Dr. Ángel Jiménez-Fernández Talk
IMG_Xerrada_Jimenez_Fernandez_FAG 16.01.2020  -  "Negative Preposing and its Status as a Main Clause Phenomenon in English and Spanish"

Dr Ángel Jiménez-Fernández (Universidad de Sevilla). Friday, February 7, 2020. Room 215, 10:00am.


This talk deals with Root Transformations such as Negative Preposing in English and Spanish. I claim that RTs may in principle be compatible with all types of embedded clauses regardless of whether the selecting predicate is factive/non-asserted or non-factive/asserted. Languages differ in how freely they allow RTs in various types of complements. Adopting an intervention account, according to which an operator moving to Spec-CP intervenes with other types of movement, including RTs, I account for the variation in the distribution English/Spanish Negative Preposing by the options made possible by feature inheritance of discourse features. It is well known that RTs in English are highly limited in distribution, while the same operations in Spanish are possible in many more constructions than in English. 

In Spanish, discourse features may be inherited from C(omplementizer) to T(ense), so that Negative Preposing targets Spec-TP, and hence no intervention effect arises. In contrast, discourse features stay at C in English, so that Negative Preposing competes with the operator movement to CP for the target position, and gives rise to intervention. This hypothesis is explored and validated through an experiment with informants of both languages. 

In addition, relative clauses are also taken into account in order to see whether Negative Preposing is allowed or not in the two languages. A second experiment has been conducted which justifies the distinction between restrictive and non-restrictive relatives in English with respect to the phenomenon under study, whereas no such distinction arises in Spanish. This patterns with my previous findings and supports my original claim that preposed negative constituents target different syntactic positions in the two languages. 
 
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