The University of Massachusetts Amherst
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Susi Wurmbrand, Harvard & Universität Wien

Title:  Implicational complementation hierarchies: Containment and the freedom of syntax

Abstract:  Typological and cross-linguistic observations show that complementation configurations can be ranked according to their semantic properties, forming an implicational complementation hierarchy along which syntactic or morphological distinctions operate. I suggest a model where the cross-linguistically stable (possibly universal) properties follow from a rigid syntax−semantic mapping of categories defined via containment, whereas variable properties indicate the points where syntax may act autonomously.  I will discuss several phenomena where implicational relations have been observed (among them finiteness, transparency, restructuring, the left periphery) and show that they can be related to truncation options (whether implemented via exfoliation, structure removal or non-projection) regulated by containment.