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Summary Details

Query:   References: Optional Word Omission, That-omission
Author:  Florian Jaeger
Submitter Email:  click here to access email
Linguistic LingField(s):   Syntax

Summary:   Regarding query:

Thanks to everyone who send me comments on the literature on that-omission
(pls, send me more if you still find more).
− Louise McNally
− Rena Torres Cacoullos
− John Lawler
− Wayles Brown
− Peyton Todd

I have split up the references into four categories: that-omission in (to
the best of my knowledge)
− Complement clauses: [5, 8, 9, 21-23, 27, 28]
− Non-subject-extracted relative clauses: [1-3, 7, 10-12, 16-20, 24-26, 29,
30, 32]
− Subject-extracted relative/contact clauses: [1, 6, 7]
− Both complement and relative clause: [4, 13-15, 31]

I am sure there is much more on the variationist/sociolinguistic side of
things. Tagliamonte et al. 2005 contains a lot of references in that
direction. Bolinger 1972 contains references to older work (yes, I should
have mentioned that I was aware of Bolinger's work ;-)). If there were
several papers by the same author(s) on the same issue, I have listed the
most recent one. Thanks again for all the helpful information.

[1] Adamson, D. H. (1992). Social and Processing Constraints on Relative
Clauses. American Speech, 67(2).
[2] Bergh, G., & Seppaenen, A. (2000). Preposition stranding with
wh-relatives: a historical survey. English Language and Linguistics, 4(2),
[3] Biber, D., Johansson, S., Leech, G., Finegan, E., & Conrad, S. (1999).
Longman grammar of spoken and written English. London: Longman.
[4] Bolinger, D. (1972). That's that. The Hague: Mouton.
[5] Cacoullos, R. T., & Walker, J. A. (submitted). On the Persistence of
Grammar in Discourse Formulas: A Variationist Study of that. Linguistics.
[6] Doherty, C. (2000). Clauses Without 'That': The Case for Bare
Sentential Complementation in English. New York: Garland.
[7] Engdahl, E. (1997). Relative Clause Extractions in Context. Working
Papers in Scandinavian Syntax, 60, 51-79.
[8] Ferreira, V. S. (2003). The persistence of optional complementizer
production: Why saying ''that'' is not saying ''that'' at all. Journal of
Memory and Language, 48, 379-398.
[9] Ferreira, V. S., & Dell, G. S. (2000). Effect of Ambiguity and Lexical
Availability on Syntactic and Lexical Production. Cognitive Psychology, 40,
[10] Fox, B. A., & Thompson, S. A. (in press). Relative Clauses in English
conversation: Relativizers, Frequency and the notion of Construction.
Studies in Language.
[11] Hakes, D. T., & Cairns, H. S. (1970). Sentence comprehension and
relative pronouns. Perception & Psychophysics, 8, 5-8.
[12] Hakes, D. T., & Foss, D. J. (1970). Decision Processes during sentence
comprehension: Effects of surface structure reconsidered. Perception &
Pychophysics, 8(6), 413-416.
[13] Hawkins, J. A. (2001). Why are categories adjacent? Journal of
Linguistics, 37, 1-34.
[14] Hawkins, J. A. (2004). Efficiency and Complexity in Grammars. Oxford:
Oxford University Press.
[15] Huddleston, R., & Pullum, G. K. (2002). The Cambridge Grammar of the
English Language. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press.
[16] Jaeger, T. F. (2005). Optional that indicates production difficulty:
Evidence from disfluencies. Paper presented at the DiSS'05,
Aix-en-Provence, France.
[17] Jaeger, T. F., Levy, R., Wasow, T., & Orr, D. (2005). Optional that is
predictable if a relative clause is predictable. AMLaP 2005, Ghent, Belgium.
[18] Jaeger, T. F., & Wasow, T. (2005). Processing as the Source of
Accessibility Effects on Variation. Paper presented at the Berkeley
Linguistic Society.
[19] Lohse, B. (2000). Zero versus Explicit Marking in Relative
Clauses.Unpublished manuscript, Dept of Linguistics, University of Southern
[20] Quirk, R. (1957). Relative clauses in educated spoken English. English
Studies, 38, 97-109.
[21] Race, D. S., & MacDonald, M. C. (2003). The use of ''that'' in the
production and comprehension of object relative clauses. Paper presented at
the 26th CogSci.
[22] Rohdenburg, G. (1998). Clausal complementation and cognitive
complexity in English. Paper presented at the Anglistentag, Erfurt, Germany.
[23] Roland, D., Elman, J. L., & Ferreira, V. S. (2005). Why is that?
Structural prediction and ambiguity resolution in a very large corpus of
English sentences. Cognition.
[24] Sigley, R. J. (1997). Choosing your relatives: Relative clauses in New
Zealand English. Victoria University, Wellington.
[25] Tagliamonte, S., Smith, J., & Lawrence, H. (2005). No taming the
vernacular! Insights from the relatives in northern Britain. Language
Variation and Change, 17, 75-112.
[26] Temperley, D. (2003). Ambiguity avoidance in English relative clauses.
Language, 79(3), 464-484.
[27] Thompson, S. A., & Mulac, A. (1991). The discourse conditions for the
use of complementizer that in conversational English. Journal of
Pragmatics, 15, 237- 251.
[28] Thompson, S. A., & Mulac, A. (Eds.). (1991). A Quantitative
Perspective on the Grammaticization of Epistemic Parentheticals in English.
Amsterdam: John Benjamins.
[29] Tottie, G. (1995). The man Ø I love: an analysis of factors favouring
zero relatives in written British and American English. In G. Melchers & B.
Warren (Eds.), Studies in Anglistics (pp. 201-215). Stockholm: Almqvist and
[30] Tottie, G. (Ed.). (1997). Relatively speaking: relativizer marker
usage in the British National Corpus. Helsinki: Société Néophilologique.
[31] Walter, M. A., & Jaeger, T. F. (2005). Constraints on Optional that
Omission: A Strong Lexical OCP Effect. Paper presented at the CSL 41, Chicago.
[32] Wasow, T., Jaeger, T. F., & Orr, D. (in progress). Lexical Variation
in Relativizer Frequency. Paper presented at the Expecting the unexpected:
Exceptions in Grammar Workshop at the 27th Annual Meeting of the German
Linguistic Association, Cologne.

LL Issue: 16.3603
Date Posted: 19-Dec-2005


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