LIST OF PAPERS WITH BRIEF ABSTRACTS

Amount quantification, referentiality, and long wh- movement

AUTHOR: Anthony Kroch
DATE: November 1989
PUBLICATION: manuscript, University of Pennsylvania
EMAIL ADDRESS: kroch@change.ling.upenn.edu
PDF FILE NAME: amount-quant.pdf

ABSTRACT:

Rizzi (1989), developing a proposal first made in Rizzi (1988) and incorporating an important modification from Cinque (1989), argues that whether wh- expressions can undergo so-called ``long'' movement depends on whether they are referential or function only as operators. This paper is a development and critique of the of Rizzi's proposal. More specifically, it investigates the nature of the referentiality requirement and concludes, contra Rizzi, that this requirement is semantic/pragmatic. It demonstrates that long-movement of "non-referential" expressions leads to ill-formedness because the presuppositions of the resulting sentences are highly implausible. When contexts are constructed in which the plausibility of these presuppositions is increased, the sentences become acceptable, showing that the referentiality requirement is not syntactic.

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Asymmetries in long-distance extraction in a Tree Adjoining Grammar

AUTHOR: Anthony Kroch
DATE: June 1989
PUBLICATION: Alternative Conceptions of Phrase Structure, Baltin and Kroch, eds. University of Chicago.
EMAIL ADDRESS: kroch@change.ling.upenn.edu
PDF FILE NAME: asymmetries.pdf

ABSTRACT:

In recent papers (Kroch and Joshi 1985, Kroch 1987) we claimed that, if one adopts the Tree Adjoining Grammar (TAG) formalism of Joshi, Levi, and Takahashi (1975) as the formal language of syntax, the ungrammaticality of extractions from wh- islands can be made to follow in a straightforward way from the nonexistence of multiple wh- fronting in simple questions. The analysis we gave was oversimplified, however, because it wrongly predicted all wh- island extractions to be ungrammatical, and we know that certain of them are well-formed, not only in languages like Swedish or Italian, but also in English (Chomsky 1986, Grimshaw 1986). Nevertheless, the analysis we gave had the attraction of providing a simple structural explanation for the wh- island effect, and it generalized directly to such other manifestations of subjacency as the Complex Noun Phrase Constraint (CNPC). In this paper we show that the analysis presented in our earlier papers can be extended in a reasonable way to several cases that were unaccounted for in the original discussion.

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Bare infinitives and external arguments

AUTHOR: Anthony Kroch, Beatrice Santorini and Caroline Heycock
DATE: 1988
PUBLICATION: Proceedings of NELS 18, GLSA, UMass Amherst.
EMAIL ADDRESS: kroch@change.ling.upenn.edu
PDF FILE NAME: bare-inf.pdf

ABSTRACT:

This paper gives an analysis of the ungrammaticality of passivized perception verbs in English, French and German and accounts for the asymmetry between sentences like (1) and (2):

(1) *John was seen run.
(2)   John was seen to run.

The account hinges on the claim that theta role assignment to the subjects of bare infinitives is direct while theta role assignment to the subjects of to infinitives is mediated by AGR. In the southern Romance languages, where superficially bare infinitives give evidence of co-occuring with AGR, sentences corresponding to (1) are grammatical and there are no counterparts to (2).

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Comments on "Syntax Shindig" papers

AUTHOR: Anthony Kroch
DATE: 1997
PUBLICATION: Transactions of the Philological Society, 95:1, 133-147.
EMAIL ADDRESS: kroch@change.ling.upenn.edu
PDF FILE NAME: syntax-shindig-comments.pdf

ABSTRACT:

This paper is a set of comments on historical syntax papers from a workshop in Manchester in 1997.

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The derived constituent structure of the West Germanic verb-raising construction

AUTHOR: Anthony Kroch and Beatrice Santorini
DATE: 1991
PUBLICATION: Principles and Parameters in Comparative Grammar, Freidin, ed. MIT Press.
EMAIL ADDRESS: kroch@change.ling.upenn.edu
PDF FILE NAME: kroch-and-santorini-1991.pdf

ABSTRACT:

This paper gives a detailed description and analysis of the West Germanic verb raising construction, which is found in subordinate clauses in most continental West Germanic languages. The characteristic property of this construction, illustrated in the Dutch example in (1) below, is that the verbs at the end of the clause occur in cross-serial order rather than in the nested order found in Standard German.

(1) dat Jan Piet Marie zag laten zwemmen
that Jan Piet Marie saw make swim
"that Jan saw Piet make Marie swim"

The paper argues against the common approach, which treats the verb sequence as a morphologically derived cluster and claims instead that the sequence is syntactically derived. It then goes on to give an analysis of the construction in the Tree Adjoining Grammar formalism and shows how the extensive attested cross-dialectal variation in the order of the verbs can be captured.

