Verb Projection Raising and the scope interpretation?

asked 2020-03-22 03:27:50 -0500

As Haegeman & van Riemsdijk (1986) for example pointed out, VPR-construction is opaque for scope interpretation. As the following examples (ibid.: 442) from Zürich German shows, while in (1) wide or narrow scope reading of the negation( "no") is possible w.r.t the modal(wele "want"), the former reading is not an option and only the narrow scope reading is available for the construction in (2), where the negation is within the VPR-complement.

(1) das de Hans kä fläisch hät wele ässe (no ≫ want, want ≫ no)

  that Jan    no  meat has wanted eat

(2) das de Hans hät kä fläisch wele ässe (*no ≫ want, want ≫ no)

Most of these data come from dialects like Zürich German or West Flemish, which show the vast range of VPR construction. For Standard German, I found a conflicting data from Geilfuss (1991: 39). In (3), the indirect object(fast jedem Gast "almost every guest"), which is contained in the VPR complement, can take scope over the direct object(mindestens ein Geschenk"at least one present"). (The English gloss is provided by the questioner)

(3) DASS er mindestens ein Geschenk hat fast jedem Gast überreichen wollen. (IO ≫ DO, DO ≫ IO)

  dass he at.least one present has almost every guest hand.over wanted

As Geilfuss himself admits, however, the judgement for these data is unclear, probably because of the low acceptability of such VPR-construction with full nominal phrases in Standard German.

Would anyone know some VPR data, which involve quantificated elements, adverbs or negation, but are more acceptable so that one can test the possiblity of wide/narrow scope Interpretations?


Geilfuß, Jochen 1991. Verb- und Verbalphrasensyntax In Arbeitspapiere des Sonderforschungsbereichs 340 Sprachtheoretische Grundlagen für die Computerlinguistik Bericht Nr. 11. Universität Stuttgart; Universität Tübingen; IBM Deutschland GmbH

Haegeman, Liliane, and Henk van Riemsdijk. 1986. Verb projection raising, scope, and the typology of rules affecting verbs. Linguistic Inquiry 17: 417–466.

edit retag flag offensive close merge delete