Query on interclausal scope
gil at EVA.MPG.DE
Thu Dec 1 22:04:16 UTC 2011
Dan and all,
I'm suspect many other LINGTYP readers, and not just me, are not sure
what you mean by "an S-comp rule".
The colloquial varieties of Indonesian that I am familiar with do not
have an overt complementizer. And indeed, if you say something like
MARY NEG THINK JOHN SMART, this can not usually be taken to mean "Mary
thinks that John is not smart". Are you suggesting that these two facts
I have argued elsewhere that the Indonesian/English contrast is one
manifestation of a general tendency for Indonesian to be more iconic, or
"Behagelian", in its constituency than languages like English. So I
would also be very interested to learn how common so-called
"neg-raising" is cross-linguistically -- with or without a complementizer.
PS rereading your query, I can add that Hebrew works like English.
> I am interested in knowing whether a certain pattern is more or less common. The question is whether languages with an S-comp rule usually have the possibility of negation switching scope across the matrix clause into the subordinate clause. So for example, in English in examples like "Mary doesn't think that John is smart" one meaning of this is that "Mary thinks that John isn't smart."
> My question is whether English is rare or not. Even in English, the features seems to be limited to epistemic verbs, like "think".
> So do readers of this list know of non-Indo European languages with this type of negative scope possibility? If so, is it limited to specific classes of verbs?
> If you'd rather respond to me off-line, that is fine. I will later post a summary if there are enough answers.
Department of Linguistics
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Email: gil at eva.mpg.de
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