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Dialect and Style in the Speech of Upper Class Philadelphia

AUTHOR: Anthony Kroch
DATE: December 1994
PUBLICATION: 1996 - CILT 127: Festscrift for William Labov, Guy and Feagin, eds. John Benjamins.
EMAIL ADDRESS: kroch@change.ling.upenn.edu
POSTSCRIPT FILE NAME: ucdialect.ps

ABSTRACT:

This paper reports a study of the speech of a local prestige community, the upper class of metropolitan Philadelphia, carried out in 1977 and 1978 under an NIMH postdoctoral fellowship. The informants were primarily older speakers of the upper class community, who at that date retained a characteristic speech style distinct from that of other Philadelphians. The work was conducted to complement an extensive investigation of the Philadelphia speech community, the Project on Linguistic Change and Variation (LCV), that William Labov and his collaborators were then engaged in. The investigation was designed to answer two questions about the relationship between upper class speech in Philadelphia and that of the city at large: First, was there a social class boundary to the Philadelphia dialect, at least as defined by vowel pronunciation; and second, what made the Philadelphia upper class voice recognizable as such to the rest of the speech community? With regard to the first question, the study found that the vowel pronunciations of upper class speakers, while phonetically much less extreme in their local coloring than the pronunciations of working class speakers, preserved the same word class distinctions. Fundamentally, therefore, the upper and the working class speak a single dialect. With regard to the second, it found the prosody of upper class speech to be distinctive and to allow a listener easily to distinguish its speakers from even their most similar counterparts in the upper middle class. The present paper discusses these findings and their relation to the social matrix within which upper class speech was formed.

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Function and Grammar in the History of English Periphrastic do

AUTHOR: Anthony Kroch
DATE: 1986
PUBLICATION: 1989 - CILT 127: Festscrift for William Labov, Guy and Feagin, eds. John Benjamins.
EMAIL ADDRESS: kroch@change.ling.upenn.edu
PDF FILE NAME: function-grammar-do.pdf

ABSTRACT:

The introduction of periphrastic do into English questions and negative sentences is sufficiently well documented that quantitative research on the phenomenon is feasible and it becomes possible to observe the time course of the change in considerable detail. This study suggests that a syntactic change can progress while the grammar remains fixed -- a change that shows up in differences in the relative frequencies of competing forms, all of which are allowed by the grammar. Only when one form displaces the others entirely will there be a reorganization of the grammar. When historical change is understood in this way, it is possible to locate the points at which grammatical reorganization takes place.

Note: The analysis in this paper is superseded by the one in "Reflexes of Grammar in Patterns of Language Change," published in Language Variation and Change and available on this site. The paper is included primarily as an early interpretation of the Constant Rate Effect.
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Generalized Transformations and the Theory of Grammar

AUTHOR: Robert Frank and Anthony Kroch
DATE: 1995
PUBLICATION: Studia Linguistica vol. 49:103-151
EMAIL ADDRESS: rfrank@udel.edu, kroch@change.ling.upenn.edu
POSTSCRIPT FILE NAME: gentrans.ps

ABSTRACT:

In this paper, we continue our exploration, now of some years duration, of a particular ``compositional theory of phrase structure,'' one related to Chomsky's recent work (1992), as he himself notes, but making use of different operations from those he employs (cf. Kroch and Joshi 1985, 1986; Kroch and Joshi86, Kroch and Santorini 1991, Frank 1992, inter alia). In particular, we exploit the combinatorial operations of Tree Adjoining Grammar (TAG), namely ``adjoining'' and ``substitution.'' This system avoids the unnecessary distinction between Chomsky's two modes of phrase structure composition, ``GT'' and ``adjunction,'' as to which constraints apply to which mode of phrase structure composition. In fact, the use of the TAG operations enables us to eliminate completely the requirement that certain applications of generalized transformations ``extend their target.'' Instead, the empirical consequences of this stipulation follow from the nature of the TAG adjoining operation. We will see how the operation of adjoining provides a new perspective on the interaction of phrase structure composition and movement transformations: dependencies which have traditionally been taken to involve iterated applications of move-alpha over unbounded domains will be shown to necessitate only local transformational movement, coupled with the machinery of phrase structure composition. Additionally, our proposal permits us to resolve the tension between two conceptions of economy of derivation, shortest links or fewest operations, which arises in cases of successive cyclic movement. We do this by giving content to the operation Form-Chain as a primitive operation which maps elementary phrase structure objects onto elementary objects. Next we show that the TAG interpretation of generalized transformations allows us to express dependencies created both by successive cyclic and by long movement. Finally, we consider the question of interpretation within our derivational model and see how it provides an understanding of certain connectivity effects and yields an elegant account of the scope possibilities that arise out of wh-movement.

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Grammatical Ideology and its Effect on Speech

AUTHOR: Anthony Kroch and Cathy Small
DATE: 1978
PUBLICATION: 1978 - Linguistic Variation: Models and Methods, D. Sankoff, ed., Academic Press
EMAIL ADDRESS: kroch@change.ling.upenn.edu
PDF FILE NAME: kroch-small.pdf

ABSTRACT:

This paper investigates the frequency behavior in spontaneous connected speech of two optional syntactic processes, particle movement and complementizer deletion. It shows them to be sensitive both to internal linguistic factors and to perceived norms of the standard language. It further compares the pattern found in usage with answers to a brief prescriptive grammatical questionnaire, where it finds parallelism. There is also a result of interest to the general theory of quantitative variation in an interaction found between an internal semantic effect and the external sociolinguistic one.

