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Extraposition from NP. Heike Walker Georg-August University of Göttingen CoGETI Workshop Heidelberg 24-25 November 2006. Overview. Definition and Data Syntactic Analyses HPSG Analyses Discourse Constraints Conclusion. Definition and Data Syntactic Analyses HPSG Analyses

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extraposition from np

Extraposition from NP

Heike Walker

Georg-August University of Göttingen

CoGETI Workshop Heidelberg

24-25 November 2006

  • Definition and Data
  • Syntactic Analyses
  • HPSG Analyses
  • Discourse Constraints
  • Conclusion
Definition and Data
  • Syntactic Analyses
  • HPSG Analyses
  • Discourse Constraints
  • Conclusion

Extraposition: a process by which an element

is moved to theright of, or subsequent to, its


Extraposition from NP: a process by which

an element is extraposed from an NP.

categorial restrictions
Categorial restrictions


  • A man appeared with green eyes.
  • I don‘t see much argument myself any longer against differential rents.(Keller 1995)

Relative Clause Extraposition

  • A book appeared which was written by Chomsky. (Baltin 2001)

Sentential complements

  • Mary mentioned the claim yesterday that John is intelligent. (Kiss 2002)
the position of attachment of the extraposed phrase
The Position of Attachment of the Extraposed Phrase
  • Syntactic tests (ellipsis, topicalization and pseudoclefting of VP) reveal a subject-object asymmetry of attachment sites
  • Phrase extraposed from object attached to VP
  • Phrase extraposed from subject attached to VP or IP (Culicover&Rochemont 1990)
upward boundedness
Upward boundedness
  • *It was believed [S that John saw a picture _i in the newspaper by everyone] [of his brother]i.
  • Whoi did Mary say [S that John saw a picture of _i in the newspaper]? (Culicover&Rochemont 1990, 24)

Ross (1967): Right Roof Constraint

An element cannot move rightward out of the clause

in which it originates.

  • Rightward movement more restricted than leftward movement
insensitive to island constraints
Insensitive to island constraints
  • A man came into the room [with blond hair].
  • *[With what color hair]i did a man _i come into the room? (Culicover&Rochemont 1990, 24)
  • Rightward movement less restricted than leftward movement
extraposition and topicalization
Extraposition and Topicalization

An extraposed relative clause cannot be related to a

topicalized phrase.

  • Antecedent contained in a topicalized VP:
    • a. John said he would meet a man at the party who was from Philadelphia, and meet a man at the party who was from Philadelphia he did.

b. *John said he would meet a man at the party who was from Philadelphia, and meet a man at the party he did who was from Philadelphia. (Culicover&Rochemont 1990, 28)

  • Antecedent itself topicalized:
    • a. Microbrews that are located around the Bay Area, I like.

b. *Micro brews, I like that are located around the Bay Area.

(Kiss 2003)

frozenness to further extraction
Frozenness to further extraction

No dislocation out of an extraposed phrase:

  • a. Whoi did you see a picture of _i in the newspaper?

b. *Whoi did you see a picture in the newspaper of _i?

But extraposition from wh-moved objects possible:

  • [Which book _j ]i did she write _i last year [that takes only two hours to read]j?
  • [Which woman _j ]i did he meet _i yesterday [from the south of France]j?

(Keller 1995)

Definition and Data
  • Syntactic Analyses
  • HPSG Analyses
  • Discourse Constraints
  • Conclusion
extraposition as a rightward movement process
Extraposition as a rightward movement process
  • Extraposed phrase base-generated within the NP
  • Movement to a position adjoined to IP or VP
  • Extraposed phrase related to a gap within the antecedent NP
  • How is this adjunction licensed?
Baltin (1981): Generalized Subjacency

In the configuration A...[a...[b...B...]...]...A',

i. A' cannot be related to B where a and b are maximal projections of any major categories;

ii. A cannot be related to B where a and b are drawn from the following list of phrasal categories: (a) PP; (b) NP; (c) S or S' or both, depending on the specific language.

