01/01/2012 Linguistics Mathematics
DOI: 10.1075/la.190.06cat SemanticScholar ID: 124915367 MAG: 2492350556

Towards an interface definition of root phenomena

Publication Summary

Root phenomena are those that typically occur in matrix clauses but are also allowed in a restricted set of embedded (“root-like”) clauses. This paper explores root phenomena with an interpretive import, and identifies three kinds of data that a purely syntactic approach cannot account for: the gradience in acceptability within clause types, the variable behaviour of peripheral adverbial clauses, and the existence of root phenomena in “fragments”. I argue that far from being noise in otherwise harmonious behaviour, these data are essential to consider for a full understanding of root phenomena, and that a strictly syntactic approach cannot capture them. An interface account is called for, where (most of) the burden of licensing befalls on the interpretive component.

CAER Authors

Avatar Image for Cécile De Cat

Prof. Cécile De Cat

University of Leeds - Professor of Linguistics

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