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Inversion and Equation in Copular Sentences

AUTHOR: Caroline Heycock and Anthony Kroch
DATE: November 1997
PUBLICATION: ZAS Papers in Linguistics vol. 10:71-87, Zentrum fuer Allgemeine Sprachwissenschaft, Berlin.
EMAIL ADDRESS: heycock@ling.ed.ac.uk, kroch@change.ling.upenn.edu
POSTSCRIPT FILE NAME: berlin.ps

ABSTRACT:

In this talk we briefly review analyses of ``specificational'' sentences in terms of inverted predications. We then present evidence against this view, proposing instead that specificational sentences, including pseudoclefts, are a particular subcase of equative sentences. Having established the existence of equatives, we address the question of whether inverted copular sentences also exist. We argue that they do, and in fact that the canonical/inverted distinction is orthogonal to the distinction between equation and predication. Evidence for inverted predicative sentences can be found in English (among other languages); evidence for inverted equatives can be found in Italian. The existence of this type of sentence in Italian is the reason for the apparently inverted pattern of agreement that occurs in some equatives in this language, in contrast to English.

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Lexical and Inferred Meanings for Some Time Adverbs

AUTHOR: Anthony Kroch
DATE: December 1972
PUBLICATION: Quarterly Progress Reports of the Research Laboratory of Electronics, no. 104, pp. 260-267.
EMAIL ADDRESS: kroch@change.ling.upenn.edu
FILE NAME: qpr-104.pdf

ABSTRACT:

This note describes the meanings of the adverb pairs before / until and during / throughout. The adverbs are given lexical semantics in which the first and second members of each pair differ by containing an existential and a universal quantifier respectively. The note looks at cases where the members of the pairs overlap in meaning and presents a pragmatic rule of interpretation to account for the overlap. Another pragmatic principle is presented to cover other defeasible inferences from the use of time adverbs and arguments are presented that these principles cannot simply follow from the Gricean Maxims. Instead, they seem to be special cases of Geis and Zwicky's "invited inferences."

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The Licensing of CP-recursion and its Relevance to the Germanic Verb-Second Phenomenon

AUTHOR: Sabine Iatridou and Anthony Kroch
DATE: December 1992
PUBLICATION: Working Papers in Scandinavian Syntax, vol. 50, pp. 1-24.
EMAIL ADDRESS: sabine@linc.cis.upenn.edu, kroch@change.ling.upenn.edu
POSTSCRIPT FILE NAME: cp-recurse-1292.ps

ABSTRACT:

Since the work of den Besten (1977, 1983), the standard generative analysis of the verb-second phenomenon has involved movement of the tensed verb to C0, immediately following a topic that has been fronted to [SPEC, CP], as in (1):

(1) [CP topic-i [C' verb-j [IP ...t-i...t-j]]]

One of the central predictions of this analysis is that v/2 should be limited to clauses in which the C0 position is empty at d-structure, as in matrix sentences and in a limited range of subordinate clauses. In German, Dutch and the mainland Scandinavian languages, this prediction is largely borne out, confirming the analysis; but in other Germanic languages the prediction fails. Thus, in Yiddish and Icelandic verb-second word order is acceptable in a wide range of subordinate clauses, as argued by Rögnvaldsson and Thráinsson (1990) and others. Two approaches to this fact have been pursued in recent literature. Under one (Diesing 1990, Santorini 1989, Thráinsson 1985), the behavior of Yiddish and Icelandic has been treated as evidence that the landing site of the fronted verb in these languages is INFL rather than C, with the topic correspondingly moving to [SPEC, IP], as in (2):

(2) verb [CP [C' that [IP topic [I ' verb [VP ...t...t ]]]]]

Under the other (de Haan and Weerman 1985, Vikner 1991b), these sentences are taken as instances of CP-recursion, with the embedded clause verb moving to the lower C while the relevant complementizer occupies the upper one, as in (3):

(3) verb [CP [C' that [CP topic [C' verb [IP ...t...t ]]]]]

The difference between these analyses is subtle, given the abstract character of functional projections and the difficulty of distinguishing them from one another. However, we have found that a careful analysis of CP-recursion will allow us to distinguish the two approaches. In other work (Iatridou 1991b), we have argued that CP-recursion is limited in its distribution to environments where the recursive CP is governed by a selecting verb and further that only semantically vacuous CPs recurse. These results, which hold for modern English, suggest an obvious test of the competing hypotheses regarding Germanic v/2: If the occurrence of embedded v/2 is limited to those cases where our diagnostics tell us CP-recursion should be possible, then the de Haan and Weerman/Vikner analysis receives support. If, on the other hand, we find that embedded v/2 also occurs outside these environments, then we have evidence against the CP-recursion analysis.

In this paper we show that our CP-recursion diagnostics distinguish two classes of languages: those where embedded v/2 is unrestricted and those where it is limited to contexts in which the embedded clause is, among other things, governed by a lexical verb. We will further demonstrate that embedded v/2 in the latter languages occurs only in contexts where CP-recursion is expected on independent grounds, while, in the former languages, v/2 occurs freely outside the range of environments that license CP-recursion. From this result, we will conclude that, although embedded v/2 is a reflex of CP-recursion in some languages, in other languages it is not. Having made this point, we will go on to use the facts of CP-recursion in Germanic, combined with our previously analyzed data from English, to propose a detailed analysis of the licensing conditions on CP-recursion that can explain why this configuration should exist at all.

