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LINGUIST List 17.1490

Mon May 15 2006

Diss: Syntax: Wiklund: 'The Syntax of Tenselessness...'

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        1.    Anna-Lena Wiklund, The Syntax of Tenselessness: On copying constructions in Swedish

Message 1: The Syntax of Tenselessness: On copying constructions in Swedish
Date: 14-May-2006
From: Anna-Lena Wiklund <anna-lena.wiklundhum.uit.no>
Subject: The Syntax of Tenselessness: On copying constructions in Swedish

Institution: Umeå University
Program: Philosophy and Linguistics
Dissertation Status: Completed
Degree Date: 2005

Author: Anna-Lena Wiklund

Dissertation Title: The Syntax of Tenselessness: On copying constructions in Swedish

Dissertation URL: http://urn.kb.se/resolve?urn=urn:nbn:se:umu:diva-468

Linguistic Field(s): Syntax

Dissertation Director:
Lars-Olof Delsing
Anders Holmberg
Görel Sandström

Dissertation Abstract:

This thesis investigates three construction types in Swedish where two (or
more) verbs display identical inflectional morphology (COPYING) and share
one overt subject. The constructions are referred to as (i)
T(ENSE)M(OOD)A(SPECT)-COPYING complements, of the form John started and
wrote (John started writing), (ii) PARTICIPLE COPYING complements, of the
form John had been-able written (John had been able to write), and (iii)
PSEUDOCOORDINATIONS, of the form John sat and wrote (John was writing). (i)
and (ii) differ from (iii) in alternating with infinitives. (ii) differs
from (i) and (iii) in restricting copying to participial form and in being
incompatible with a linking element (corresponding to 'and'). The main
claim is that the construction types are three surface variants of one and
the same phenomenon, involving complementation and semantically vacuous
inflection on the embedded verb(s). The differences between them are argued
to be derivable from independent factors. (i) and (iii) are shown to differ
from (ii) w.r.t. amount of functional structure present in the embedded
clause. Matrix verbs in (iii) are shown to instantiate light verb uses of
otherwise lexical verbs. Copying complements are argued to instantiate
subtypes of 'tenseless' infinitivals (infinitivals whose tense
orientation fully overlaps with that of the matrix clause), characterized
by an underspecified functional domain. Copying is assumed to be a surface
reflection of (Agree-type) dependencies between functional heads of the
same label; features of the embedded functional heads copy values from the
corresponding functional heads in the matrix clause. Arguments for treating
copying complements as instantiating restructuring are presented. It is
proposed that copying complements differ from non-copying infinitival
complements in being subject to valuation from the matrix functional
domain. This suggests that an important aspect of (possibility of)
restructuring is alternation between unmarked (negatively specified) and
unvalued varieties of the same features.

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