A quantitative model
of word order and movement
in English, Dutch and German
complement constructions
Karin Harbusch
Computer Science
Dept., University
of KoblenzLandau
[email protected]
& Gerard Kempen
Psychology Dept.,
Leiden University
& Max Planck
Institute Nijmegen
[email protected]
Preview
1.
2.
Introduction
Essentials of Performance Grammar




3.
4.
Hierarchical component
Linearization component: topologies
Topology sharing in the three target languages
Linear order and typed feature unification
Examples in the three target languages
Conclusions
1. Introduction
Linear order in English, Dutch and German
complement constructions varies considerably
w.r.t.:





Wh-extraction,
clause union,
extraposition,
verb clustering,
particle movement, etc.
We show that both the within- and betweenlanguage variations of these phenomena
reduce to differences between a few numerical
parameters.
2. Essentials of Performance
Grammar

Performance Grammar (PG) is a psycholinguistically motivated formalism.
Psycholinguistic phenomena suggest separate
hierarchical and linear grammar components.
 We focus on the linear component and
describe it in declarative terms based on
feature unification.
 The parametrization scheme we propose
belongs to the linear component.
Hierarchical component of PG
Data structures
 Segments
XP
XP
HeaD
func
pos
XP
lexical
anchor
Segments such as in clauses ...
S
S
HD SUBJ
v
NP
S
S
DOBJ IOBJ
S
S
PRED
S
S
S
CMPR PRT CMP PINF …
NP NP|PP NP|
CP prep | S|PP PP
adv
ADJP | PP
... combine into
lexical , e.g.
clausal,
HD
frames
v
fool
S
SUBJ
NP
DOBJ
MOD*
NP
ADVP|PP|S
Example
“Slim snijdertje fopte dertig zeerovers”
“Clever tailor fooled thirty pirates”
(Title of Dutch children’s story by Annie M.G. Schmidt)
Lexical frames from the mental
S
lexicon
SUBJ
HD
DOBJ
MOD*
NP
v
NP
ADVP |PP|S
NP
NP
fopte/fooled
DET Q
MOD*
DP CNP ADJP|PP
HD
n
snijdertje/tailor
ADJP
DET Q
MOD*
HD
DP CNP ADJP|PP
n
zeerover/pirate
CNP
MOD*
HD
HD
ADVP
adj
crd
slim/clever
dertig/thirty
Substitution (feature structures are omitted)
S
DET Q
SUBJ
HD
DOBJ
NP
v
NP
NP fopte/fooled
NP
MOD*
DP CNP ADJP|PP
ADJP
HD
DET Q
MOD*
n
MOD*
ADVP|PP|S
hd
DP CNP ADJP|PP
n
snijdertje/
zeerover/pirate
CNP
tailor
MOD*
HD
HD
ADVP
adj
crd
slim/clever
dertig/thirty
Reduced dominance structure
S
HD
SUBJ
HD
DOBJ
HD
v
NP
v
NP
v
fopte/
fooled
fopte/
fooled
MOD
HD
ADJP
n
HD
snijdertje/
tailor
q
HD
CNP
n
HD
zeerover/
pirate
adj
crd
slim/
clever
dertig/
thirty
fopte/
fooled
Linearization Component
Data structure: topology
 A topology is associated with the foot
node layer of every lexical frame
 Function: reservation of work/storage
space for frame constituents
Topologies with nine slots for clauses:
Forefield
English
Dutch/German
F1
F2
F1
F3
Midfield
M1
M2
M3
Endfield
M4
M1 M2 M3 M4 M5 M6
E1
E2
E1
E2
Assigning slot positions (English)
Slot
Filler
F1
Declarative main clause: Topic, Focus (one constituent only)
Interrogative main clause: Wh-constituent
Complement clause: Wh-constituent
F2
Complement clause: CoMPLementizeR that
F3
Subject (iff non-Wh)
M1
Pre-INFinitive to < HeaD verb (oblig.) < PaRTicle
M2
Direct Object (iff personal pronoun)
Interrogative main cl.: Subject (iff non-Wh); SUBJ < DOBJ
M3
Indirect OBJect < Direct OBJect (non-Wh)
M4
PaRTicle
E1
Non-finite Complement of 'Verb Raiser‘ (in particular Auxiliaries)
E2
Non-finite Complement of 'VP Extraposition verb‘
Finite Complement clause
Slot positions for Dutch & German
Slot
Filler
F1
Declarative main cl.: SUBJect, Topic or Focus (one constituent only)
Interrogative main clause: Wh-constituent
Complement clause: Wh-constituent
M1
Main clause: HeaD verb
Complement clause: CoMPLementizer dat/om (Du.), dass (Ger.)
M2
Subject NP (iff non-Wh), Direct OBJect (iff personal pronoun)
M3
Direct OBJect < Indirect OBJect (iff non-Wh)
M4
PaRTicle (Du. only)
M5
Non-finite CoMPlement of Verb Raiser
M6
Subordinate clause: Du.: Pre-INFinitive te < HeaD verb
