada Berti and Liliana and Lorenzo Facchinato, all native
speakers, for help with the Italian examples.

74. The structure in (264) is a suggestion for future research. A full analysis of all the relevant
examples in French and Italian must involve a thorough discussion of clitic pronouns, which precede
the main verb, as well as the position of negatives and the order of elements in compound tenses and
questions. My major point here is that the order of various constituents might be accounted for by
structures of the type we have proposed if a nonmovement analysis is taken seriously.

75. As far as I am aware, there is no general principle covering all instances of [u] that predicts
either what can take the place of [u] or what effect the presence of an overt phrase instead of [u] will
have on meaning. In many cases, [u] can be replaced by an indefinite phrase or a specific elliptical
expression so that there is no appreciable change in meaning:

(i) a. Let’s eat [u]/something.


b. John is eager to please [u]/someone.
c. [u]/You take care of yourself.
d. Which [u]/one of the students did you see?
e. Sue shrugged [u]/her shoulders.

Sometimes [u] takes the place of something referred to in the environment or conversation and can
be replaced with the word(s) designating that referent:
Chapter Three 261
(ii) a. Look at that [u]/thing/giraffe.
b. Give me a few [u]/lemons.
c. I have thirty [u]/recordings of Rigoletto.

In other cases, [u] can be replaced with a phrase that occurs elsewhere in the sentence or with some
entirely independent phrase that changes the meaning:

(iii) a. John read those books, and I read these [u]/books/magazines.


b. John goes fishing whenever he gets a chance to [u]/go fishing/relax.

In still other cases, [u] can only be replaced with an independent overt phrase:

(iv) a. Some [u]/bottles/*wine of that wine spoiled.


b. John is as sad as Bill is [u]/happy/*sad.

I will return to a discussion of the above uses of [u] throughout the following chapters.

76. The position occupied by [u] can be filled without altering the form of a sentence unless other
principles rule out an overt item. For example, in Chapter Eight, I will discuss WH–phrases of
various types, postulating the following structures for relative clauses:

(i) the booki [V3 whichi that [V3 he bought [e]i ] > the book which that he bought
(ii) the booki [V3 [u] that [V3 he bought [e]i ] > the book that he bought
(iii) the booki [V3 whichi Ø [V3 he bought [e]i ] > the book which he bought
(iv) the booki [V3 [u] Ø [V3 he bought [e]i ] > the book he bought

(i) is ruled out by a condition that does not allow two overt “clause triggers” in standard modern
English, although such a structure is permitted in earlier stages of the language and in some modern
dialects. Thus, (i) is potentially grammatical with the position occupied by Ø (=[u]) filled with that
and the position occupied by [u] filled with which, but the structure is ruled out by another principle.

77. The explanation for movement in the passive has, for many years, been attributed to the fact that
adjectives are not case assigners, and passive participles are adjectives. As we saw in Note 40,
there are languages in which adjectives are case assigners, including perhaps English (The tree
nearest the house is an oak). Consider also sentences like We were given them, where the accusative
case on them must be assigned by given or He was taught them by a scholar (He was taught Greek
and Latin by a scholar), where again the accusative case on them must be assigned by taught.

78. In the following structure (=272b), the immediate neighborhood is defined by the middle V3.

(i) [V3 [C3 could]i [V3 [N3 they] [e]i [V3 have [V0 gone]]]]]
V3 mode V3 mode V3 head
262 Chapter Three
Both the leftmost V3 and the middle V3 dominate a mode and a head V0, but the middle V3 most
immediately dominates them (see Appendix A, Outline of Technical Terms, Page 607 ff.). The
leftmost V3 defines the extended neighborhood. Thus, they, [e], have and gone are in the immediate
neighborhood, and could is in the extended neighborhood.

In a structure like (ii), she is C–commanded by both modes, but it is in the same immediate
neighborhood as went (not said) because the lower mode most immediately C–commands she and
went.

(ii) [V3 they PST said [V3 that [V3 she PST went ]]]
mode mode

79. I will elaborate on such conditions in Chapter Seven and Chapter Eight, repeating those
mentioned here in greater detail and adding others to account for the interpretation of personal
pronouns, reflexive pronouns, reciprocal pronouns and floating quantifiers, as well as [u] and [e].

