Clausal Complements

Pre-conference tutorial

(Friederike Moltmann, CNRS, Jane Grimshaw, Rutgers University)


The tutorial will introduce clausal complementation both from a syntactic and a semantic point of view, paying particular attention to its central place in linguistic theory and to its philosophical ramifications. More specifically, the tutorial will have three goals. The first is to illustrate the main properties of clausal complements and the syntactic structure that is posited to explicate them. We then turn to the lexical semantics of embedding predicates and their relationship to complement clauses. We will present and critically discuss different approaches to the semantics of attitude and illocutionary verbs in the linguistic and philosophical literature. The final goal is to outline a novel approach to attitude reports based on the notion of a cognitive product rather than an abstract proposition and to explore its syntactic adequacy.


Tutorial programme

10.00-12.00: Jane Grimshaw

Section 1: Background
1.1. Varieties of clausal complementation exemplified within English
1.2. The predicates which combine with clausal complements
1.4. Typological patterns of clausal complementation
1.5. The CP hypothesis and variants


Section 2: Finite clauses: Current Research Issues
2.1. The categorial status of finite clauses
2.2. Non-canonical predicate complement relationships:
2.3. Main and subordinate clauses
2.4. The status of "Complementizer", the "Left Periphery"
2.5. Quoted clauses
2.6. The Force Compatibility hypothesis


14.00-16.00 Friederike Moltmann

1. Standard semantic analyses of clausal complements
1.2. The Relational Analysis
1.3. the Operator Analysis and its problems

2. Problems with the Relational Analysis:
2.1. The Substitution Problem, The Objectivization Effect
2.2. The semantic behavior of special quantifiers in clausal position ('something', 'everything', 'that' etc)

3. Appproaches to the problems for the Relational Analysis
3.1. Syntactic approaches
3.2. The neo-Russellian approach
3.3. Clauses as predicates, not arguments
3.4. Special quantifiers as nominalizing quantifiers
3.5. The anaysis of different clausal complements on theĀ  predicational view of clauses