Ger.: PaRTicle < Pre-INFinitive zu < HeaD verb
E1
Non-finite Complement of 'Verb Raiser‘ (Du. only)
E2
Non-finite Complement of 'VP Extraposition verb‘
Finite Complement clause
English clausal topology
S
SUBJ
F1
F2
DOBJ
HD
F3 NP
M1
v
M2
M3 NP
M4
fooled
MOD
HD
Q
HD
ADJP
n
CNP
n
tailor
pirate
HD
HD
adj
crd
clever
thirty
E1
E2
Dutch clausal topology
S
SUBJ
F1 NP
DOBJ
HD
M1
v
M2
M3
NP M4 M5 M6 E1 E2
fopte
MOD
HD
Q
HD
ADJP
n
CNP
n
zeerover
snijdertje
HD
HD
adj
crd
slim
dertig
Topology sharing
If a sentence consists of a main clause plus one
or more complement clauses, each of the clauses
(i.e. verb frames) instantiates its own topology. In
such cases, topologies are allowed to share
slots, conditionally upon several restrictions.
After two slots have been shared, they are no
longer distinguishable; in fact, they are the same
object.
This operation may cause upward movement of
constituents: "promotion".
General constraints on topology
sharing:
 Only between adjacent clausal topologies
 Only between identically labeled slots
 HeaD slot never participate in sharing
 Only left- and/or right-peripheral
left-peripheral
shared area (LS)
central non-shared
area
… HD …
right-peripheral
shared area (RS)
Example
S
HD
SUBJ
CMP
v
NP
S
did
John
HD
CMP
v
S
try DOBJ PINF
NP
PP
who
to
HD
v
call
Example (cont.)
HD
F1
M1
v
did
S
CMP
SUBJ
M2
NP
E1
HD
John
M1
F1
v
DOBJ try
F1
S
NP
who
CMP
E1
PINF
M1
PP
to
S
HD
M1
v
call
Example (cont.)
HD
F1
M1
v
S
CMP
SUBJ
M2 N P
did DOBJJohn
E1
HD
M1
F1N P
v
try
who
F1
S
CMP
E1
S
PINF
M1
PP
to
HD
M1
v
call
Example (cont.)
DOBJ
F1 N P
Who
HD
M1
v
did
S
CMP
SUBJ
M2 N P
John
E1
HD
M1
F1
v
try
F1
S
CMP
E1
S
PINF
M1
PP
to
HD
M1
v
call
Unsuccessful attempt at sharing
Who did Poirot claim that he saw last week?
*Who did Poirot make the claim that he saw last week?
S
DOBJ
HD
SUBJ
CMP
NP
v
NP
S
who
did
F1
Poirot
HD
DOBJ
x
v
NP
HD
CMP
DP
n
S
the
claim
make DET
F1
CMPR
SUBJ
HD
MOD
CP
NP
v
NP
that
he
saw
last week
Language-spec. values for LS/RS
Clause type
English
Interrogative
LS=0
RS=0
LS=1
RS=0
LS=3
RS=0
LS=3
RS=0
n.a.
Declarative & Finite
Decl. & Non-Finite,
VP Extraposition
Decl. & Non-Finite,
Verb Raising
Decl. & Non-Finite,
Third Construction
Dutch
LS=0
RS=1
LS=1
RS=1
LS=1
RS=1
LS=4:6
RS=1
LS=1:6
RS=1
German
LS=0
RS=1
LS=1
RS=1
LS=1
RS=1
LS=5
RS=1
LS=1:6
RS=1
Within-language parametrization:
Slot assignment (Engl.)
Decl. & Non-Finite,
VP Extraposition
F1
F2
F3
SUBJ
M1 … M4 E1 E2
HD
Parameters (cont.): English sharing
left-peripheral
shared area (LS)
central non-shared
area
Decl. & Non-Finite,
VP Extraposition
F1
F2
F3
SUBJ
M1 M2 … E2
HD
RS
Between-language parametrization
left-peripheral
shared area (LS)
central non-shared
area
RS
English Decl. & Non-Finite,
VP Extraposition
F1
F2
F3
SUBJ
F1 M1 M2 M3 M4 M5
Dutch/German Decl. & NonFinite, VP Extraposition
M1 M2 … E2
HD verb
in subclause
M6
E1
E2
Comparison: Engl./Du./Ger. sharing
left-peripheral
shared area (LS)
central non-shared
area
RS
English Decl. & Non-Finite,
VP Extraposition
F1
F2
F3
F1 M1 M2 M3 M4 M5
Dutch/German Decl. & NonFinite, VP Extraposition
M1 M2 … E2
M6
E1
E2
Specification of topologies in
terms of typed feature unification
S [tpl p(1)t, p(2)t, ... p(9)t] where p(i)t denotes the type
of the ith member of the list. For each of the target
languages 9 slot types are defined (e.g., F1t). Slots are
attributes that take a non-branching list of lemmas or
constituents (e.g. SUBJect-NP, CoMPlement-S or HeaDv) as their value.
 Slots are initialized with the value empty list, denoted by
"" (e.g., [ F1 ]. Lists of segments can be combined by
the append operation, represented by the symbol ”O". A
slot type may impose a constraint on the cardinality (the
number of members) of the list serving as its value.
Cardinality constraints are expressed as subscripts of the
value list. E.g., the subscript "c=1" in [ F1 c=1] states that
the list serving as F1's value should contain exactly one
member.

