4.0498 Conference: Scrambling (1/98)

Elaine Brennan & Allen Renear (EDITORS@BROWNVM.BITNET)
Tue, 18 Sep 90 19:08:39 EDT

Humanist Discussion Group, Vol. 4, No. 0498. Tuesday, 18 Sep 1990.

Date: Fri, 14 Sep 90 17:37 N
From: Henk van Riemsdijk <RIEMSDYK@KUB.NL>
Subject: scrambling


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***** SCRAMBLING *****
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Place: Tilburg University / Bestuursacademie Noord-Brabant Meerkoldreef
6, Tilburg (next to RR station Tilburg- West, 10 minutes walk
from university, bus or train connection from Central Station
in Tilburg).

Time: October 18 through 20 1990 (Thursday through Saturday)

Keynote speakers: Hans den Besten
Ken Hale
Katalin Kiss

Topic: Scrambling:

Scrambling refers to a set of phenomena in natural languages which have
to do with (relatively) free word order. While the delimitation of this
set is not entirely obvious, we take permutations of XPs (complements
and adjuncts) in the inner areas of the sentence to be the core case of
scrambling. This means that wh-movement and other movements to the
(roughly) first position, extrapositions (movements to the last
position) and head movements such as Verb Second are not included.
Fringe cases are clitic movement, at least of the Germanic type, and
embedded topicalization as found, for example, in English. This
delimitation is undoubtedly arbitrary in many ways and should itself be
considered part of the problem: current theorizing simply does not tell
us much about the status of such phenomena. In fact, if we approach the
question from a theoretical perspective, we notice that there is a
considerable discrepancy between current conceptions of Move Alpha and
scrambling phenomena.

One of the central problems a theory of the Barriers type confronts, for
example, is the status of adjunction to such nodes as the VP. In
languages like German, this is often assumed to be the cause of the
relative freedom of word order in the Mittelfeld. For languages like
English, on the other hand, the problem is that adjunction to VP may
have to be assumed for theoretical reasons but can only be an
intermediate stage in a derivation (it cannot survive at s-structure).
More generally speaking, if adjunction of XPs to a variety of nodes is
allowed, why is so little visible use made of this possibility in many
languages. Are there any alternatives that get by with little or no
adjunction? Of course, Heavy-NP-Shift may be an instance of adjunction
to VP, but that is rightward adjunction, as opposed to the adjunction
assumed for long movement. So one empirical generalization might be
that overt adjunction to VP may never cross the verb, i.e. it must leave
the adjoined XP on the same side of the head. It appears, then, that,
while vague in certain respects, the problems related to scrambling
phenomena are connected with several important and difficult issues,
both empirical and theoretical.

VVV Stadhuisplein 128, 5038TC Tilburg, NL
phone: + 31 13 351135 (ask for information desk)
fax: + 31 13 353795

Questions: If you have any questions, you can contact us
at the following addresses:

Norbert Corver
phone: + 31 13 662971/662668

Henk van Riemsdijk
phone: + 31 13 662642/662668

snailmail: Tilburg University
Dept. of Language and Lit.
P.O.Box 90153
fax: + 31 13 663110

T H E P R O G R A M:

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