Annali di Ca’ Foscari. Serie occidentale
50 | 2016

Annali di Ca’ Foscari. Serie occidentale
50 | 2016

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Topic
chevron_rightLinguistics

Language
it

ISSN
chevron_right2499-2232

e-ISSN
chevron_right2499-1562

Online issue
Vol. 50 | Num. 1 | Settembre 2016

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Annali di Ca’ Foscari. Serie occidentale | 50 | 2016

On Noun Clausal ‘Complements’ and their Non-unitary Nature

Guglielmo Cinque
ORCID 0000-0003-0640-2222 
Università Ca’ Foscari Venezia, Italia
cinque@unive.it

Iliana Krapova
ORCID 0000-0002-7682-6787 
Università Ca’ Foscari Venezia, Italia
krapova@unive.it

DOI 10.14277/2499-1562/AnnOc-50-16-4

Submitted 12 Apr 2016
Accepted 11 Jul 2016

Abstract

In this article, we discuss the status of clausal ‘complements’ of Ns, which have recently been analysed by various authors as restrictive relative clauses. First we argue that they do not constitute a unitary phenomenon. Two types should be distinguished: clausal “complements” that can be predicated of the noun across a copula (with nouns like ‘claim’, ‘news’, ‘idea’, etc.) and those that cannot (with transitive nouns like ‘proof’ and with ‘unaccusative’ nouns like ‘possibility’). While we argue that both types are not genuine complements of the noun, we address some apparent difficulties for an ordinary restrictive relative clause analysis. Using data from English, Bulgarian and Italian we suggest that noun clausal “complements” of the first type are best analyzed as the predicate of a non-restrictive reduced relative clause, ultimately derived from an inverse (specificational) copular structure where the “complement” clause that expresses the content of the N occupies the subject position and the Noun the predicate position ([[CP That he is a spy] Pred° [DP the claim]]). Concerning noun clausal “complements” of the second type we tentatively assume that they involve the relativization of a propositional variable, as suggested by a number of authors.

Keywords
Noun complements. Reduced relative clauses. Inverse predication. Unaccusative nouns.

Creative Commons License This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International License 

Table of contents
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Campo DC Valore

dc.contributor.author

Cinque Guglielmo

dc.contributor.author

Krapova Iliana

dc.title

On Noun Clausal ‘Complements’ and their Non-unitary Nature

dc.type

Journal Article

dc.language.iso

it

dc.identifier.uri

http://doi.org/10.14277/2499-1562/AnnOc-50-16-4

dc.description.abstract

In this article, we discuss the status of clausal ‘complements’ of Ns, which have recently been analysed by various authors as restrictive relative clauses. First we argue that they do not constitute a unitary phenomenon. Two types should be distinguished: clausal “complements” that can be predicated of the noun across a copula (with nouns like ‘claim’, ‘news’, ‘idea’, etc.) and those that cannot (with transitive nouns like ‘proof’ and with ‘unaccusative’ nouns like ‘possibility’). While we argue that both types are not genuine complements of the noun, we address some apparent difficulties for an ordinary restrictive relative clause analysis. Using data from English, Bulgarian and Italian we suggest that noun clausal “complements” of the first type are best analyzed as the predicate of a non-restrictive reduced relative clause, ultimately derived from an inverse (specificational) copular structure where the “complement” clause that expresses the content of the N occupies the subject position and the Noun the predicate position ([[CP That he is a spy] Pred° [DP the claim]]). Concerning noun clausal “complements” of the second type we tentatively assume that they involve the relativization of a propositional variable, as suggested by a number of authors.

dc.relation.ispartof

Annali di Ca’ Foscari. Serie occidentale

dc.relation.ispartof

Vol. 50 | Num. 1 | Settembre 2016

dc.publisher

Edizioni Ca’ Foscari - Digital Publishing

dc.date.issued

None

dc.dateAccepted

2016-04-12

dc.dateSubmitted

2016-07-11

dc.identifier.issn

2499-2232

dc.identifier.eissn

2499-1562

dc.rights

Creative Commons 4.0 Attribution alone

dc.rights.uri

http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/4.0/

dc.subject

Noun complements

dc.subject

Reduced relative clauses

dc.subject

Inverse predication

dc.subject

Unaccusative nouns

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50 | 2016

Table of contents