F1t
F1t
Specification of topologies (cont.)

Depending on the values of sharing parameters LS and RS,
the list is divided into a left area, the central area, and the
right area. LS and RS are set to zero by default; this applies
to the root S of main clauses and adverbial subordinate
clauses. The root S of a complement clause obtains its
sharing parameter values from the foot of the S-CMP-S
segment belonging to the lexical frame of its governing verb.
Sharing (see 1 ) simply means
[tpl  1 F1, ..., E2  2 ]
S
unifying the slots in the two
laterally shared areas according
to the LS and RS parameters. CMP
 The contents of non-shared
(central) slots are appended to
S 2 tpl  1 F1, ...
the contents of the receiving slot
ctype decl-fin
(see 2 ).

3. English question formation
Who do I have to call?
F1

F2 F3
M1
do

M3 M4 E1 E2


have

Who
M2


to call
The non-finite complements of both do and have are declarative.
(Cf. the paraphrase "For which person x is it the case that I have
to call x", which highlights the scope of who.) It follows that LS=3
in both complements. Do is a Verb Raiser, have (in have to) is a
VP Extraposition verb.
English question formation (cont.)
Who did you say John saw?
F1

F2
F3
M1
did

M3 M4 E1 E2


say

Who
M2
you


John
saw
The lower clause is finite and declarative (LS = 1) — cf. the
paraphrase “For which person x is it the case that you said that
John saw x”. (The scope of who exceeds its ‘own’ clause and
includes the matrix clause.) LS = 3 in the middle topology.
English question formation (cont.)
I know who John saw
I know
saw
F1 who
F2JohnF3
I
M1
know
M2 M3 M4 E1 E2


who
John
saw
Here, the scope of the interrogative pronoun does not
include the main clause (“I know for which person x it is
the case that John saw x”). Therefore, the complement is
interrogative and does not share its F1 slot with that of the
main clause (LS = 0).
English question formation (cont.)
a. Who did you claim that you saw last week?
S
DOBJ
F1 NP
who
HD
SUBJ
CM P
v
NP
S
did
you
F1
HD
CMP
v
S
claim
F1
CM PR
SUBJ
HD
M OD
CP
NP
v
NP
that
you
saw
last week
Island Effects in English
a. Who did you claim that you saw last week?
b.*Who did you make the claim that you saw last week?
S
DOBJ
HD
SUBJ
CM P
NP
v
NP
S
who
did
you
HD
DOBJ
x
v
NP
F1
make DET
HD
CMP
DP
n
S
the
claim
F1
CM PR
SUBJ
HD
M OD
CP
NP
v
NP
that
you
saw
last week
Dutch question formation
Dutch interrogative main clauses feature Subject-Verb
inversion without the equivalent of do-insertion:
a. Zag je dat?
saw you that
‘Did you see that?’
F1
M1
Zag
M2 M3 M4 M5
je dat
M6
E1 E2
M2 M3 M4 M5
dat
M6
E1 E2
a´. Je zag dat?
F1
Je
M1
zag
Dutch question formation (cont.)
b. Wie zag dat?
who saw that
‘Who saw that?’
F1
M1
Wie
zag
M2 M3 M4 M5
M6
E1 E2
M6
E1 E2
dat
c. Wat zagen ze?
‘What did they see?’
F1
Wat
M1
M2 M3 M4 M5
zagen ze
Dutch question formation (cont.)
Zij vroeg
of ik Jan kende
She asked whether I John knew
‘She asked whether I knew John’
F1
M1
Zij
vroeg
M2 M3 M4 M5
M6
E1 E2