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The Linguistic Relevance of Tree Adjoining Grammar

AUTHOR: Anthony Kroch and Aravind Joshi
DATE: June 1985
PUBLICATION: CIS Technical Report MS-CIS-85-16
EMAIL ADDRESS: joshi@linc.cis.upenn.edu, kroch@change.ling.upenn.edu
PDF FILE NAME: relevance3.pdf

ABSTRACT:

In this paper we apply a new notation for the writing of natural language grammars to some classical problems in the description of English. The formalism is the Tree Adjoining Grammar (TAG) of Joshi, Levy and Takahashi 1975, which was studied initially only for its mathematical properties but which now turns out to be an interesting candidate for the proper notation of meta-grammar; that is for the universal grammar of contemporary linguistics. Interest in the application of the TAG formalism to the writing of natural language grammars arises out of recent work on the possibility of writing grammars for natural languages in a metatheory of restricted generative capacity (for example, Gazdar 1982 and Gazdar et al. 1985). There have been also several recent attempts to examine the linguistic metatheory of restricted grammatical formalisms, in particular, context-free grammars. The inadequacies of context-free grammars have been discussed both from the point of view of strong generative capacity (Bresnan et al. 1982) and weak generative capacity (Shieber 1984, Postal and Langendoen 1984, Higginbotham 1984, the empirical claims of the last two having been disputed by Pullum (Pullum 1984)). At this point the TAG formalism becomes interesting because while it is more powerful than context-free grammar, it is only "mildly" so. This extra power of TAG is a direct corollary of the way TAG factors recursion and dependencies, and it can provide reasonable structural descriptions for constructions like Dutch verb raising where context-free grammar apparently fails. These properties of TAG and some of its mathematical properties were discussed by Joshi 1983. It is our hope that the presentation will support the claim, currently controversial, that the exploration of restrictive mathematical formalisms as metalanguages for natural language grammars can produce results of value in empirical linguistics.

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The Middle English Verb-Second Constraint: A Case Study in Language Contact and Language Change

AUTHOR: Anthony Kroch, Ann Taylor and Donald Ringe
DATE: July 1995
PUBLICATION: In Textual Parameters in Older Language, Susan Herring et al., eds. John Benjamins
EMAIL ADDRESS: kroch@change.ling.upenn.edu, ataylor@babel.ling.upenn.edu
PDF FILE NAME: mev2-contact.pdf

ABSTRACT:

[NOTE: THIS PAPER EMPHASIZES THE HISTORICAL AND SOCIOLINGUISTIC ASPECTS OF A CASE OF LANGUAGE VARIATION/CHANGE WHOSE SYNTACTIC CHARACTER IS MORE CLOSELY ANALYZED IN omev2.pdf (SEE BELOW). THE PAPERS SHOULD BE CONSIDERED TOGETHER.]

As has long been known, the northern and southern dialects of Middle English differed considerably in their phonology, morphology and lexicon. Many of these differences have been traced to the linguistic influence in the North of the eighth and ninth century Viking invaders who first plundered, then conquered and settled in, large territories in Northumbria, Lincolnshire and East Anglia. In this paper, we will add to the list of known differences between the dialects a hitherto apparently unnoticed syntactic one and will give evidence that it too is an effect of Norse influence. In particular, we will show that the northern and southern dialects of Middle English differed in the way that they implemented the verb-second (V2) constraint common to the Germanic languages and then argue that this difference was a syntactic consequence of contact-induced simplification in the verbal agreement paradigm of the northern dialect.

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Modeling Language Change and Language Acquisiiton

AUTHOR: Anthony Kroch
DATE: July 2005
PUBLICATION: Unpublished manuscript (based on Kroch's 2005 LSA Institute Forum Lecture)
EMAIL ADDRESS: kroch@change.ling.upenn.edu
PDF FILE NAME: lsa-forum.pdf

ABSTRACT:

It is sometimes proposed that syntactic changes arise because the frequencies of use of syntactic patterns drift over time. Under some circumstances, the crucial examples needed by learners to replicate an extant grammatical parameter become too rare to be detected reliably. When this happens, parametric change occurs. Thus, VO word order will arise in an OV language as a consequence of a gradually increasing frequency of rightward extraposition of arguments and adjuncts when the frequency of extraposition becomes high enough. In this paper we provide quantitative evidence against such a scenario and propose instead that change may arise out of imperfect language learning in a historic period when the frequency of crucial examples is quite high. It is well known that imperfect learning by adults occurs commonly in cases of language contact and when the results of such imperfect learning are passed on to subsequent generations, the phenomenon is called a "substratum effect." We suggest that imperfect learning by children of their native language can also be a source of change and we survey some evidence for the existence of imperfect learning by children. Necessarily, we also discuss the difficulty posed for our hypothesis by the great facility and accuracy with which children generally learn the grammatical properties of their native language.

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Morphosyntactic Variation

AUTHOR: Anthony Kroch
DATE: June 1994
PUBLICATION: Proceedings of the 30th annual meeting of the Chicago Linguistics Society, vol 2, pp. 180-201.
EMAIL ADDRESS: kroch@change.ling.upenn.edu
POSTSCRIPT FILE NAME: morphosyntax.ps

ABSTRACT:

