Finiteness in South Slavic Complement Clauses
Evidence for an Implicational Finiteness Universal
This paper shows that the distribution of (non‑)finiteness in the South Slavic languages reflects an implicational scale along an independently attested semantic complementation hierarchy (e.g., Givón 1980). We suggest that in the South Slavic languages, finiteness is triggered by clausal agreement features associated with different syntactic heads. Building on a complexity approach to the complementation hierarchy, we propose that cross-linguistic variation in finiteness and variation across different types of complements are the result of language-specific differences in the distribution of agreement features. More broadly, we conclude that there is no (universal) semantic correlate of (non‑)finiteness and, contra cartographic approaches, that finiteness is not confined to a particular domain in the clause. Following Adger (2007), we argue that finiteness can be distributed over all clausal domains.
ABUSCH, Dorit (1988) “Sequence of Tense, intensionality and scope.” In: H. Borer (ed), The Proceedings of the 7th West Coast Conference on Formal Linguistics. Standford: CSLI Publications, 1–14.
ABUSCH, Dorit (2004) “On the temporal compostion of infinitives.” In: J. Guéron/ J. Lecarme (eds), The syntax of time. Cambridge, MA: Massachusetts Institute of Technology, 27–53.
ADGER, David (2007) “Three domains of finiteness: A minimalist perspective.” In: I. Nikolaeva (ed), 23–58.
BIANCHI, Valentina (2003) “On finiteness as logophoric anchoring.” In: J. Guéron/L. Tasmovski (eds), Temps et point de vue/Tense and Point of View. Paris: Université Paris X. 213–246.
BISANG, Walter (2007) “Categories that make finiteness: Discreteness from a functional perspective and some of its repercussions.” In: I. Nikolaeva (ed), 115–137.
CHIERCHIA, Gennaro (1984) Topics in the syntax and semantics of infinitives and gerunds. Doctoral dissertation. Amherst: University of Massachusetts.
CRISTOFARO, Sonia (2005) Subordination. Oxford: Oxford University Press.
CRISTOFARO, Sonia (2007) “Deconstructing finiteness: Finiteness in a functional-typological perspective.” In: I. Nikolaeva (ed), 91–114.
DIXON, Robert M. W (2006) “Complement clauses and complementation strategies in typological perspective.” In: R. M. W Dixon/A. Y. Aikhenvald (eds), Complementation: A cross-linguistic typology. Oxford: Oxford University Press, 1–48.
GIVÓN, Talmy (1980) “The binding hierarchy and the typology of complements.” Studies in Language 4/3, 333–377. https://doi.org/10.1075/sl.4.3.03giv
GIVÓN, Talmy (1990) Syntax: A Functional-Typological Introduction, Vol. II. Amsterdam: J. Benjamins.
GROHMANN, Kleanthes K. (2003) Prolific domains: On the anti-locality of movement dependencies. Amsterdam/Philadelphia: John Benjamins.
HACQUARD, Valentine (2006) Aspects of modality. Doctoral dissertation. Cambridge, MA: Massachusetts Institute of Technology.
HORIE, Kaoru (2001) “Complement clauses.” Language Typology and Language Universals. An International Handbook 2, 979–993.
KRATZER, Angelika (2006) “Decomposing Proposition verbs.” Talk given in honor of Anita Mittwoch. The Hebrew University of Jerusalem.
MAAS, Utz (2004) “‘Finite’ and ‘nonfinite’ from a typological perspective.” Linguistics 42/2, 359–385. https://doi.org/10.1515/ling.2004.012
MOULTON, Keir (2009a) “Clausal complementation and the wager-class.” In: A. Schardl/M. Walkow/M. Abdurrahman (eds), Proceedings of the North Eastern Linguistics Society Annual Meeting 38. Amherst: University of Massachusetts, GLSA,165–178.
MOULTON, Keir (2009b) Natural selection and the syntax of clausal complementation. Doctoral dissertation. Amherst: University of Massachusetts.