of
ik
Jan
kende
Because the complement is interrogative here, the sharing
rule prohibits left-peripheral sharing: LS=0.
Clause Union in Dutch
... dat ik Jan zal bellen
that I John will phone
'... that I will phone John
F1
M1
dat
M2 M3 M4 M5 M6 E1 E2

ik 
zal


Jan
bellen
The subordinate clause features clause union, causing the
auxiliary zal to intervene between the Direct OBJect Jan and its
governor bellen. The left-peripheral sharing area may vary
between 4 and 6 slots (LS=4:6). Because Jan lands in M3, i.e.
in the shared area, it is promoted. The remainder of the lower
topology, including the HeaD bellen itself, occupies E1 — one
of the options of the complement of a Verb Raiser.
Clause Union in Dutch (cont.)
... dat ik Jan bellen zal
that I John phone will
'... that I will phone John'
F1
M1
dat
M2 M3 M4 M5 M6 E1 E2

ik 
zal


Jan
bellen
Dutch Particle Hopping
... dat ik Jan  zou  hebben op gebeld
that I John would
have up called
'... that I would have called John up'
F1
M1
dat
M2 M3 M4 M5

ik


Jan
op
M6
zou
E1 E2


hebben 

gebeld
The positions marked by "" are grammatical alternatives to the
particle (op) position mentioned in the example; no other
positions are allowed. Given LS=4:6 for complements of Verb
Raisers, it follows that Jan is obligatorily promoted into the higher
topology. However, sharing of the fifth slot (M4) is optional.
Dutch Particle Hopping (cont.)
... dat ik Jan zou hebben op gebeld
that I John would have up called
'... that I would have called John up'
F1
M1
dat
M2 M3 M4 M5
ik 


Jan
op
Second level: LS=4:6, third level: LS=4
M6
zou
E1 E2


hebben 

gebeld
Dutch Particle Hopping (cont.)
... dat ik Jan zou op hebben gebeld
that I John would up have
called
'... that I would have called John up'
F1
M1
dat
M2 M3 M4 M5
M6
E1 E2

ik 
zou



hebben 



Jan op
gebeld
Second level: LS=4, third level: LS=4:6
Dutch Particle Hopping (cont.)
... dat ik Jan op zou hebben gebeld
that I John up would have called
'... that I would have called John up'
F1
M1
dat
M2 M3 M4 M5
ik  



Jan

op
Second level: LS=4:6, third level: LS=4:6
M6
zou
E1 E2


hebben 

gebeld
Dutch Cross-serial Dependency
... dat ik Jan de fiets wil
helpen maken
that I John the bike want-to help
repair
'... that I want to help John to repair the bike'
F1
M1
dat
M2
ik
M3
M4 M5
M6
E1 E2
 

wil
 

Jan
helpen 


de fiets
maken
Assumption about the order of constituents that land in the same
slot but originate from different levels in the clause hierarchy: We
stipulate that constituents from more deeply embedded clauses
follow constituents belonging to higher clauses.
German VP Extraction
... dass er uns
zwingt es zu tun
that he us (Akk.) forces it to do
'... that he forces us to do it'
F1
M1
dass
M2
er uns
es
M3 M4 M5
M6
E1 E2

zwingt

zu tun
Parametrization for German VP Extraposion verbs:
 shared areas: LS=1, RS=1
 slot assignment for complement clause: E2
German Third Construction
a. ... dass er uns
verspricht es zu tun
that he us (Dat.) promises it to do
'... that he promises us to do it'
F1
M1
dass
M2
er
es
M3
uns
M4 M5
M6
E1 E2

verspricht

zu tun
Parametrization for German Third Construction verbs:
 shared areas: LS=1:6, RS=1
 slot assignment for complement clause: M5 or E2
German Third Construction (cont.)
b. ... dass er uns es zu tun verspricht
F1
M1
dass
M2
er
M3
uns
es
M4 M5
M6
E1 E2
 verspricht

zu tun
c. ... dass er es uns zu tun verspricht
F1
M1
dass
M2
er 

es
M3
uns
M4 M5
M6
E1 E2
 verspricht

zu tun
Third Construction (cont.)
d. ... dass er es uns verspricht zu tun
F1
M1
dass
M2
er 

es
M3
uns
M4 M5
M6
E1 E2

verspricht

zu tun
e. ? ... dass er uns es verspricht zu tun
F1
M1
dass
M2
er
M3
M4 M5
M6
E1 E2
uns 

