(Mis)matches in clause linkage

Date: April 13-14, 2012

Venue: Room 403, ZAS, Schützenstr. 18, Berlin (centre)

Invited speakers:

Catherine Fabricius Hansen (Oslo)
Shin Ishihara (Frankfurt)
Maria Polinsky (Harvard)
Marga Reis (Tübingen)

Meeting description

Several kinds of mismatches in clause linkage have been observed in the literature:

  1. clauses with the shape of selected clauses that seem to be adjuncts of the host clause, e.g. free dass-clauses like Hans muss verrückt sein, dass er so viel bezahlt ‘Hans must be crazy that he is paying so much’ – see Reis (1997);
  2. clauses with the shape of adjuncts that fill a thematic slot in the host clause, e.g. selected when/if-clauses like John hates it if Mary talks about money (Fabricius-Hansen 1980) in a range of Indo-European languages;
  3. formally coordinated structures interpreted as subordinated like Drink one more beer and I'll leave. (Culicover & Jackendoff 1997);
  4. clauses with atypical uses of clause linkers, e.g. English how in clauses like Kenneth admitted how there are times when he struggles to keep control of his anger (Legate 2010);
  5. other mismatches between syntactic form and semantic interpretation, for example semantically equivalent non-restrictive relatives with different syntactic forms in Italian and other Romance languages (Cinque 2008);
  6. mismatches between syntactic domains and prosodic integration of embedded clauses, e.g. lack of prosodic separation in cases of strong syntactic separation, for example in English parentheticals (Dehé 2009).

Behind the question of mismatches is a question of matches: Which sentence form canonically comes with which degree of integration (±peripheral in the sense of Haegeman 2006, ±dependent/±integrated in the sense of Reis 1997, mono- or biclausal in the sense of Cinque 2004)?  What degree of integration canonically corresponds to what syntactic (Reis 1997), prosodic (Selkirk 2005), or semantic configuration (Portner 2007)?

If matches are economical, why do language systems develop mismatches? What do the mismatch cases show about the proper formulation of mapping regularities? What role do lexical restrictions play in the licensing of mismatches?

We invite submissions to a workshop on mismatches in clause linkage that take up such questions from both a language-specific and a cross-linguistic point of view, and we look forward to contributions from typologically diverse languages.


Cinque, G. 2004. Restructuring and functional structure. In A. Belletti (ed.), Structure and beyond, 132-191. Oxford University Press.

Cinque, G. 2008. Two types of nonrestrictive relatives. In O. Bonami & P. Cabredo Hofherr (eds.), Empirical issues in Syntax and Semantics 7. 99-137.

Culicover, P.W. & Ray Jackendoff. 1997. Semantic subordination despite syntactic coordination. Linguistic Inquiry 28. 195-217.

Dehé, N. 2009. Clausal parentheticals, intonational phrasing, and prosodic theory. Journal of Linguistics 45. 569-615.

Fabricius-Hansen, C. 1980. Sogenannte ergänzende wenn-Sätze. Ein Beispiel syntaktisch-semantischer Argumentation. In M. Dyher et al. (eds.), Festschrift für Gunnar Bech. Kopenhagener Beiträge zur germanistischen Linguistik, Sonderband 1, 61-83.

Haegeman, L. 2006. Argument Fronting in English, Romance CLLD and the Left Periphery. In R. Zanuttini, H. Campos, E. Herburger, & P. Portner (eds.), Negation, tense and clausal architecture: Cross-linguistic investigations. Georgetown University Press, 27-52.

Legate, J.A. 2010. On how is used instead of that. Natural Language and Linguistic Theory 28. 121-134.

Portner, P. 2007. Instructions for interpretation as separate performatives. In K. Schwabe & S. Winkler (eds.), On Information Structure, Meaning and Form, 407-426. Amsterdam: Benjamins.

Reis, M. 1997. Zum syntaktischen Status unselbständiger Verbzweit-Sätze. In C. Dürscheid & K.-J. Ramers (eds.), Sprache im Fokus, 121-144. Tübingen: Niemeyer.

Selkirk, E. 2005. Comments on intonational phrasing in English. In S. Frota, M. Vigário & M.J. Freitas (eds.), Prosodies, 11-58. Berlin: Mouton.


Organizers: Laura Downing, Werner Frey, André Meinunger, Kerstin Schwabe, Barbara Stiebels, Hubert Truckenbrodt, Tonjes Veenstra