Browsing Linguistics by Subject "acceptability judgments"
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- ItemThe importance of being a complement: CED effects revisited(2010) Jurka, Johannes; Hornstein, Norbert R; Linguistics; Digital Repository at the University of Maryland; University of Maryland (College Park, Md.)This dissertation revisits subject island effects (Ross 1967, Chomsky 1973) cross-linguistically. Controlled acceptability judgment studies in German, English, Japanese and Serbian suggest that extraction out of specifiers is consistently degraded compared to extraction out of complements, indicating that the Condition on Extraction domains (CED, Huang 1982) is still empirically viable, contrary to recent claims (Stepanov 2007). As a consequence, recent treatments of the CED in terms of Multiple Spell-Out (Uriagereka 1999) are still tenable. First, a series of NP-subextraction experiments in German using was für-split is discussed. The results indicate that subject island effects cannot be reduced to freezing effects (Wexler \& Culicover 1981). Extraction out of in-situ subjects is degraded compared to extraction out of in-situ objects. Freezing incurs an additional cost, i.e., extraction out of moved domains is degraded compared to in-situ domains. Further results from German indicate that extraction out of in-situ unaccusative and passive subjects is en par with extraction out of objects, while extraction out of in-situ transitive and intransitive unergative subjects causes a decrease in acceptability. Additionally, extraction out of indirect objects is degraded compared to extraction out of direct objects. It is also observed that a second gap improves the acceptability of otherwise illicit was für-split, a phenomenon dubbed Across-the-Board (ATB)-was für-splitand analysed in terms of Sideward Movement (Hornstein \& Nunes 2002). Furthermore, wh-extraction out of non-finite sentential arguments also shows a significant subject/object asymmetry. Experiments in English indicate that NP-subextraction yields the familiar subject/object asymmetry, while the contrast largely disappears when PPs are fronted. Further results show that ECM and passive predicates do not improve the acceptability of the extraction out of subjects. Finally, subject subextraction patterns in Japanese and Serbian are investigated. Both Long-distance scrambling and clefting out of sentential subjects in Japanese leads to a stronger degradation than out of sentential objects. PP-extraction in Serbian also shows the same subject/object asymmetry, while no such contrast is found for Left Branch Extraction.
- ItemA program for experimental syntax: Finding the relationship between acceptability and grammatical knowlege(2007-07-31) Sprouse, Jon; Lasnik, Howard; Linguistics; Digital Repository at the University of Maryland; University of Maryland (College Park, Md.)There has always been interest in the methodology of acceptability judgment collection, as well as the reliability of the results. It seems, though, that the past several years have seen an increase in the number of studies employing formal experimental techniques for the collection of acceptability judgments, so much so that the term experimental syntax has come to be applied to the use of those techniques. The question this dissertation asks is whether the extent of the utility of experimental syntax is to find areas in which informal judgment collection was insufficient, or whether there is a complementary research program for experimental syntax that is more than just a methodological footnote to the informal judgment collection of theoretical syn- tax. This dissertation is a first attempt at a tentative yes<\i>: the tools of experimental syntax can be used to explore the relationship between acceptability judgments and the form or nature of grammatical knowledge, not just the content of grammatical knowledge. This dissertation begins by identifying several recent claims about the nature of grammatical knowledge that have been made based upon hypotheses about the nature of acceptability judgments. Each chapter applies the tools of experimental syntax to those hypotheses in an attempt to refine our understanding of the relationship between acceptability and grammatical knowledge. The claims investigated include: that grammatical knowledge is gradient, that grammatical knowledge is sensitive to context effects, that the stability or instability of acceptability reflects underlying differences in grammatical knowledge, that processing effects affect acceptability, and that acceptability judgments have nothing further to contribute to debates over the number and nature of dependency forming operations. Using wh-movement and Island effects as the empirical basis of the research, the results of these studies suggest that the relationship between acceptability and grammatical knowledge is much more complicated than previously thought. The overarching conclusion is that there is a program for experimental syntax that is independent of simple data collection: only through the tools of experimental syntax can we achieve a better understanding of the nature of acceptability, and how it relates to the nature of grammatical knowledge.