In a series of recent investigations of language change, a group of researchers at the University of Pennsylvania and elsewhere has described the grammatical character and time course of a number of gradual syntactic changes in various European languages. In all of these cases, the languages undergoing change exhibit variation in areas of grammar where we do not find optionality in stable systems. For example, Late Middle English, in the course of losing the verb-second constraint, manifests a variation between verb-second and simple SVO word order that is not found elsewhere among V2 languages. Similarly, Old English and Yiddish vary between INFL-final and INFL-medial phrase structure in the course of changing from the former option to the latter categorically; and Ancient Greek, in the centuries between the Homeric period and the New Testament, evolves from an SOV language to an SVO one, with extensive variation between the two orders during the long transition period. Indeed, in no case that we have investigated does the variation associated with syntactic change correspond to a diachronically stable alternation in another language. The present paper attempts to explain this result, extending an argument that we and others have made in the past (see especially the work of Santorini) to the effect that syntactic change proceeds via competition between grammatically incompatible options which substitute for one another in usage. Going beyond previous work, it asks why, from a theoretical perspective, change should generally proceed as it does. The answer given to this question follows the line of certain recent work in syntactic theory where it has been claimed that syntactic variation among languages is due to cross-linguistic differences in the morphosyntactic properties of functional heads. Syntactic heads, therefore, are taken to behave like morphological formatives in being subject to the well-known "Blocking Effect", which excludes doublets. Under our morphological conception of syntactic properties, the blocking effect also excludes variability in the feature content of syntactic heads, as the resultant variant heads would have the status of doublets. This exclusion, however, does not mean, either for morphology or for syntax, that languages never exhibit doublets. Rather it means that doublets are always reflections of unstable competition between mutually exclusive grammatical options.

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Nominal Structures and Structural Recursion

AUTHOR: Robert Frank and Anthony Kroch
DATE: November 1994
PUBLICATION: Computational Intelligence, vol. 10:453-470
EMAIL ADDRESS: rfrank@udel.edu, kroch@change.ling.upenn.edu
POSTSCRIPT FILE NAME: gerunds.ps

ABSTRACT:

It is possible with a Tree Adjoining Grammar to reproduce many of the syntactic analyses originally formulated by linguists in transformational terms. To the extent that these analyses are well-motivated empirically, this fact makes TAG interesting for use in developing computational learning and processing models, since the use of other non-transformational formalisms sometimes forces choices of linguistic description different from those ordinarily made by descriptive syntacticians. Thus, using TAG, one can take advantage in the construction of parsers and learners of the computational tractability of a mathematically restrictive formalism without having to reinvent empirical syntax in order to do so. At the same time, TAG analyses are not identical in every detail to their transformational counterparts; and it is interesting to compare them where they diverge. The differences arise because of a fundamental difference in the way that syntactic recursion is treated in the two frameworks. In TAG, recursive structures are generated by composing elementary syntactic objects, with the result that recursion is factored apart from the representation of local syntactic dependencies. By contrast, in transformational grammar, as in many other frameworks, recursive structure and local dependencies are represented together in a single, full representation of a complex sentence. Because of this difference in the treatment of recursion, it often turns out, when TAG is used to emulate a transformational analysis, that the TAG version has advantages, of both elegance and empirical coverage, over the original. This paper is a demonstration in a new empirical domain, that of nominal constructions, of the advantages of TAG-based syntax. By presenting a linguistically detailed account of these constructions and showing the advantages of using TAG to analyze them, we strengthen the case for the use of mathematically constrained and computationally tractable representational systems in competence-based as well as in computational linguistics.

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On the Role of Resumptive Pronouns in Amnestying Island Constraint Violations

AUTHOR: Anthony Kroch
DATE: April 1981
PUBLICATION: Proceedings of the 17th annual meeting of the Chicago Linguistics Society, vol 2, pp. 125-135.
EMAIL ADDRESS: kroch@change.ling.upenn.edu
PDF FILE NAME: amnestying.pdf

ABSTRACT:

It has been known for some time that relative clauses in spoken Standard English that contain resumptive pronouns will be judged acceptable if and only if the position of the trace of the relativized wh- operator is disallowed by the ECP (Empty Category Principle). This paper presents an argument that the pattern of acceptability of such relative clauses is best accounted for by an interaction between principles of grammar and the operations of the procedure that generates sentences in real time.

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On the Role of Resumptive Pronouns in Amnestying Island Constraint Violations

AUTHORS: Seth Kulick, Anthony Kroch and Beatrice Santorini
DATE: June 2014
PUBLICATION: Proceedings of the 52nd Annual Meeting of the Association for Computational Linguistics, pp. 662-667.
EMAIL ADDRESS: kroch@change.ling.upenn.edu
PDF FILE NAME: acl-ppcmbe-short-final.pdf

ABSTRACT:

This paper presents the first results on parsing the Penn Parsed Corpus of Modern British English (PPCMBE), a million-word historical treebank with an annotation style similar to that of the Penn Treebank (PTB). We describe key features of the PPCMBE annotation style that differ from the PTB, and present some experiments with tree transformations to better compare the results to the PTB. First steps in parser analysis focus on problematic structures created by the parser.

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Pseudocleft Connectivity: Implications for the LF Interface Level

AUTHOR: Caroline Heycock and Anthony Kroch
DATE: Last revised June 1998
PUBLICATION: revised version of a paper given at the Colloque de syntax et semantique, Universite de Paris 7, October 1995
EMAIL ADDRESS: heycock@babel.ling.ed.ac.uk, kroch@change.ling.upenn.edu
POSTSCRIPT FILE NAME: li-final.ps

ABSTRACT:

The central puzzle of specificational pseudocleft sentences (like (1) on its dominant reading) is that despite their complex structure, they apparently pattern like their simple sentence paraphrases (here (2)) with respect to various syntactic conditions that include, but are not limited to, those of the Binding Theory.

(1) What she-i is is proud of herself-i/*her-i/*Mary-i.
(2) She-i is proud of herself-i/*her-i/*Mary-i.

