Linguistics in Göttingen - A platform for empirical and theoretical linguistics

Mihaela Moreno (CLUNL Lisbon)

The verbal complex in Romance: Is there any defective intervention in the syntax?

The status of defective intervention as a real syntactic phenomenon has been debated in the recent literature by Bruening (2014). Bruening (2014) has recently challenged the status of defective intervention as a real syntactic phenomenon, arguing that it is actually the effect of linear order both in tough-movement and raising. Our goal is to show that Bruening's (2014) potential counterexamples to the existence of syntactic defective intervention in raising are only apparent. We provide an explanation for his data based on adverbial placement and the hierarchical architecture of clauses with experiencers. This presentation shows that a more fine-grained analysis of the type of adverbials and of the embedded domains is required to assume that defective intervention is an epiphenomenon of linear word order. First, we will show that the types of adverbials play a crucial role in the acceptability of these sentences due to their placement restrictions. Specifically, high adverbials are adjuncts of the raising verb, while the phrasal adverbials provided in the examples by Bruening are embedded inside the complement VP shell. In contrast to adverbials, experiencers are structurally completely different: they are projected above the raising verb in the Appl phrase.