Non-local Attachment of Clauses: Evidence from ASL
Philippe Schlenker
February 2019

We argue that some parenthetical-like clauses in ASL can take both intermediate and maximally wide scope outside of if-clauses and attitude verbs. Specifically, we investigate embedded coordinations, of the form … SAY [IF Clause-1 Clause-2 PLUS Clause-3, …], and argue that Clause-2 may in some cases be interpreted with wide and intermediate scope (above SAY, or between SAY and IF). The key to our paradigm is that we mark the scope of IF and SAY with non-manual markers (Brow Raise and/or Role Shift); by exempting Clause-2 of these non-manuals, we force it to scope out of the relevant operator, including when it might be expected to create a syntactic island. Wide scope replicates the behavior of parentheticals and appositives in other languages. Intermediate scope is particularly interesting because it mirrors with full clauses the behavior predicted by some theories for some English appositives (Schlenker 2010, to appear); the ASL data might thus lend support to the existence of a mechanism of high attachment in situ (McCawley 1998); alternatives in terms of island-escaping covert movement or in situ indexing face significant challenges.
Format: [ pdf ]
Reference: lingbuzz/004443
(please use that when you cite this article)
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keywords: non-manuals, appositives, parentheticals, supplements, scope, bidimensionalism, semantics, syntax
previous versions: v1 [February 2019]
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