Markus Steinbach

Notes on Parenthetical Constructions

Arbeitspapiere des SFB 340, Bericht Nr. 144 (1999), 34pp.
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Predicates in verb-first integrated parentheticals (VIPs) have an implicit propositional argument that is linked to the proposition denoted by the host clause. This paper investigates the interpretation of the implicit argument. Two alternatives are discussed: the propositional argument is either (i) linked to a pronominal expression that is dropped in sentence-initial position (canonical licensing) or (ii) not linked to a syntactic element but coreferent with the proposition dentoted by the host clause (non-canonical licensing). We argue that both (i) and (ii) are necessary to account for all different kinds of VIPs discussed in this paper. Nevertheless, non-canonical licensing (i.e. option (ii)) turns out to be more essential to the interpretation of the implicit propositional argument in VIPs. Topic-drop, on the other hand, is only relevant for the analysis of parenthetical constructions that are questions.

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