In the Extended Neighborhood Condition (ENC), I would like to be able to say that nothing occurs
in the extended neighborhood unless it is bound to something in an immediate neighborhood. There
are, however, examples of apparent residents of the extended neighborhood which are unbound:

(i) Addressee: John, I’d like you to meet my wife.


(ii) Adverbials: Anyhow, why don’t we just go to the movies?
Seriously, what’s wrong with her?
(iii) Afterthoughts: He’d make a great husband, I guess.

Except for such phrases, it does appear that residents of the extended neighborhood must be bound.
CHAPTER FOUR

In this chapter we will be concerned specifically with structural representations for thematic
relations.

4.1 SYNTACTIC USES OF CASE.

In Binkert 1970, 1984, a fundamental distinction is made between the syntactic and the semantic
uses of case. In the terms used here, case is determined either by the distribution of morphosyntactic
features or of semantic features. In the former category, we have such examples as the specification
of subject in English by the nominative case ([1CAS]). This use of the nominative has nothing to
do with the thematic relation that holds between the subject N3 and its associated verb. Consider
these examples (AFC = AFFECTIVE (EXPERIENCER); EFC = EFFECTIVE (AGENT); AFR =
AFFERENTIAL (RECIPIENT)):

(1) a. Children (AFC) frighten easily in the dark.


They (*them) frighten easily in the dark.

b. Children (EFC) may keep their bedroom lights on.


They (*them) may keep their bedroom lights on.

c. Children (AFR) gain reassurance from their parents.


They (*them) gain reassurance from their parents.

Notice that children is subject, and therefore nominative, in all these examples, despite the variation
in thematic relation. Furthermore, syntactic processes like conjunction, relativization,
pronominalization, and so on, are generally unaffected by the thematic relations involved. For
example, in (2a), frighten, which has an AFC subject, can be conjoined with keep, which has an EFC
subject. In (2b), the relativization of children is not concerned with the fact that it has a different
thematic relation from who. Similar remarks apply to (2c) and (2d).

(2) a. Children frighten easily and keep their bedroom light on (as a result).
b. Children who frighten easily may keep their bedroom lights on.
c. Children may keep their bedroom lights on because they frighten easily.
d. Children keep their bedroom lights on to gain reassurance.

Syntactic descriptions of the above data often contain statements like ‘nominative case is assigned
to the subject noun phrase’ and ‘the subject of a sentence is the noun phrase dominated by S.’ In
the X–bar system described above, syntactic categories are defined in terms of residences, positions
in syntactic structure associated with specific grammatical functions (subject, object, etc.) or
semantic relations (specification, modification, etc.). Specifiers reside on the X3 level; modifiers,
on the X2 level; and complements, on the X1 level. For example, consider (3), the diagram for The
264 Chapter Four
conscientious ambulance driver did so leave the child with the injury with a stranger with reluctance
recalling our three supercategories: V(erbs), which are [±NML, +VBL]; N(ouns), which are [+NML,
–VBL]; and C(haracterizers), which are [–NML, –VBL] (PST = PAST TENSE; Ø is the null
determiner).

(3) The conscientious ambulance driver did so leave the child with the injury with a stranger
with reluctance.

In (3), the three with–phrases are distinguished by their residence: with an injury off N2 is a modifier
of child (cf. the injured child); with a stranger off V1 is a complement of leave; and with reluctance
off V2 is a modifier of leave (cf. reluctantly). Further, conscientious off N2 is a modifier of driver
while ambulance off N1 is the complement of driver (cf. drive an ambulance).

Given structures like the one in (3), we may define the subject in both V3 (sentences) and N3 (noun
phrases) as (4):

(4) SUBJECT: an N3 residing in prehead position on the X3 level of a phrase whose head
is ["VBL, –"NML].

