Webelhuth, Gert, Bader, Markus: Constraints on extraposition: no difference between relative and comparative clauses.
This paper presents four judgment experiments that investigated the acceptability of sentences in which a comparative clause modified an NP embedded within a complex NP. The comparative clause occurred either adjacent to its head noun or in extraposed position. The first three experiments addressed the claim of Haider (1997) that comparative clause extraposition is subject to a c-command constraint on S-structure whereas relative clause extraposition is not. To test this claim, Experiments 1–3 compared sentences with comparative clauses to corresponding sentences with relative clauses. Extraposition was found to be as acceptable as non-extraposition when extraposition was across a verb but less acceptable when extraposition was across an adjective. This
held for comparative and relative extraposition alike. The results of the first three experiments do therefore not support the claim that comparative clause extraposition is subject to tighter syntactic constraints than relative clause extraposition. The fourth experiment tested the claim of Shannon (1992) that extraposition from a topic phrase is less acceptable than extraposition from a phrase in focus. This experiment investigated comparative clause extraposition from the subject across two types of predicates: individual-level predicates, for which the subject is the default topic, and stage-level predicates, which come without an (overt) topic by default. The results show that extraposition across a stage-level predicate is more acceptable than extraposition across an individual-level predicate and therefore support the claim that extraposition from a topic is disfavored.
Zobel, Sarah: Zur Determiniererlosigkeit bei prädikativ verwendeten zählbaren Nomen im Deutschen: Korpusdaten und ihre Konsequenzen.
This article reports on the results of four corpus studies investigating determinerless count nouns in different predicative contexts in German (i.e., copula sentences with sein ‘be’, werden ‘become’, bleiben ‘stay’ and predicative als-phrases). The starting point for these corpus studies is the recent literature on German copula sentences with sein that addresses the question which nouns need to occur with a determiner and which can occur determinerless when used predicatively (Hallab 2011; Geist 2019, 2014). The studies reported in this article provide a broad overview of the attested data, which shows that the near exclusive focus on copula sentences, as well as the way in which the data was compiled in the literature so far have led to a biased picture of
the determinerless predicative use of German count nouns. The data furthermore motivates the two theoretical results of this article: (i) a new characterization of the class of nouns that can occur determinerless in German copula sentences and (ii) a list of desiderata for future theoretical and formal analyses addressing which aspects of the determinerless occurrences can be attributed to the nouns and which are plausibly a result of the predicative contexts.