Constituent Questions: The Syntax and Semantics of Questions by Elisabet Engdahl (auth.)

By Elisabet Engdahl (auth.)

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Additional info for Constituent Questions: The Syntax and Semantics of Questions with Special Reference to Swedish

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In GPSG, sentences with unbounded dependencies are admitted by phrase-structure rules of the form given by the rule schema in (10). Rules introducing slashed categories are called linking rules. (10) S a ---'? S/a Slashed categories may be eliminated by a schema as in (11) which introduces a designated terminal t, the empty string.? (11) a/a ---'? t An instance of this schema would be NP/NP, dominating a gap. In this case, t, would be translated by a designated variable h of the appropriate type to translate NPs.

11) a/a ---'? t An instance of this schema would be NP/NP, dominating a gap. In this case, t, would be translated by a designated variable h of the appropriate type to translate NPs. We will write this as h(NP}. (10) and (11) in conjunction ensure that a sentence-initial constituent will always be matched with a gap of the appropriate type somewhere in the sentence. Linking rules are used for instance to introduce constituent questions, relative clauses, and topicalized sentences. (12) shows a tree for a simple embedded question.

The general rule appears to be that dislocated constituents behave exactly as if they were in the position of the gap. The possibility of using the same agreement rules for structures with and without links reflects this generalization. In this respect, PLG has an advantage over the syntactic theory proposed by R. Cooper. Recall that Cooper freely generates trees with gaps by allowing for zero lexical insertion (cf. (42) above). He puts restrictions on the semantic interpretation rules to the effect that only structures where the number of fillers and gaps match can be interpreted.

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