Problems with Generalized Subjacency:
  • Stipulation of the set of bounding nodes for leftward movement
  • Fails to block successive cyclic movement of the extraposed phrase in a fashion exactly parallel to wh-movement (Culicover&Rochemont 1990, 27)
  • Violation of the principle in (14):
    • I saw it [PP in [NP a magazine _i ]] yesterday

[which was lying on the table]i. (Baltin 2001)

Guéron (1980) and Guéron&May (1984)
  • Extraposition as process of Move α, subject to bounding conditions (e.g. Subjacency)
  • Head-complement relation must be satisfied at the level of logical form (LF):

The complement of X is a constituent governed by X. (Guéron 1980, 642)

  • Explanation of subject-object asymmetry
Arguments against movement account:
  • Unmotivated distinction between rightward and leftward movement
  • Coordinate structures:
    • A mani came in and a womanj went out whoi+j know each other very well. (Culicover&Rochemont 1990, 45)
    • John saw a mani and Mary saw a womanj whoi+j were wanted by the police. (Kiss 2002, 20n.)
base generation
Base generation
  • Extraposed phrase base-generated in its extraposed position
  • How is this position licensed?
  • Culicover&Rochemont (1990): extraposed complements related to their antecedents by a relation of coindexing subject to the restrictions imposed by the Complement Principle:

β is a potential complement of α (α,β=Xmax), only if α and β are in a government relation.

  • Problem: semantic relation between the extraposed element and its antecedent
Definition and Data
  • Syntactic Analyses
  • HPSG Analyses
  • Discourse Constraints
  • Conclusion
keller 1995
Keller (1995)
  • Extraposition as a nonlocal dependency
  • Nonlocal feature EXTRA to establish connection between an extraposed element and its antecedent
  • Lexical rule removes complement from the SUBCAT list and introduces it into the EXTRA set:
Extraposed phrase is bound on top of a phrase that introduces intervening material between the extraposed constituent and its antecedent
  • Feature PERIPHERY (PER), located under LOCAL
  • A phrase that is extraposed from is marked [PER left] if there is no material that could intervene between the extraposed constituent and its antecedent.
  • Otherwise it is [PER right] and EXTRA elements can be bound on top of it.
  • In case [PER left], the EXTRA element percolates up to find a phrase with right periphery
  • For English, all lexical entries marked [PER left]
To implement the binding of extraposed elements, an additional immediate dominance schema is introduced
  • Subtype of head-struc called head-extra-struc bearing the feature EXTRA-DTRS (with a non-empty list of sign as its value)
head extra schema
Head-Extra Schema

Keller (1995)

Head daughter [PER right] since the binding of extraposed phrases is only possible at the right periphery of a phrase
  • Mother node [PER extra] to disallow adjuncts on top of a head-extra structure (adjuncts specified as [MOD|LOC|PER non-extra])
    • *An entirely new band rings today, [several of whom are members of the congregation] at Great Torrington.
  • [INHER|EXTRA { }] requires all members of EXTRA to be bound at the same level; extraposed elements originating from the same phrase are sisters; ordered by LPCs
kiss 2002 2003
Kiss (2002, 2003)
  • Relative Clause Extraposition
  • A non-movement account
  • Extraposition treated as an anaphoric process by means of percolation of anchors to which the relative clause is bound
  • Basic idea expressed by the principle of Generalized Modification:

The index of a modifying phrase has to be identified with a suitable index contained in the phrase to which the modifier is adjoined.

Anchors are introduced by every NP (and VP) and projected through the set-valued non-local feature ANCHORS (contains INDEX and HANDLE features)
  • Projection governed by the Anchors Projection Principle:

The anchors set of a headed phrase consists of the union of the anchors set of the daughters less those anchors that are specified as TO-BIND|ANCHORS on the head daughter.

The relative clause requires that the ANCHORS set of its syntactic sister contains a member that is token-identical to the ANCHORS feature of the relative clause
  • Upward boundedness is modelled by imposing restrictions on the Head-Filler Schema and the Head-Specifier Schema to the effect that all anchors of the daughters are specified as TO-BIND|ANCHORS.
Definition and Data
  • Syntactic Analyses
  • HPSG Analyses
  • Discourse Constraints
  • Conclusion
Certain sentences not acceptable in isolation
  • Acceptability improved in an appropriate discourse context:
    • a. A man arrived who wasn‘t wearing any clothes.

b. ??A man screamed who wasn‘t wearing any clothes.

