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Article: Categoriality and object extraction in cantonese serial verb constructions

TitleCategoriality and object extraction in cantonese serial verb constructions
Authors
Issue Date2006
PublisherSpringer Verlag Dordrecht. The Journal's web site is located at http://springerlink.metapress.com/openurl.asp?genre=journal&issn=0167-806X
Citation
Natural Language And Linguistic Theory, 2006, v. 24 n. 3, p. 751-801 How to Cite?
AbstractThe Cantonese 'coverb' construction, a serial verb construction in which the first verb (the 'coverb') has a preposition-like meaning and function, presents a challenge for theories of wh-dependencies and island constraints. Coverbs resist extraction of their objects by topicalization or relativization, a fact which has often been explained in terms of a preposition-stranding constraint in accounts of similar facts in Mandarin. However, Cantonese coverbs display the morphosyntactic properties of verbs, suggesting that they cannot be prepositions. In this paper, we propose that coverbs are verbs, and that the relevant extraction constraint is a kind of adjunct island constraint. This proposal is supported with experimental evidence from a sentence judgment task. Two key findings are as follows: (1) listeners judged extraction from a coverb phrase as significantly less acceptable than extraction from a simple clause; (2) listeners judged sentences both with and without aspectual marking (verbal morphosyntax) on the coverb as highly acceptable. Together, these findings support our proposal that coverbs are verbs (not prepositions) and that coverb phrases form a kind of adjunct island. However, we show that existing adjunct island conditions (such as the CED) are not adequate to account for our data. Following Hawkins' (1999) processing-based theory of filler-gap dependencies, we propose a simple, language-specific formulation of the extraction constraint, and we argue that this constraint is more generally motivated by a processing principle called Avoid Competing Subcategorizers - one of the same principles that motivates preposition-stranding constraints in other languages. Thus, although object extraction is prohibited by a kind of adjunct island constraint, the function of the constraint in processing efficiency is similar to that of a preposition-stranding constraint. © Springer 2006.
Persistent Identifierhttp://hdl.handle.net/10722/90272
ISSN
2015 Impact Factor: 0.845
2015 SCImago Journal Rankings: 1.341
ISI Accession Number ID
References

 

DC FieldValueLanguage
dc.contributor.authorFrancis, EJen_HK
dc.contributor.authorMatthews, Sen_HK
dc.date.accessioned2010-09-06T10:08:01Z-
dc.date.available2010-09-06T10:08:01Z-
dc.date.issued2006en_HK
dc.identifier.citationNatural Language And Linguistic Theory, 2006, v. 24 n. 3, p. 751-801en_HK
dc.identifier.issn0167-806Xen_HK
dc.identifier.urihttp://hdl.handle.net/10722/90272-
dc.description.abstractThe Cantonese 'coverb' construction, a serial verb construction in which the first verb (the 'coverb') has a preposition-like meaning and function, presents a challenge for theories of wh-dependencies and island constraints. Coverbs resist extraction of their objects by topicalization or relativization, a fact which has often been explained in terms of a preposition-stranding constraint in accounts of similar facts in Mandarin. However, Cantonese coverbs display the morphosyntactic properties of verbs, suggesting that they cannot be prepositions. In this paper, we propose that coverbs are verbs, and that the relevant extraction constraint is a kind of adjunct island constraint. This proposal is supported with experimental evidence from a sentence judgment task. Two key findings are as follows: (1) listeners judged extraction from a coverb phrase as significantly less acceptable than extraction from a simple clause; (2) listeners judged sentences both with and without aspectual marking (verbal morphosyntax) on the coverb as highly acceptable. Together, these findings support our proposal that coverbs are verbs (not prepositions) and that coverb phrases form a kind of adjunct island. However, we show that existing adjunct island conditions (such as the CED) are not adequate to account for our data. Following Hawkins' (1999) processing-based theory of filler-gap dependencies, we propose a simple, language-specific formulation of the extraction constraint, and we argue that this constraint is more generally motivated by a processing principle called Avoid Competing Subcategorizers - one of the same principles that motivates preposition-stranding constraints in other languages. Thus, although object extraction is prohibited by a kind of adjunct island constraint, the function of the constraint in processing efficiency is similar to that of a preposition-stranding constraint. © Springer 2006.en_HK
dc.languageengen_HK
dc.publisherSpringer Verlag Dordrecht. The Journal's web site is located at http://springerlink.metapress.com/openurl.asp?genre=journal&issn=0167-806Xen_HK
dc.relation.ispartofNatural Language and Linguistic Theoryen_HK
dc.titleCategoriality and object extraction in cantonese serial verb constructionsen_HK
dc.typeArticleen_HK
dc.identifier.openurlhttp://library.hku.hk:4550/resserv?sid=HKU:IR&issn=0167-806X&volume=24&spage=751&epage=801&date=2006&atitle=Categoriality+and+object+extraction+in+Cantonese+serial+verb+constructionsen_HK
dc.identifier.emailMatthews, S: matthews@hkucc.hku.hken_HK
dc.identifier.authorityMatthews, S=rp01207en_HK
dc.description.naturelink_to_subscribed_fulltext-
dc.identifier.doi10.1007/s11049-006-0005-3en_HK
dc.identifier.scopuseid_2-s2.0-33748645537en_HK
dc.identifier.hkuros120749en_HK
dc.relation.referenceshttp://www.scopus.com/mlt/select.url?eid=2-s2.0-33748645537&selection=ref&src=s&origin=recordpageen_HK
dc.identifier.volume24en_HK
dc.identifier.issue3en_HK
dc.identifier.spage751en_HK
dc.identifier.epage801en_HK
dc.identifier.isiWOS:000241689700004-
dc.publisher.placeNetherlandsen_HK
dc.identifier.scopusauthoridFrancis, EJ=8908437800en_HK
dc.identifier.scopusauthoridMatthews, S=9278061600en_HK

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