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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). 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

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
Outline

  • 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


Filler gap constructions
Filler-Gap Constructions

  • 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.


Long distance dependencies

S

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 ___


Long distance dependencies1
Long Distance Dependencies

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


Filler gap constructions english
Filler Gap Constructions: English

  • 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.


Filler gap constructions english1
Filler Gap Constructions: English

  • 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 ___.


Historical note
Historical Note

  • 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.


What are relative clauses
What are relative clauses?

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

Head noun

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.


But there are relative clauses
But there are relative clauses

  • Without head nouns

  • Without relative pronouns

  • Without gaps


What makes it a relative clause
What makes it a relative clause?

  • 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.


Which sentences contain relative clauses
Which sentences contain relative clauses?

  • 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].

    • Headless relative clause


Relativized
“Relativized”

  • 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?



Order of relative clause and head noun
Order of relative clause and head noun

  • English:

    • The relative clause is after the head noun

  • Turkish

    • The relative clause is before the head noun.


Gap and relativizer note ambiguity
Gap and relativizer: Note ambiguity



Relative pronouns vs invariant relativizers
Relative pronouns (vs invariant relativizers)





Combination of strategies
Combination of strategies

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











Wh questions english
Wh-questions: English

  • 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 __?


Constraints on long distance dependencies
Constraints on Long-Distance Dependencies

  • Where can the gap be?

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


Constraints on long distance dependencies1
Constraints on Long Distance Dependencies

  • 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 __] ]


Constraints on long distance dependencies2
Constraints on Long Distance Dependencies

  • 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?


Constraints on long distance dependencies3
Constraints on Long Distance Dependencies

  • 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 ___ ] ?

    • You read [ books about linguistics].

    • ?What did you read books about?


Constraints on long distance dependencies4
Constraints on Long Distance Dependencies

  • 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 ___ ] ?


Constraints on long distance dependencies5
Constraints on Long Distance Dependencies

  • 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 ___]?


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