In the terminology of Higgins (1979), pseudoclefts exhibit ``syntactic connectedness'' between the constituents on the two sides of the copula. Since the early days of transformational grammar, there have been repeated attempts to explain the relationship between pseudoclefts and their paraphrases, but none has been entirely successful. It seems clear, however, that if our linguistic theory cannot account for the relationship between the two sentence types in convincing way, the theory is at least incomplete, and probably wrong. Thus, the study of pseudoclefts provides an opportunity for rethinking some of our fundamental assumptions about syntactic representations. In this paper we demonstrate that such study leads to the conclusion that the representations over which we state syntactic constraints are much more abstract than has generally been thought, at least until recently. This conclusion falls in with the proposal of Chomsky (1993, 1995), according to which the only significant linguistic representations are those at the interface with the articulatory/perceptual and conceptual systems. We believe that a solution to the problem of pseudoclefts will indeed center on their representation at the latter interface, and that this solution will enable us to draw conclusions about the nature of the interface itself. As we will demonstrate, however, some of these conclusions are unexpected from the surface-oriented perspective of the approaches to syntax that have dominated the field for the past twenty years.

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A Quantitative Study of the Syntax of Speech and Writing

AUTHOR: Anthony Kroch & Donald Hindle
DATE: 1982
PUBLICATION: Final report on NIE Grant G78-0169
EMAIL ADDRESS: kroch@change.ling.upenn.edu
PDF FILE NAME: nie-report-82.pdf

ABSTRACT:

The aim of this project has been to specify some of the linguistic differences between written and spoken communication. We have hoped, by comparing fluent writing, fluent speech and the writing of unskilled practitioners, to discover the extent to which unskilled writers use grammatical and discourse strategies appropriate to speech but not to writing. To the extent that this is true, we can propose that one source of disfluency in the prose of unskilled writers might be the mistaken extension of discourse and syntactic processes from the speech domain, which the unskilled writer controls as a native speaker of his language, to the written domain, in which he or she is not yet at home. We have chosen to concentrate on one aspect of English grammar and usage, namely the grammar and distribution of noun phrases, since it would be far too large a task to investigate the whole of English syntax and how it varies across modalities.

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Reflexes of grammar in patterns of language change

AUTHOR: Anthony Kroch
DATE: 1989
PUBLICATION: Language Variation and Change 1:199-244
EMAIL ADDRESS: kroch@change.ling.upenn.edu
PDF FILE NAME: reflexes.pdf

ABSTRACT:

In this paper we present evidence from various linguistic changes, most significantly the rise of the periphrastic auxiliary do in early Modern English, that the time course of syntactic change is tightly constrained by the grammar of the changing language. Specifically, we give evidence that when one grammatical option replaces another with which it is in competition across a set of linguistic contexts, the rate of replacement, properly measured, is the same in all of them. This effect we call the ``Constant Rate Hypothesis.'' The contexts generally differ from one another at each period in the degree to which they favor the spreading form, but they do not differ in the rate at which the form spreads. This result is surprising since one might have expected the change to proceed faster in contexts where the advancing form is more common. Indeed, Bailey (1973), in developing his theory of language change, assumes that different rates must characterize different contexts, as have other scholars. We have, however, found quantitative evidence in several cases of syntactic change, which we present in the paper, for the Constant Rate Hypothesis. In addition, our results show that the grammatical analysis which defines the contexts of a change is quite abstract. We find that the set of contexts that change together is not defined by the sharing of a surface property, like the appearance of a particular word or morpheme, but rather by a shared syntactic structure, whose existence can only be the product of an abstract grammatical analysis on the part of speakers. Indeed, in some of the cases we discuss, the competition reflected in the changes under study occurs between entire grammatical subsystems. These competing subsystems have been proposed by syntacticians, on the basis of synchronic analyses, to characterize earlier and later stages of the languages in question, so that the results of our investigation of process turn out to be consistent with independently motivated structural analyses. In our central case, the rise of periphrastic do, the richness of the available database (Ellegård's well-known study) allows us to see in detail the shaping of the process of change by the grammatical systems in competition.

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Remarks on the XV/VX alternation in Early Middle English

AUTHOR: Anthony Kroch and Ann Taylor
DATE: April 1994
EMAIL ADDRESS: kroch@change.ling.upenn.edu, ataylor@babel.ling.upenn.edu
POSTSCRIPT FILE NAME: ov-vo.ps

ABSTRACT:

This paper presents a largely quantitative description of the alternation between XV and VX word order in Early Middle English, based on the parsed corpus of Middle English that we have been constructing for the past three years. With that corpus, which is now approximately 300,000 words in size, we can easily define grammatical contexts and retrieve specified example types for further study and counting. Using the simplest of the data analysis techniques allowed by our corpus, we have discovered that the patterning of the XV/VX alternation in the earliest Middle English prose documents differs substantially from text to text and that the texts divide into two main groups: 1) the Katherine group and Ancrene Riwle texts of the West Midlands and 2) the ``Book of Vices and Virtues'' and other texts of the Southeast Midlands and Kent. We will argue, on the one hand, that both groups exhibit grammar competition between a base generated verb-final and verb-medial VP, but, on the other, that grammars of the texts in these two groups also differ in a more complex way. Specifically, we will try to show that in the Katherine group texts XV word order is predominantly due, not to base generation but to the leftward movement of constituents, while in the Vices texts VX word order is similarly not due to base generation but predominantly to rightward extraposition.

