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The Syntax of Complement Clauses
Mihaela Tănase-Dogaru, Spring semester 2016
Course design – Alexandra Cornilescu (Complementation in English, 2004)
Lecture 3 – Negation (continued)
1. Do-Support
- when the Inflection of the sentence only contains T/ Agr and there are no auxiliary or modal
verbs.
(1)

He did not come

(2)

He didn't come

- the [+neg] feature is checked by a lexical element that is endowed with an interpretable negative
feature, either the negated auxiliary, or the specifier not
1.1. Emphatic assertion
- extending the analysis to other contexts where do appears. These are questions, emphatic assertions,
short answers:

questions = CPs. Yes. . .the emphatic assertion morpheme = a head carrying an abstract strong [+aff] feature. . I DO know the truth.the wh-feature = the syntactic marker of a family of related constructions all of which involve wh-Movement (questions.the question feature carries the interrogative meaning.all the verbs that may check [+neg] = modals. she did. be. must be checked by spell-out. Questions. You MAY stay.Root questions and short answers are also typical environments for do-Support: (5) a. He IS still working on the project. have. The strong Aff head triggers Do-Support. Did she go? b.do supports an abstract morpheme that is not phonetically overt: the question morpheme in (2a). Do you know this man? b. 1. c. b. relative clauses.a morpheme labelled Aff(irmative). containing a question feature and a wh-feature in C 0. He HAS got at the truth at last. a morpheme which induces do-Support in the same way as Negation. Of course. do. Of course. The morphemes Neg and Aff are in complementary distribution. the emphatic assertion morpheme in (2b). . .2 (2) a. interpreted as emphatic assertion. that is what I was told (4) I DO like your shoes. by raising an appropriate auxiliary verb. I do. . can also check [+aff]: (3) a. . . it is strong in root questions and must be checked by moving an auxiliary verb to C0 = I0 to C0 (6) Did she go? . .any auxiliary that checks the [+aff] feature will be assigned emphatic intonation. c. cleft sentences).2. What did she sell? c.

headed by a [+neg] feature. Few people showed up for the lecture. A negative operator (QP) must be in a Spec head relation with [+negative] X0 head.1. nu always shows up in sentences with nimeni. c. They found nothing in the garden. because they overtly show the behavior of negative sentences. These examples point out to two things: a) Sentences with negative quantifiers are syntactically negative and pass all the tests for sentence negation. *Au gasit nimic. . b. d. N-au gasit nimic. . and no one showed up for the party either . *Nimeni a venit. d. Nobody came to the party. c. A negative head X0 must be in a spec-head agreement configuration with a negative operator. did they? b.solution = the Neg Criterion (Haegeman (1995). in order to license the negative QPs. (9) a. if it has sentence scope. . Nobody likes him. They found nothing in the first room and they didn’t find much in the second room.. In Romanian. Rizzi (1990)): (10) a. (8) a.this view is strengthened by the existence of negative concord languages. nimic. Sentences with negative quantifiers (7) a. not even her brother. Nimeni nu a venit. Nobody came to the party. Other types of negative sentences 2.the Neg Criterion has to be satisfied in overt syntax. neither do I. either.3 2. b) These sentences must be marked as negative by Spell-Out. c. b. They found nothing in the attic. not even old coins. did they? b.the Neg QP is the subject (11) No one has come yet . this Neg head licenses the negative quantifier.sentences with Neg quantifiers contain a NegP. . . where the sentence negator must appear on the verb. A negative operator is a negative phrase in a scope A'-posi tion. The Neg Criterion stipulates that the negative quantifiers are licensed through a specifier-head relation with the Negative head.

.2. . b. which thus checks its negative feature. Never before had he seen such a crowd. Not until yesterday did he change his mind. 2. and this forces its association (Chain Formation) with the closest negative QP. The object QP thus checks its negative feature through Chain Formation with the empty operator in SpecNegP.the operator must be identified by overt material.-the Negative Criterion is thus satisfied through Chain Formation. Emphatic negative sentences (12) a. d. (13) Mary bought nothing.there is spec-head agreement between the empty operator and the Neg head. coindexed with the negative quantifier in its lower position. . which is the analogue of not. . .4 (12) Nobody came.the NegP is activated by an empty Operator Op. Not often did he digress from the topic. c.the Neg QP is not the subject . Seldom do I see him nowadays.

. Jack attended any parties. .. In no small measure. Jack attended a party and neither did Jill. John would be happy. didn't he? (16) Not often does Jack attend any party. c. which does not qualify as an operator.they are licensed in a configuration of specifier-head agreement with a negative head. Not long ago. . *Not long ago. constituent negation: (14) Not often does Jack attend parties and neither does Jill . . it is his attitude that is blocking progress. i. .when a negative operator is preposed it causes inversion because it must find itself in a spechead relation with a negative head. . Not unreasonably. Mary looks attractive In no clothes does Mary look attractive. (15) Not often does Jack attend parties. In no clothes. d. it does not trigger inversion since it will not require to be in a Spec-head relation with a negative head.5 (13) a. sentence negators which have moved to a scope position satisfying the Negative Criterion. *Not long ago.e.negative constituents which trigger inversion are operators. it was raining very hard.inversion signals the presence of the abstract negative head. . Not far away.sometimes. the same element may or may not cause inversion: (17) (18) With no job. does he? Not long ago Jack attended a party. one may expect results from him. (19) Seldom do I see him nowadays.sentence negation vs. With no job would John be happy. b. it rained. .when an ordinary negated constituent is preposed.