LINGUIST List 30.1574

Wed Apr 10 2019

Confs: Gen Ling, Historical Ling, Semantics, Syntax, Typology/Belgium

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Date: 04-Apr-2019
From: An Van linden <>
Subject: The Syntagmatic Properties of Complementation Patterns: Accommodating Lexical and Grammatical uses of CTP-clauses
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The Syntagmatic Properties of Complementation Patterns: Accommodating Lexical and Grammatical uses of CTP-clauses

Date: 09-May-2019 - 10-May-2019
Location: Liège, Belgium
Contact: An Van linden
Contact Email: < click here to access email >

Linguistic Field(s): General Linguistics; Historical Linguistics; Semantics; Syntax; Typology

Meeting Description:

Recently, much attention has gone to lexical versus grammatical uses of complement-taking predicate (CTP) clauses (Boye & Harder 2007, 2012; Davidse et al. 2015; Van linden et al. 2016). Concomitant with this, the question has been raised whether these two uses should receive a different structural analysis. Complement clauses of lexical uses have been analysed as subordinate to the CTP-clause. In (1), e.g., the that-clause is typically analysed as the direct object of the main verb; in (4), the that-clause is traditionally analysed as an extraposed subject clause (cf. Quirk et al. 1985: 1224–1225; Huddleston and Pullum 2002: 1252–1254). Semantically, the complement clauses in (1) and (4) are viewed as only secondary. What is discursively primary is the specific emotional state conveyed by the CTP-clauses. The that-clauses represent the proposition presupposed in the processes of regretting (1) and feeling wonder (4) (Van linden et al. 2016).

(1) This was Rosie at her most Rosieish, and Liz only regretted that Pritch wasn’t there to appreciate just what she was up against. (WB)
(2) He spoke out after pro-Agreement parties were presented with the proposals. “I think it is clear that all of the issues have to be addressed,” he said. (WB)
(3) Alain Prost proved you can take time out and make a great comeback when he won his fourth world crown […]. There is no doubt the constant testing and pressure of racing takes a hell of a lot out of you. (WB)
(4) My kids got to see that my out-of-home life was far more complex and intense than they thought. It was a wonder to them that I get to do all this stuff. (IC)

While syntagmatically lexical uses of CTP-clauses are viewed as having ‘complementizing’ status, grammatical uses (2)-(3) are argued to show ‘modifying’ status (Boye & Harder 2007: 568), as the CTP cannot impose its semantic profile on the complement clause (cf. Langacker 1987: 309). The complement clauses contain the main information, and the main clauses are viewed as stance markers or interpersonal modifiers (McGregor 1997: 236). That is, (3) does not describe an act of not doubting. Rather, the impersonal CTP-clause there’s no doubt expresses the speaker’s epistemic stance towards the proposition coded by the that-clause; it signals a high degree of certainty (Davidse et al. 2015: 51). In (2), the personal CTP-clause I think functions as a speech act modifier, hedging the claim in the complement clause (cf. Nuyts 2009: 152). Both CTP-clauses are not part of what is asserted and hence cannot be challenged (Boye & Harder 2007: 573).

Invited speakers: Kasper Boye (University of Copenhagen), Gunther Kaltenböck (University of Graz) and William McGregor (Aarhus University)
Organizers: An Van linden (Liège), Lieselotte Brems (Liège), Kristin Davidse (Leuven), Lieven Vandelanotte (Namur)


Check out the workshop website at
Registration is open until 1 May 2019

Thursday, 9 May 2019

Registration in room Séminaire Média

Welcome / Opening by Louis Gerrekens, Dean of the Faculty of Arts and Philosophy

Introduction to workshop by An Van linden (University of Liège), Lieselotte Brems (University of Liège) & Kristin Davidse (KU Leuven)

Kasper Boye (University of Copenhagen): CTP-clauses with modifying status: the role of complement types and constructional slots

11:00: Coffee break in room Séminaire Média

Kristin Davidse (KU Leuven): Making the case that form and meaning in English ‘extraposition’ and ‘cleft’ constructions match

María José López-Couso & Belén Méndez-Naya (University of Santiago de Compostela): From complementizing to modifying status: On the grammaticalization of the CTP-clause odds are

An Van linden (University of Liège), Lieselotte Brems (University of Liège) & Kristin Davidse (KU Leuven): Grammatical uses of 'no' + noun and the hierarchy of qualifications of SoAs

13:00: Lunch in room Séminaire Média

Gunther Kaltenböck (University of Graz): Hedged performatives: function and grammatical status

Charlotte Maekelberghe (KU Leuven): Imagine all the clauses: formal variability in complement-taking predicate constructions with imagine

Caroline Gentens (University of Stockholm): Manner components in Late Modern English direct speech reporting

19:00: Workshop dinner

Friday, 10 May 2019

William McGregor (University of Aarhus): Belief and thought complements in Australian languages: Typology and theory

Stef Spronck (University of Helsinki): Complementation is not a primary syntactic category. Reported speech is.

11:30: Coffee break in room Séminaire Média

Discussion and conclusions

12:30: Lunch in room Séminaire Média

Page Updated: 10-Apr-2019