On the interaction of adjective modifiers and relative clauses

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Abstract

This paper addresses data concerning the interpretation of adjectives such as first, last and only when they modify the head of a relative clause, as discussed by Bhatt (2002). The “low” readings for these modifiers are shown to be much more restricted in their distribution than is predicted by the reconstruction analysis; if these interpretations are derived by allowing the head NP+modifier to be interpreted in the position of the “gap” in the relative clause this results in considerable overgeneration. A generalization is proposed for the distribution of the available readings, and it is argued that the phenomenon of “Neg-Raising” is implicated in their interpretation.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)359-382
JournalNatural Language Semantics
Volume13
Issue number4
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 1 Dec 2005

Keywords

  • syntax
  • relative clauses
  • reconstruction
  • semantics

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