Definitions like (4) appeal to hierarchical structure; more precisely, they express C–command
relations between sets of features since categories like N and V are interpreted here as abbreviations
for constellations of features. Incorporating this information into the English subject frame, which
we discussed in Chapter Three (see example (161) on Page 207), yields (5), where 1CAS is
nominative case.1
Chapter Four 265
(5) ENGLISH SUBJECT FRAME:2

[V3 [N3 [N0 ["NUM, $PER, 1CAS]]] – [C3 [C0 [(MDE, "NUM, $PER]]] – V0]

This frame states that the subject of an English finite verb ([$PER]) is the noun which agrees with
it in person and number and is marked for the nominative case. This noun is the one which precedes
and C–commands the verb. Uses of case expressed in terms of C–command relations like (5) are
syntactic. Another example is the use of the accusative case ([2CAS]) in English to mark the noun
phrase object of a verb or preposition:

(6) ENGLISH OBJECT FRAME:

[X1 X0 – [N3 [N0 [2CAS]] ]

In Binkert 1984: 210, I proposed that the symbol “4” be used in place of “–” to indicate that
constituents to the left and the right can occur in any order. Adopting that symbol here, we have the
following Latin subject and object frames which are identical in all important aspects to the English
subject and object frame:3

(7) LATIN SUBJECT FRAME:

[V3 [N3 [N0 ["NUM, $PER, 1CAS]]] 4 [V0 [(MDE, "NUM, $PER]] ]

(8) LATIN OBJECT FRAME:

[X1 X0 4 [N3 [N0 [2CAS]]] ]

The occurrence of [1CAS] (nominative) in (5) and (7) and [2CAS] (accusative) in (6) and (8) is
entirely conditioned by the hierarchical position of the cased noun phrase; it has nothing to do with
any meaning relationship that exists between the noun phrase and the associated verb or preposition.
These uses of case are to be distinguished from semantic uses of case which are conditioned by
semantic features.

When syntactic facts are encoded in frames like the above, it is easy to see how a parser can be used
either to generate or to interpret random sentences. For example, if the word homines is selected
at random from the Latin lexicon or is encountered in arbitrary text by a parser, it has two possible
syntactic realizations since it is either a nominative plural form or accusative plural form. As a
nominative, it fits into frame (7); as an accusative, into frame (8). There are, of course, other uses
of the nominative and accusative than those we have included here, and each would have a separate
frame.

In generating text, the parser merges all the possible frames for homines with all the possible frames
for all the other words selected at random from the Latin lexicon. For example, if timent is selected
at random, it can occur in either the V0 slot of (7) or X0 slot of (8). The same is true if the next
266 Chapter Four
word encountered by a parser is timent. Hence, we have either Homines timent or Timent homines,
synonymous ambiguous sentences meaning either ‘Men are afraid,’ where homines is nominative,
or ‘They fear men,’ where homines is accusative.

4.2 SEMANTIC USES OF CASE.

In Chapters One and Two, we saw that the choice of prepositions to express thematic relations is not
arbitrary. Consider again examples like (9):

(9) a. The nurse supplied the drugs to John.


b. The nurse supplied John with the drugs.

The use of to in (9a) to mark the AFR theme and the use of with in (9b) to mark the ASC is
conditioned by semantic considerations. The verb supply has the following spectrum specification:

(10) (supply (EFC FORM–1 AFC) (EFR ASC AFR))

Since AFR is a [–PST, –DSJ, +CNJ] theme, the preposition which marks it is to; since ASC is a
[–PST, –DSJ, –CNJ] theme, the preposition which marks it is with.

In the last section, we also saw that the assignment of case in English is conditioned by syntactic
considerations. If pronouns occur in place of the lexical noun phrases in (9), the only grammatical
possibilities are (11).

(11) a. She supplied them to him.


b. She supplied him with them.

Examples like (12), will be ruled out by frames (5) and (6).

(12) a. *Her supplied they to he.


b. *Her supplied he with they.

Thus, in English, the choice of prepositions to mark thematic relations is conditioned by semantic
considerations, whereas the choice of case to mark grammatical function (subject or object) is
conditioned by syntactic considerations.