verspricht


es
zu tun
4. Conclusions


We have shown that the introduction of topologies with a
fixed number of slots, in conjunction with cross-clause
lateral topology sharing enables a simple treatment of
word order and movement (promotion) in complement
structures of the three target languages. The great amount
of within- and between-language variation typical of these
constructions could be analyzed as resulting from different
settings of a small number of quantitative parameters (size
of shared areas; slot number of landing site targeted by
the complement clause, by head verb, and by other major
constituents).
Due to space limitations we could not go into much detail.
Elsewhere we have provided a more fine-grained
discussion of our approach and its psycholinguistic
motivation. Future study is needed to find out whether the
PG approach generalizes to other languages.
Thank you!
Sources of the examples:
 Haegeman, 1994
 Kathol, 2000
 Rambow,1994
 Sag & Wasow, 1999
For more PG details see
http://www.uni-koblenz.de/~harbusch/pg.html
Nominal Segments ...
NP
NP
NP
NP
NP
HD
DET
Q
MOD
CMP
n|pro
DP
CNP
... form nominal
lexical frames
HD
DET
n
DP
pirate
ADJP|PP|S
NP
Q
CNP
MOD*
ADJP|PP|S
PP|S
Example
S
SUBJ
HD
CMP
NP
v
know
S
HD
SUBJ
HD
DOBJ
pro
NP
v
NP
hates
we
Dana
Kim
Hierarchical structure
Simplified lexical frames underlying the sentences
We know Dana hates Kim and Kim we know Dana hates.
Example (cont.)
S
SUBJ
F1
F2
F3
NP
CMP
HD
M1
v
M2
M3
M4
E1
E2
S
know
pro
F1
F2
F3
NP
DOBJ
HD
SUBJ
HD
M1
v
M2
M3
NP
M4
E1
hates
we
Dana
Kim
Topology slot assignment
The focused Direct OBJect Kim may go to M3,
producing:
We know Dana hates Kim
E2
Example (cont.)
S
SUBJ
F1
F2
F3
NP
HD
pro
CMP
HD
M1
M2
v
M3
know
DOBJ
F1
NP
M4
E1
E2
HD
SUBJ
F2
F3
NP
S
M1
v
M2
M3
M4
E1
hates
we
Kim
Dana
Topology slot assignment
The Direct OBJect Kim may also go to F1
if the constituent is focused
E2
Example (cont.)
S
DOBJ
F1
NP
SUBJ
F2
F3
NP
CMP
HD
M1
v
M2
M3
M4
E1
E2
S
know
Kim
F1
pro
HD
SUBJ
HD
F2
F3
NP
M1
v
hates
we
Dana
Sharing produces:
Kim we know Dana hates
M2
M3
M4
E1
E2
Example (cont.)
S
SUBJ
NP [tpl  2 ]
HD
pro
HD
ctype MainCl
tpl
 1 F1, F3 o 2 , M1 o 3 , B2 o 4 
CMP
v [lemma  3 ] S
know
SUBJ
tpl 4
NP [tpl  5 ]
we
Dana
 1 F1o 7 ,F3o 5 ,M1o 6 
 1 F1,F3o 5 ,M1o 6 ,M3o 7 
HD
DOBJ
v
NP
hates
[lemma  6 ]
foc +
tpl 7
Kim
Topology slot assignment in terms of feature structures
Both placement options of the focused direct object are
specified in the disjunctive alternatives of the TPL feature
of the complement S node (gray rectangle).
Scrambling in German
a.
... dass niemand verspricht zu versuchen das
Fahrrad zu reparieren
… that nobody
promises to
try
the
bike to repair
‘… that nobody promises to try to repair the bike’
F1 M1
M2
dass niemand
M3
d.Fahrr.
M4 M5
M6
E1 E2

verspr.


zu vers.

zu rep.
Scrambling in German (cont.)
b. ... dass niemand das Fahrrad verspricht zu versuchen
zu reparieren
F1 M1
M2
dass niemand
M3



d.Fahrr.
M4 M5
M6
E1 E2

verspr.


zu vers.

zu rep.
Scrambling in German (cont.)
c. ?... dass das Fahrrad niemand verspricht zu
versuchen zu reparieren
F1 M1
M2
dass  niem.


d.Fahrr.
M3
M4 M5
M6
E1 E2

verspr.


zu vers.

zu rep.
Right-peripheral sharing
Versprochen wird er ihr nicht haben den Wagen zu waschen
promised
will he her not have the car
to wash
‘He will not have promised her to wash the car.’
F1 M1
 wird

M2
er
M3


M4 M5


M6
E1 E2


haben


ihr nicht

verspr.

d.Wag.
zu wa.
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