An empirical view on raising to subject

  • This paper employs empirical methods to examine verbs such as seem, for which the traditional raising to subject analysis relates pairs of sentences which differ by taking an infinitival or sentential complement. A corpus-driven investigation of the verbs seem and appear demonstrates that information structure and evidentiality both play a determinate role in the choice between infinitival or sentential complementation. The second half of the paper builds upon the corpus results and examines the implications for the standard claims concerning these constructions. First, pairs of sentences related by the subject-to-subject raising analysis of verbs are often viewed as equivalent. New evidence from indefinite generic subjects shows that whether an indefinite generic subject occurs in the infinitival or sentential complement construction leads to truth-conditional differences. Further implications are explored for the claim that subjects of the infinitival variant may take narrow-scope: once various confounds are controlled for, the subject of the infinitival construction is shown to most naturally take wide-scope.

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Author:Scott Grimm
Parent Title (English):Papers from the linguistics laboratory / Melanie Weirich & Stefanie Jannedy (ed.), Zentrum für Allgemeine Sprachwissenschaft, Berlin, 2010; ZASPil Vol. 52, S. 83-106
Publisher:Zentrum für Allgemeine Sprachwissenschaft
Place of publication:Berlin
Document Type:Part of a Book
Year of Completion:2010
Year of first Publication:2010
Publishing Institution:Universitätsbibliothek Johann Christian Senckenberg
Release Date:2013/11/14
GND Keyword:Lexikologie; Verb; Referenzsemantik; Modalität; Objektsatz; Informationsstruktur; Skopus; Infinitkonstruktion
Page Number:27
First Page:83
Last Page:109
Dewey Decimal Classification:4 Sprache / 41 Linguistik / 410 Linguistik
Linguistik-Klassifikation:Linguistik-Klassifikation: Syntax
Linguistik-Klassifikation: Semantik / Semantics
Linguistik-Klassifikation: Lexikologie/Etymologie / Lexicology/Etymology
Zeitschriften / Jahresberichte:ZAS papers in linguistics : ZASPiL / ZASPiL 52 = Papers from the linguistics laboratory
Licence (German):License LogoDeutsches Urheberrecht