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# Long Distance Dependencies Filler-Gap Constructions and Relative Clauses - PowerPoint PPT Presentation

Long Distance Dependencies (Filler-Gap Constructions) and Relative Clauses. October 10, 2007 11-721: Grammars and Lexicons Lori Levin (Examples from Kroeger and Van Valin). Outline. What is a filler-gap construction? What is a long-distance dependency? What is a relative clause?

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### Long Distance Dependencies(Filler-Gap Constructions)and Relative Clauses

October 10, 2007

11-721: Grammars and Lexicons

Lori Levin

(Examples from Kroeger and Van Valin)

• What is a filler-gap construction?

• What is a long-distance dependency?

• What is a relative clause?

• Relative clauses in various languages

• Long distance dependencies in Malagasy

• Where can the gap be?

• What do you do if you need to put a gap where it is not allowed?

• Where can’t the gap be in English

• Ann, I think he likes ___.

• Gap is ungrammatical without filler:

• *I think he likes___.

• Filler without gap:

• Ann, I think he likes the girl in my class.

• Ann, I think he likes her.

• If you write a grammar for a filler-gap dependency, an interesting exercise is to make the parse fail when there is a gap without a filler or a filler without a gap.

NP

VP

V

S

NP

VP

NP

S

V

NP

VP

V

IP

I

VP

NP

V

Long Distance Dependencies

S-bar

Distance is measured by the number of nodes – the number of S, NP, CP, and IP nodes in particular – on the path from the parent of the filler, down the tree to the gap.

NP

Ann, I think he told me he tried to like ___

S-bar

Distance is not measured by the number of words between the filler and the gap.

S

NP

VP

NP

the guy I met on the bus yesterday in Oakland

Ann

NP

V

likes

• Topicalization

• Ann, I think he likes.

• It-Cleft

• It’s Ann that I think he likes.

• Wh-question

• Who do you think he likes?

• Embedded Wh-question

• I wonder who you think he likes?

• Relative Clause

• I saw the woman who I think he likes.

• Tough-movement

• Ann is easy to talk to __ .

• Correlative construction

• The more I think I like Ann ___ the more she ignores me.

• The more people I talk to ___ the more I learn.

• Comparative clauses

• Ann has seen more movies than I think I have seen ___.

• Chomsky (1977) On Wh Movement

• Proposed a single rule, Move-wh, to account for all long-distance dependencies.

• Old approach:

• Write rules for each construction.

• New approach:

• Look for what the rules have in common.

Sometimes people use the term “relative clause” to refer to the S-bar. Sometimes they use it (sloppily) to refer to the whole NP.

NP

Det N-bar

The N-bar S-bar

student RP S

that/who/which/Ø I saw ___

Let’s say that the filler is the relative pronoun, not the head noun.

S containing a gap

Relative pronoun, etc.

• Without relative pronouns

• Without gaps

• A noun that plays a role in two clauses

• I like the student who won the contest.

• I like the student.

• The student won the contest.

• One clause is part of a noun phrase in the other clause.

• I am annoyed by the fact that linguistics is fun.

• You met the the man who I saw.

• I wonder who you saw.

• The book that bothered me is on the shelf.

• I think that linguistics is fun.

• That linguistics is fun bothers me.

• I like [who you like].

• The child who __ saw me smiled.

• Subject of “see” is relativized.

• The child who I saw __ smiled.

• Object of “saw” is relativized.

• The child who I talked to ___ smiled.

• The child to whom I talked ___ smiled.

• Oblique is reltativized.

• The child who I thought you liked __ smiled.

• What is relativized?

• English:

• The relative clause is after the head noun

• Turkish

• The relative clause is before the head noun.

Gap and relativizer: Note ambiguity

Relative pronouns (vs invariant relativizers)

Gap for subject, gap or pronoun for object, pronoun for everything else.

• Gap in subject position:

• Who ___ likes Ann?

• Gap in object position:

• Who does Ann like __?

• Gap in oblique position:

• Who did you talk to __?

• To whom did you talk __?

• Gap in embedded clause (long distance):

• Who do you think that he saw __?

• Where can the gap be?

• John Robert (Haj) Ross (1967) Ph.D. Thesis, MIT

• The gap cannot be inside a coordinate structure.

• I saw [the boy and the girl].

• *Who did you see the boy and ___.

• Except in “across the board” extraction:

• Who did you [ [talk to___] and [hear rumors about __] ]

• The gap cannot be inside a sentence that is inside a noun phrase:

• I like [the fact that he reads books every day].

• *What do you like the fact that he reads ___ every day?

• The gap cannot be inside the subject:

• [ Pictures of Sam ] were available.

• *Who were [ pictures of ___ ] available?

• [ Books about linguistics ] were on sale.

• *What were [ books about ___ ] on sale?

• But the gap can be inside the direct object:

• You saw [ pictures of Sam].

• Who did you see [ pictures of ___ ] ?

• The gap cannot be inside an embedded question:

• They wondered [ who __ talked to Sam].

• *Who did they wonder [ who __ talked to __]?

• But the gap can be inside of a plain embedded clause:

• They thought [ (that) we talked to Sam ].

• Who did they think [(that) we talked to ___ ] ?

• The gap cannot be inside a relative clause or any another long distance dependency:

• I like [ the boy that Sam plays with ___.]

• *Who do you like [the boy that __ plays with __].

• Except for this:

• Which violins are [ these sonatas easy to play ___ on ___]?