Conditionals and Relatives

Barbara Citko
University of New York Stonybrook/MIT

In this paper, drawing primarily on the data from the Slavic family of languages, I present a new approach to free relatives, correlatives and conditionals. In Slavic they all require the presence of demonstrative pronouns (t-pronouns), i.e. tak in manner relatives (1-2) and to in conditionals (3) (morphologically a 3rd person neuter pronoun, glossed as TO). The contribution of the particle to is a crucial factor for the analysis.

(1)     Zaspiewam 	tak	jak	Maria	zaspiewala.  (Polish)           FREE RELATIVE
	I-will-sing	DEM	how	Maria	sang
	ŒI will sing the way Maria sang.¹
(2)	Jak	Maria	zaspiewala,  tak  ja zaspiewam.	                        CORRELATIVE
        how     Maria   sang,        DEM  I   will-sing 
(3)	Jezeli	Maria	zaspiewa   to	  ja  tez   zaspiewam.		        CONDITIONAL
	if	Maria	sings,     TO     I   also  will-sing
	ŒIf Mary sings, I will also sing.¹

First, I show that to found in Polish conditionals is not a correlative proform, analogous to the English then. The two have very different distribution. Iatridou 1991 and 1994 shows that in English then is disallowed in even if and only if conditionals. The same environments, however, allow to in Polish, as shown in (4a-b).

(4)a.	Nawet  jezeli   Jan bedzie   pijany, to   Bill  bedzie na niego glosowal.
	Even   if          Jan  will-be  drunk  TO  Bill  will     for him    vote
	ŒEven if Jan is drunk, (*then) Bill will vote for him.¹
   b.	Tylko jezeli bedzie ladna pogoda   to pojedziemy na plaze.
	Only  if       will-be nice   weather  TO we-will-go to  beach
	ŒOnly if the weather is nice, (*then) we will go to the beach.¹

If to is not then, what is it then? I analogize the presence of to in conditionals to the presence of to in nominal predicate structures and pseudoclefts, exemplified in (5).

(5)a.	Jan	to	lekarz/*madry
	Jan	TO	doctor/ clever
	ŒJan is a doctor/clever.¹
   b.	Kogo Maria lubi to dla mnie tajemnica.
	Who  Maria likes TO for me  mystery
	ŒWho Maria likes is a mystery to me.¹ 

To here functions as a copula with two arguments of the same categorial status; DPs or CPs (in the case of pseudoclefts).

(6) 	a. NP to NP 		b. *NP to AP 		c. CP to CP  
I further show that (i) to found in conditionals is also an instance of this ³determiner copula² (akin to clitic copulas found in Hebrew (Rapoport 1987) or Haitian and Capervedean Creoles (Babtista 1997)), (ii) free relatives and correlatives, analogously to conditionals, underlyingly involve a copula to, (iii) t-pronouns found in free relatives and correlatives are a result of incorporation. On this analysis a conditional contains a copula to selecting for a small clause complement. The small clause contains two CPs, the if-clause and the matrix clause. The if-clause moves to [Spec, to].

(7)a.	[to [SC  [CP zaspiewam] [CP jezeli Maria zaspiewa] ]
   b.	[ [CP jezeli Maria zaspiewa]i to [SC  [CP zaspiewam] ti]
   c.	Jezeli Maria zaspiewa, to zaspiewam. 	                       (=example (3))

In free relatives and correlatives a wh-pronoun incorporates into the copula to, and the resulting spell-out is an appropriate t-pronoun (manner in the case at hand).

(8)a.	[to   [SC [CP Maria zaspiewala jak] [CP zaspiewam jak] ]
   b.	[to   [SC [CP jaki Maria zaspiewala ti ]   [CP jaki zaspiewam ti ] ]
   c.	[to+jaki [SC [CP jak Maria zaspiewala ]  [CP ti zaspiewam ] ]
   d.	[ [CP zaspiewam ]i  tak [SC[CP jak Maria zaspiewala ] ti ] 
   e.	Zaspiewam tak jak Maria zaspiewala.                                   (=example (1))

Correlatives, differing from free relatives only in which of the two CPs raises to Spec, on this analysis are treated analogously to inverse copular structures like ŒThe culprit is John¹.

(9)a.	[ to   [SC [CP Maria zaspiewala jak] [CP zaspiewam jak] ]
   b.	[ to   [SC  [CP jaki Maria zaspiewala ti ] [CP jaki zaspiewam ti ] ]
   d.	[ to+jaki  [SC [CP jak Maria zaspiewala ] [CP ti zaspiewam ] ]
   c.	[ [CP jak Maria zaspiewa3a ]i tak  [SC ti [CP zaspiewam] ]
   e.	Jak Maria zaspiewala, tak zaspiewam.                                  (=example (2))

I conclude with the implications of this analysis for the general theory of conditionals. Polish facts offer interesting new support for Geis¹s 1970 intuition that conditionals parallel in structure relative clauses (see also Lycan 1984), as suggested by the following paraphrase:

(10)	I will sing in the event in which you sing.   


Babtista, M. 1997. The Morpho-syntax of Nominal and Verbal Categories in Caperverdean
Creole. Ph.D. dissertation. Harvard University.
Chomsky, N. 1995. The Minimalist Program. MIT Press. Cambridge: MA.
Geis, M. L. 1970. Adverbial Subordinate Clauses in English. Ph. D. dissertation. MIT.
Heycock, C. and A. Kroch. 1998. ³Pseudocleft Connectedness: Implications for the LF Interface Level.² To appear in Linguistic Inquiry.
Iatridou, S. 1991. Topics in Conditionals. Ph.D. dissertation. MIT.
Iatridou, S. 1994. ³On the Contribution of Conditional Then² Natural Language Semantics 2:171-199.
Izvorski, R. 1996. ŒThe Syntax and Semantics of Correlative Proforms,¹ Proceedings of NELS 26. Harvard University and MIT.
Kayne, R. 1994. The Antisymmetry of Syntax. MIT Press. Cambridge: MA.
Lycan, W.G. 1984. A Syntactically Motivated Theory of Conditionals. Midwest Studies in Philosophy.
Partee, B. 1998. ³Copular Inversion Puzzles.² Paper presented at the UConn Workshop on Semantics.
Rapoport, T.V. Copular, Nominal and Small Clauses: a Study of Israeli Hebrew. Ph.D. dissertation. MIT.

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