Re: tough-constructions

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Ivan A. Sag (sag@skol.stanford.edu)
Fri, 16 Dec 94 9:28:53 PST


Mike Maxwell brings up the issue of tough-constructions and the appropriateness of treating them as unbounded dependencies. There are examples -- discussed in the (60s and) 70s -- that show that it really is unbounded. The one that sticks in my mind (Postal and Ross (1971 in LI)) is: Getting herself arrested on purpose is hard for me to imagine Betsy being willing to consider __. The existence of such examples is, I think, the reason people have tried to assimilate tough constructions to other filler-gap dependencies, appealing to other factors to explain the restrictions. Such examples also seem problematic for any attempt to appeal to a notion of `reasonable property': Why is `hard for me to imagine Betsy being willing to consider' a reasonable property? For an alternative HPSG analysis, though, you might look at Claire Grover's very recent Edinburgh dissertation. Cheers, Ivan ------------------------------------------------------------------------- Ivan A. Sag Office: Cordura Hall 228 Professor and Vice Chair Office Tel.: 415-725-2323 Department of Linguistics Department Tel.: 415-723-4284 Stanford University Email: sag@csli.stanford.edu Stanford, CA 94305 Fax (CSLI): 415-723-0758 USA -------------------------------------------------------------------------


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