    • Suddenly there was the sound of lions growling. Several women screamed. Then a man screamed who was standing at the very edge of the crowd. (Culicover&Rochemont 1990, 29 n.14)
verbs of appearance
Verbs of appearance
  • Guéron (1980): constraints on the level of LF interact with pragmatic factors (rules of semantic interpretation and discourse) to filter syntactic outputs
  • „Ss which are unacceptable in isolation become acceptable in a context in which the verb is pragmatically emptied of all semantic content beyond that of ‚appearence in the world of the discourse‘.“ (Guéron 1980, 653-4)
    • a. A man appeared from India.

b. *A man died from India.

    • Several visitors from foreign countries died in the terrible accident. A woman died from Peru and a man died from India.
question under discussion qud
Question Under Discussion (QUD)

Maynell (2003): Extraposition of restrictive relative clauses from definite NP subjects

  • a. A cocktail waitress entered the dining room who was wearing a blond wig.

b. ??The cocktail waitress entered the dining room who was wearing a blond wig.

(23b) usually viewed as ungrammatical or unacceptable; ruled out by syntactic constraints (cf. Guéron 1980, Guéron&May 1984)
  • Maynell claims that the structure must be allowable by any syntactic theory; its acceptance depends on the relationship of the information conveyed by the extraposed phrase to the discourse context
Definite NP can introduce new referents into the discourse as long as these can be accommodated and added to the common ground of a discourse (part of the QUD)
  • Predicate must be non-informative with respect to the QUD
  • Extraposed relative clause must match the information status of its definite NP head
  • Extraposed relative clause must provide new information with respect to the immediateQUD
Definition and Data
  • Syntactic Analyses
  • HPSG Analyses
  • Discourse Constraints
  • Conclusion
  • Syntactic, semantic and pragmatic factors involved
  • My aim: to give an integrated approach to Extraposition
  • Open questions

Baltin, Mark R. (1981): Strict Bounding. In Carl Lee Baker, John J.McCarthy, eds., The Logical Problem of Language Acquisition,Cambridge,Massachusetts: MIT, 257-295.

Baltin, Mark R. (Draft of 2001): Extraposition, the Right RoofConstraint,Result Clauses, Relative Clause Extraposition, and PPExtraposition. (http://www.nyu.edu/gsas/dept/lingu/people/faculty/baltin/papers/extrapos.pdf).

Culicover, Peter W., Michael S. Rochemont (1990):Extraposition andtheComplement Principle. In LinguisticInquiry 21:1,23-47.

Guéron, Jacqueline (1980): On the Syntax and Semantics ofPPExtraposition. In Linguistic Inquiry 11:4,637-678.

Guéron, Jacqueline, Robert May (1984): Extraposition and LogicalForm.In Linguistic Inquiry 15:1, 1-31.

Keller, Frank (1995): Towards an Account of Extraposition in HPSG.InProceedings of the 7th Conference of the European Chapter ofthe Association for Computational Linguistics. Student Session.Dublin, 301-306. (http://homepages.inf.ed.ac.uk/keller/papers/eacl95.pdf).

Kiss Tibor (2002): Semantic Constraints on Relative ClauseExtraposition. Forthcoming in Natural Language and Linguistic Theory. (http://www.linguistics.ruhr-uni-bochum.de/~kiss/publications.html).

Kiss, Tibor (2003): Phrasal typology and the interaction of topicalization, wh-movement, and extraposition. In Jong-Bok Kim, Stephen Wechsler, eds., Proceedings of the 9th International Conference on Head-Driven Phrase Structure Grammar, Stanford: CSLI, 109-128.

Maynell, Laurie A. (Draft of 2003): Discourse Constraints onExtraposition from Definite NP Subjects in English.


Ross, John Robert (1967): Constraints on Variables in Syntax. DoctoralDissertation. Reproduced by The Linguistics Club of IndianaUniversity, Fall 1968. (Reprinted [1986]: Infinite Syntax! Norwood, NJ: Ablex.).