Barbara Stiebels (Leipzig)

The role of polysemy in clausal embedding

Apart from the obvious reading-specific clausal complementat types of polysemous clause-embedding predicates (CEPs) and the well-known reading-specific behaviour of promise and threaten as raising or control predicates, other aspects of clausal embedding are also sensitive to the reading of polysemous CEPs: NEG-raising, control, and restructuring. In the first part of my talk I will discuss the role of polysemy for these structures. In the second part I will deal with systematically induced additional readings of CEPs by certain clausal complements (coercion of sound emission verbs, coerced non-factive readings by V2 complements, induced belief/knowledge reports by finite clausal complements, e.g. persuade + infinitival complement vs. persuade + that-complement). Both topics point to the "chicken-and-egg" problem of whether the reading of a CEP selects/licenses certain clausal complement properties or whether the clausal complement properties enforce/induce a certain reading of a CEP. The latter option is realistic with vague CEPs and in cases of fully transparent/compositional effects, the former if the reading is associated with a specific argument realization pattern of the respective CEP.