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UiL-OTS Colloquium


17 December 2015
15:30 - 17:00
Drift 21, Sweelinckzaal

Sjef Barbiers

What I Think Is Not What I Want

The most important topic in syntactic research of the past 60 years has been displacement: An element of a sentence is not in the position where one would expect it to be. A famous example is given in (1a), where the negation is in the main clause but belongs to the subordinate clause interpretively. Recently De Schepper et al (2014) have shown that there are also cases of this phenomenon that do not involve negation, e.g. in (1b) the adverb ‘ook’ = also is in the main clause but it is interpreted in the embedded clause.

(1) a.
Ik denk niet [dat Jan hoeft te komen] I think not that Jan needs to come
‘I think that Jan does not need to come.’

Adele komt, maar ik denk ook dat Madonna komt.
Adele comes, but I think also that Madonna comes
‘Adele will come, but I think that Madonna will come as well.’

In this talk I show that the opposite phenomenon also exists: An adverb is in the embedded clause but should be interpreted in the main clause:

Ik denk [dat ze eerlijk gezegd voor Robben zullen gaan].
I think that they honestly for Robben will go
‘I honestly think that they will go for Robben.’

I will discuss these two phenomena to show non-syntacticians and syntacticians what is left of Universal Grammar, and to show that the subordinate clauses of the verbs THINK and WILL, though superfically identical, are radically different.