4.2.1 PRINCIPLED AND IDIOSYNCRATIC THEMATIC MARKING.

Our discussion of thematic relations has emphasized two generalizations. First, the thematic
relations contained in a predicate’s spectrum specification can be predicted from the predicate’s
meaning. Predicates fall into two groups, those with a POSITIONAL ([+PST]) meaning and those
with a NONPOSITIONAL ([–PST]) meaning. In each group, predicates can have a
Chapter Four 267
DISJUNCTURAL ([+DSJ]) meaning, which we have called SOURCE ORIENTATION, or a
NONDISJUNCTURAL ([–DSJ]) meaning, which we have called GOAL ORIENTATION. Second,
the markers (case, prepositions, and postpositions) for individual thematic relations can be predicted
from the semantic features which specify the thematic relations. Different combinations of semantic
features define different thematic relations which, in turn, are associated with a particular marker
or set of markers. We have examples in English like the following:

(13) a. [+PST, +DSJ]: ABLATIVE: They withdrew/retreated FROM the city.


b. [–PST, +DSJ]: EFFERENTIAL: They took/bought it FROM her.

(14) a. [+PST, –DSJ]: ALLATIVE: They advanced/proceeded TO the city.


b. [–PST, –DSJ]: AFFERENTIAL: They gave/sold it TO her.

In addition, we have seen that the same thematic marker can specify several different thematic
relations because those relations have many semantic features in common:

(15) a. They built the house FOR HER (BENEFACTIVE).


b. They built the house FOR VACATIONS (PURPOSIVE).

(16) a. They built the house WITH HER (COMITATIVE).


b. They built the house WITH TOOLS (INSTRUMENTAL).

The meaning classes to which predicates belong is often quite broad. For example, predicates
involving a judgement, either positive or negative, comprise a group of verbs and adjectives which,
in the overwhelming majority of instances, are construed with the preposition for to mark what
Fillmore (1971c) has called “the situation,” that is, the deed, action or state of affairs which specifies
the reason for the judgement. In our terms, this is the PURPOSIVE theme, which marks the reason
or purpose for an action (see the examples on Page 44 and Figure Three on Page 50):

(17) a. They will " him FOR IT.


" = blame, boo, castigate, chastise, chide, condemn, criticize, denounce, deride,
fault, impeach, indict, penalize, punish, razz, reproach, ridicule, scold, etc.
" = admire, applaud, appreciate, cherish, cheer, commend, esteem, flatter, glorify,
laud, praise, prize, respect, revere, reward, treasure, value, worship, etc.
" = excuse, forgive, pardon, etc.
b. He will $ FOR IT.
$ = atone, apologize, compensate, do penance, make amends, etc.
c. He is ( FOR IT.
( = accountable, answerable, liable, responsible, etc.
( = apologetic, repentant, sorry, etc.
( = conspicuous, distinguished, esteemed, famous, known, memorable, noteable,
noted, noteworthy, notorious, popular, etc.
268 Chapter Four
Further, the use of the preposition for to specify the reason for the judgement is principled, i.e,
unmarked, since for generally specifies [–PST, –DSJ, +CNJ, +EXT] relations such as the
BENEFACTIVE and PURPOSIVE examples in (15) as well as examples like the following:

(18) a. She jumped/shouted/wept FOR JOY.


b. She did it FOR HER OWN PERSONAL SATISFACTION.
c. She was grateful/thankful FOR THEIR HELP.

On the other hand, there are a few verbs and adjectives that do not specify the reason for a
judgement with the preposition for:

(19) a. They absolved/acquitted/exonerated him OF IT.


b. They accused him OF IT.
c. He is ashamed/guilty/proud OF IT.
d. They charged/credited him WITH IT.

Given the theory of thematic relations we have proposed, one might suppose that the predicates in
(19) are not subcategorized for PURPOSIVE themes like those in (17); rather, the of in (19a), (19b),
and (19c) marks a [+DSJ, –CNJ] theme, and the with in (19d) marks a ["DSJ, "CNJ] theme (see
Figures Three and Four on Page 50).4 However, other data suggest that the prepositions in (19) are
idiosyncratic and do not mark different themes; specifically, nominals associated with these
predicates require for:5

(20) a. He was absolved OF/*FOR HIS SINS.


b. Absolution FOR/*OF HIS SINS is something he craves.

(21) a. He was accused OF/*FOR THAT CRIME.


b. Formal accusations against anyone FOR/*OF THAT CRIME are rare.

(22) a. He was guilty OF/*FOR NEGLECTING HIS CHILDREN.


b. Guilt FOR/*OF NEGLECTING HIS CHILDREN overwhelmed him.

(23) a. She was credited WITH/*FOR/*OF THE DISCOVERY.


b. Credit FOR/*WITH/*OF THE DISCOVERY was given to her.