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The rise of 'do'-support in English: implications for clause structure

AUTHOR: Chunghye Han and Anthony Kroch
DATE: January 2000
PUBLICATION: To appear in the proceedings of NELS 30
EMAIL ADDRESS: chunghye@linc.cis.upenn.edu, kroch@change.ling.upenn.edu
PDF FILE NAME: nels30.pdf

ABSTRACT:

This paper presents an account of the statistical patterns in the development of 'do' forms in various sentence types in English. Unlike previous works on the rise of 'do'-support, it takes into account the evolution of 'do'-support in imperatives. We show that the development of 'do' forms in negative imperatives cannot be explained with a clause structure that has only one INFL projection and one NegP, as in Roberts (1985) and Kroch (1989b). We therefore propose a more articulated clause structure, which we argue is already necessary to explain the syntax of Middle English infinitivals. We argue that the syntax of negative infinitivals in Middle English can be accounted for if we posit two possible syntactic positions for negation and an intermediate functional projection, which we assume to be an Aspect Phrase (AspP), between the two negation projections. This articulated structure enables us to distinguish two types of verb movement: movement over the lower negation and movement over the higher negation. We show that the patterns in the development of do-support in imperatives as well as in questions and negative declaratives can be explained if the loss of verb movement occurs in two steps in the history of English with the loss of the higher movement preceding the loss of the lower movement.

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Syntactic Change

AUTHOR: Anthony Kroch
DATE: July 1999
PUBLICATION: Mark Baltin and Chris Collins (eds.), Handbook of Syntax, Blackwell.
EMAIL ADDRESS: kroch@change.ling.upenn.edu
PDF FILE NAME: diachronic-syntax-99.pdf

ABSTRACT:

This paper is a review from a generative perspective of recent research in diachronic syntax written for the Blackwell Handbook of Syntax, edited by Mark Baltin and Chris Collins. The review focuses on descriptions and explanations of syntactic change, as opposed to synchronic studies of historical languages. The central issues discussed are those of endogenous versus exogenous causation of change and the diffusion of change. In this context, the relationship between syntactic change and the nature of both first and second language acquisition is treated as being of primary importance.

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Topic, Focus, and Syntactic Representations

AUTHOR: Caroline Heycock and Anthony Kroch
DATE: Spring 2002
PUBLICATION: Proceedings of the West Coast Conference on Formal Linguistics, 2002
EMAIL ADDRESS: heycock@ling.edinburgh.ac.uk, kroch@change.ling.upenn.edu
PDF FILE NAME: wccfl02-proc.pdf

ABSTRACT:

This paper discusses canonical and reverse specificational pseudoclefts, and non-cleft specificational copular sentences, particularly with respect to connectivity effects concerning the licensing of Negative Polarity Items, the Binding Conditions, bound variable readings of pronouns, and de dicto readings. It is argued that specificational sentences are equatives; their asymmetrical properties depend crucially on their information structure. A canonical specificational sentence has a fixed information structure with the postcopular material as focus or rheme and the procopular material as ground or theme. Reverse specificational pseudoclefts are more free in their information structure: the initial phrase may be either focus or, more typically, topic. This difference results in differences in connectivity effects.

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Toward a Theory of Social Dialects

AUTHOR: Anthony Kroch
DATE: 1978
PUBLICATION: Language in Society
EMAIL ADDRESS: kroch@change.ling.upenn.edu
PDF FILE NAME: social-dialect-theory.pdf

ABSTRACT:

The argument of this paper is following two-part hypothesis: First, the public prestige dialect of the elite in a stratified community differs from the dialect(s) of the non-elite strata (working class and other) in at least one phonologically systematic way. It characteristically resists normal processes of phonetic conditioning (both articulatory and perceptual) that the speech of non-elite strata regularly undergo. Second, the cause of stratified phonological differentiation within a speech community is to be sought not in purely linguistic factors but in the ideology of the elite, which is responsible for the resistance of their language to innovation and change.

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Understanding do

AUTHOR: Anthony Kroch, John Myhill and Susan Pintzuk
DATE: 1982
PUBLICATION: Proceedings of the 18th Annual Meeting of the Chicago Linguistics Society
EMAIL ADDRESS: kroch@change.ling.upenn.edu
PDF FILE NAME: understanding.pdf

ABSTRACT:

This early paper argues that the rise of periphrastic do in early modern English is part of the evolution of the language from a verb-second language to one with strict SVO word order. The position taken is different and incompatible with later work in which the rise of do is considered a reflex of the loss of V-to-T movement.

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Verb Movement in Old and Middle English: Dialect Variation and Language Contact

AUTHOR: Anthony Kroch and Ann Taylor
DATE: July 1995
PUBLICATION: 1997 - In Ans van Kemenade and Nigel Vincent (eds.), Parameters of Morphosyntactic Change. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press. Earlier version in Penn Working Papers in Linguistics, volume 1, pp. 45-68.
EMAIL ADDRESS: kroch@change.ling.upenn.edu, ataylor@babel.ling.upenn.edu
PDF FILE NAME: omev2.pdf

ABSTRACT:

[NOTE: THIS PAPER EMPHASIZES THE SYNTACTIC CHARACTER OF A CASE OF LANGUAGE VARIATION/CHANGE WHOSE SOCIOLINGUISTIC AND HISTORICAL ASPECTS ARE MORE CLOSELY ANALYZED IN mev2-contact.pdf (SEE ABOVE). THE PAPERS SHOULD BE CONSIDERED TOGETHER.]

