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Natural Language & Linguistic Theory

, Volume 32, Issue 4, pp 1145–1204 | Cite as

The logic of complex predicates

A deductive synthesis of ‘argument sharing’ and ‘verb raising’
  • Yusuke Kubota
Article

Abstract

In the literature, there are two major proposals for resolving the syntax-semantics mismatch characterizing complex predicates. The ‘verb-raising’ approach resolves the mismatch via syntactic movement (or its analog), whereas the ‘argument-sharing’ approach does so by positing merged argument structures for complex predicates at the syntax-semantics interface. Focusing on two types of complex predicates in Japanese—syntactic compound verbs and the so-called -te form complex predicate—I discuss some novel empirical data posing challenges to both approaches in addition to the set of well-known observations from the literature illustrating the tension between the two strategies.

The paper then argues for a synthesis of these two approaches within a variant of categorial grammar, taking advantage of the logical perspective on the syntax-semantics interface characteristic of certain recent variants of categorial grammar. The proposed analysis integrates the analytic insights of the two previous approaches seamlessly, and has both theoretical and empirical advantages over the two: theoretically, it clarifies the deeper connection between the theory-neutral analytic intuitions guiding the two approaches; empirically, it provides straightforward solutions for both the old and new empirical problems, enabling a previously unattained unified treatment of complex predicates that has a wider empirical coverage than its competitors.

Keywords

Complex predicate Categorial grammar Multi-modal categorial grammar Argument sharing Verb raising Japanese 

Notes

Acknowledgements

For comments on this paper and related work, I would like to thank Olivier Bonami, David Dowty, Bob Levine, Detmar Meurers, Carl Pollard, Neal Whitman, Shûichi Yatabe and Etsuyo Yuasa. I would also like to thank the three anonymous reviewers of NLLT, whose insightful and thought-provoking comments greatly improved both the content and the presentation of the final version. Part of the revision of this paper was carried out while the author was supported by the Research Fellowship of Japan Society for the Promotion of Science (Grant No. 22-2912), whose financial support I would like to acknowledge.

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Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.JSPS Postdoctoral Fellow for Research Abroad, Department of LinguisticsOhio State UniversityColumbusUSA

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