The above data suggest that the use of of and with in (19) is idiosyncratic: the predicates mark the
reason for the judgement with specialized prepositions rather than the expected for. Accordingly,
we must make a distinction between principled uses of thematic markers, namely, those that can be
specified in lexical redundancy rules associated either with a particular semantic class of predicates
or with particular thematic relations, and idiosyncratic uses, namely, those that cannot be so
specified. The former are unmarked; the latter, marked. The unmarked prepositions associated with
thematic relations in English include the following (in passive sentences, the EFC theme is marked
idiosyncratically with by; we will return to lexical redundancy in detail in Chapters Five and Six):
Chapter Four 269
(24) a. [+DSJ, –CNJ]]
1. EFFERENTIAL EFR from He bought it FROM HER.
2. EFFECTIVE EFC from He had a visit FROM HER.
3. COMPOSITIONAL CPS out of He made it OUT OF WOOD.
4. CAUSAL CAU out of He acted OUT OF GUILT.

b. [–DSJ, +CNJ]]
1. AFFERENTIAL AFR to He sold it TO HER.
2. AFFECTIVE AFC to He was mean TO HER
3. BENEFACTIVE BEN for He went to the store FOR HER.
4. PURPOSIVE PUR for He exercises FOR FUN.

c. ["DSJ, "CNJ]
1. ASSOCIATIVE ASC with He supplied her WITH DRUGS.
2. INSTRUMENTAL INS with He built it WITH TOOLS.
3. COMITATIVE COM with He built it WITH HER.
4. CIRCUMSTANTIAL CIR with He built it WITH CARE.

4.2.2 PSYCHOLOGICAL PREDICATES.

The largest class of predicates in English that exhibit idiosyncratic thematic marking is the class
containing so–called “psychological” predicates like amaze, amuse, annoy, etc. All of these
predicates involve the transference of an emotion or feeling to some affected entity, the
AFFECTIVE (AFC) theme. According to our theory, the emotion or feeling that is transferred is
the ASSOCIATIVE (ASC) theme in the spectrum specification. As we have seen at many points
above, an ASC theme is marked in English most commonly by the preposition with:6

(25) a. Financial problems (ASC) totally overwhelm/trouble John (AFC).


b. Financial problems (ASC) are totally overwhelming/troubling TO John (AFC).
c. John (AFC) is (*being) overwhelmed/troubled WITH financial problems (ASC).

The ASC theme of many predicates is marked by the preposition with. The list includes verbs like
adorn, acquaint, animate, beset, bless, bother, content, crown, crowd, drench, endow, endue,
engrave, enhance, fill, flood, furnish, infatuate, infect, infest, inflame, inspire, intoxicate, inundate,
overburden, plague, supply, etc., as well as adjectives like busy, comfortable, content, conversant,
familiar, happy, heavy, replete, successful, etc.

Less commonly, the ASC marker in English is the preposition of, which sometimes contrasts and
sometimes alternates (in free variation) with the preposition with:

(26) a. Linguistics (ASC) tires/bores/fascinates/frustrates/wearies/sickens John (AFC).


b. Linguistics (ASC) is tiresome/boring/fascinating/frustrating/wearisome/sickening TO
John (AFC).
270 Chapter Four
c. John (AFC) is tired/bored/*fascinated/*frustrated/weary/sick OF linguistics (ASC).
d. John (AFC) is *tired/bored/fascinated/frustrated/*weary/*sick WITH linguistics
(ASC).

The ASC theme of a few different meaning classes of predicates, particularly adjectives, is marked
exclusively by the preposition of:

(27) a. certain, positive, sure, uncertain, unsure, etc.


b. covetous, contemptuous, desirous, envious, fond, jealous, etc.
c. aware, conscious, mindful, observant, etc.

For a few predicates, the ASC theme is marked by the prepositions at and in. As above, these
prepositions sometimes also contrast or alternate with the preposition with:

(28) a. The children (ASC) annoy/disgust/madden/upset John (AFC).


b. The children (ASC) are annoying/disgusting/maddening/upsetting TO John (AFC).
c. John (AFC) is annoyed/*disgusted/mad/upset AT the children (ASC).
d. John (AFC) is annoyed/disgusted/*mad/u