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Elements of Clausal Embedding

Elliott, Patrick D.; (2020) Elements of Clausal Embedding. Doctoral thesis (Ph.D), UCL (University College London). Green open access

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This thesis asks: what is the division of labour between the syntax and the semantics? The empirical focus is on the phenomenon of clausal embedding, whereby the grammar provides the resources to embed a clause within another clause, and the semantics provides the resources to represent an individual’s mental representations. The primary goal is to argue that that-clauses denote predicates of contentful entities – abstract objects, such as propositions, facts, and rumours. The major theoretical claim is that that-clauses function quite generally as modifiers in the compositional semantics, both when they compose with nominals and verbs. In order to cash this idea out, a strictly neo-Davidsonian approach to the syntax-semantics interface is outlined. In the syntax, arguments are severed from the verb; rather, they are incorporated as specifiers of functional heads. This is paralleled by a neo-Davidsonian semantics, where verbs denote predicates of eventualities, and thematic arguments are incorporated via metalanguage functions. Consequently all verbs, including attitude verbs, are argued to simply denote predicates of eventualities. Embedded clauses compose with attitude verbs as intersective modifiers – they specify the content of the verb’s eventuality argument.

Type: Thesis (Doctoral)
Qualification: Ph.D
Title: Elements of Clausal Embedding
Event: UCL
Open access status: An open access version is available from UCL Discovery
Language: English
Additional information: Copyright © The Author 2020. Original content in this thesis is licensed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International (CC BY 4.0) Licence (https://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/4.0/). Any third-party copyright material present remains the property of its respective owner(s) and is licensed under its existing terms. Access may initially be restricted at the author’s request.
UCL classification: UCL
UCL > Provost and Vice Provost Offices
UCL > Provost and Vice Provost Offices > School of Life and Medical Sciences
UCL > Provost and Vice Provost Offices > School of Life and Medical Sciences > Faculty of Brain Sciences
URI: https://discovery.ucl.ac.uk/id/eprint/10091030
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