Our goal in this paper is to show that the northern and southern dialects of Middle English differ significantly in their verb-movement syntax. In particular, we will give evidence that these dialects exemplify a recently discovered typological distinction within the Germanic language family in the landing sites of verb movement. Several studies have indicated that the verb-second constraint characteristic of the Germanic languages involves movement to either of two different positions, depending on the language investigated. In the better known languages (German, Dutch, and Mainland Scandinavian), verb-second (V2) word order results from movement of the tensed verb to the COMP (C0) position and concomitant movement of some maximal projection to the specifier of CP. In other Germanic languages (Yiddish and Icelandic), however, V2 word order can reflect movement of the tensed verb to a lower position. In studies using the phrase structure of ``Barriers,'' that position is lNFL (I0). Pintzuk has recently shown that the verb in Old English V2 clauses surfaces in the I0 position; and despite the empirical difficulties pointed out by Kemenade, we will support her conclusion. We will further see that the southern dialect of Middle English preserves the V2 syntax of Old English, despite having become, unlike Old English, overwhelmingly INFL-medial and VO in basic word order. In striking contrast to the southern dialect, however, the northern dialect of Middle English appears to have developed the verb-movement syntax of a standard CP-V2 language and hence to be similar in its syntax to the modern Mainland Scandinavian languages. In this paper, after a brief discussion of the historical context of dialect differentiation between North and South in Old and Middle English, we lay out the complex V2 syntax of Old English. With this background, we proceed to describe the syntax of V2 in the southern and northern dialects of Middle English, respectively, and show that V2 clauses in the two dialects differ in the landing site of the verb. Given the strong and well-known linguistic influence of Scandinavian on northern Middle English, we are immediately led to ask whether the CP-V2 character of northern Middle English could reflect contact with Scandinavian. We give evidence in support of this possibility, and suggest that contact led to the change to a CP-V2 grammar in the North through an induced simplification of the subject-verb agreement pattern of northern English.

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Verb Movement and the Status of Subjects: Implications for the Theory of Licensing

AUTHOR: Caroline Heycock and Anthony Kroch
DATE: Spring 1993
PUBLICATION: The Linguistic Review, vol. 11:257-283
EMAIL ADDRESS: heycock@ling.edinburgh.ac.uk, kroch@change.ling.upenn.edu
POSTSCRIPT FILE NAME: coord.ps

ABSTRACT:

Over the last decade generative grammar has moved away from using phrase structure rules as the basic specifiers of syntactic structure; instead, the theory has come to see phrase structure as the instantiation of a number of licensing relations, chiefly theta-role assignment, case, agreement, and predication. The licensing of phrase structure has, however, been conceived in a static way: although the elements being licensed may move in the course of a derivation in order to reach the positions in which licensing takes place, the positions themselves are fixed for each relation. In this paper we explore the consequences of abandoning this static view, and taking instead a dynamic approach in which the licensing positions themselves may change in the course of a derivation.

In essence, we argue that a licensing relation holding between two elements X and Y is satisfied whenever X and Y are in the relevant configuration (e.g. head-complement, head-specifier); there is no motivation for restricting the satisfaction of the relation to the underlying positions of X and/or Y. Instead, we will show that something close to the converse is true: given economy assumptions along the lines of Chomsky 1991, Chomsky 1992, a licensing relation will necessarily be satisfied by the highest position in a chain at which the relevant licensing configuration occurs. Consequently, a given trace can appear only if at least one of the licensing relations in which it participates is not also satisfied by some position higher in its chain.

We show that this new view of how structure is licensed straightforwardly accounts for a wide range of otherwise problematic data. We focus initially on a well-known problem concerning coordination in the verb-second Germanic languages, that of so-called "SLF" or "subject gap" coordination, and then turn to other facts in these languages and in English. These include the properties of subject questions in Engish, the distribution of weak pronouns in the modern Germanic languges and in Old English, the non-ambiguity of suject-initial matrix clauses, and constraints on the topic position in Yiddish.

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Verb-Object Order in Early Middle English

AUTHOR: Anthony Kroch and Ann Taylor
DATE: January 2000
PUBLICATION: To appear in the proceedings of DIGS 5, York
EMAIL ADDRESS: kroch@change.ling.upenn.edu, ataylor@babel.ling.upenn.edu
POSTSCRIPT FILE NAME: digs99.ps

ABSTRACT:

This paper presents a grammatical and quantitative description of verb-object word order in Early Middle English. It is a large-scale revision and amplification of Kroch and Taylor's 1994 paper on the same topic. This version is based on the recently completed second edition of the Penn-Helsinki Parsed Corpus of Middle English (PPCME2). In the paper we show that the texts of Early Middle English exhibit the following three base word orders: INFL-final with an OV verb phrase, INFL-medial with an OV verb phrase, and the modern order -- INFL-medial with a VO verb phrase. In addition, we give evidence for the leftward scrambling of complement noun phrases and we show that although there are quantitative differences between the texts of the two dialect areas represented in the surviving corpus (the Southeast and the West Midlands), the range of possibilities in the two dialects is the same. From this we conclude that the more innovative West Midlands texts are further along in the transition from Old to Modern English syntax than are the more conservative Southeast Midlands ones but that both dialects are following the same trajectory. This conclusion represents a change in emphasis from our views of the relationship among the early Middle English texts in Kroch and Taylor 1994, where we emphasized the differences between the dialect areas, claiming that the former were essentially INFL-medial and OV while the latter were essentially INFL-medial and VO.

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