NIKOLAEVA, Irina (2007a) “Constructional economy and nonfinite independent clauses.” In: I. Nikolaeva (ed), 138–180.
NIKOLAEVA, Irina (ed) (2007b) Finiteness: Theoretical and empirical foundations. Oxford: Oxford University Press.
NIKOLAEVA, Irina (2007c) “Introduction.” In: I. Nikolaeva (ed), 1–19.
NOONAN, Michael (2007) “Complementation.” In: T. Shopen (ed), Language typology and syntactic description: Complex Constructions (Volume II). Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 52–150.
PESETSKY, David (1992) Zero syntax II: An essay on infinitives. Cambridge, MA: MIT.
PROGOVAC, Ljiljana (1993a) “Locality and subjunctive-like complements in Serbo-Croatian.” Journal of Slavic Linguistics 1, 116–144.
PROGOVAC, Ljiljana (1993b) “Subjunctive: The (mis)behavior of anaphora and negative polarity.” The Linguistic Review 10, 37–59. https://doi.org/10.1515/tlir.1922.214.171.124
PROGOVAC, Ljiljana (1994) Negative and positive polarity: A binding approach. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press.
PROGOVAC, Ljiljana (1996) “Clitics in Serbian/Croatian: Comp as the second position.” In: A. Halpern/A. Zwicky (eds), Approaching second: Second position clitics and related phenomena. Stanford: CSLI Publications, 441–428.
RAMCHAND, Gillian/Peter SVENONIUS (2014) “Deriving the functional hierarchy.” Language sciences 46, 152–174. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.langsci.2014.06.013
ROCHETTE, Anne (1988) Semantic and syntactic aspects of Romance sentential complementation. Doctoral dissertation. Cambridge, MA: Massachusetts Institute of Technology.
ROCHETTE, Anne (1990) “On the restructuring classes of verbs in Romance.” In: A. Di Sciullo/A. Rochette (eds), Binding in Romance: Essays in honour of Judith McA’Nulty. Ottawa: Canadian Linguistic Association, 96 –128.
STJEPANOVIĆ, Sandra (2004) “Clitic climbing and restructuring with ‘finite clause’ and infinitive complements.” Journal of Slavic Linguistics 12/1–2, 173–212.
TODOROVIĆ, Neda (2015) “Tense and aspect (in)compatibility in Serbian matrix and subordinate clauses.” Lingua 167, 82–111. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.lingua.2015.04.007
TODOROVIĆ, Neda/Susi WURMBRAND (2020) “Finiteness across domains.” In: T. Radeva-Bork/P. Kosta (eds), Current Developments in Slavic Linguistics. Twenty Years After (based on selected papers from FDSL 11). Frankfurt am Main: Peter Lang, 47 –66.
VRZIĆ, Zvjezdana (1996) “Categorial status of the Serbo-Croatian ‘modal’ da.” In: J. Toman (ed), Formal Approaches to Slavic Linguistics: The College Park Meeting 1994. Ann Arbor: Michigan Slavic Publications, 291–312.
WURMBRAND, Susi (2002) “Syntactic versus semantic control.” In: C. J. Zwart/W. Abraham (eds), Studies in comparative Germanic syntax. Amsterdam: John Benjamins, 95–129.
WURMBRAND, Susi (2014a) “Restructuring across the world.” In: L. Veselovská/M. Janebová (eds), Complex Visibles Out There. Proceedings of the Olomouc Linguistics Colloquium 2014: Language Use and Linguistic Structure. Olomouc: Palacký University, 275–294.
WURMBRAND, Susi (2014b) “Tense and aspect in English infinitives.” Linguistic Inquiry 45/3, 403–447. https://doi.org/10.1162/LING_a_00161
WURMBRAND, Susi (2015) “Restructuring cross-linguistically.” In: T. Bui/D. Özyıldız (eds), Proceedings of the North Eastern Linguistics Society Annual Meeting 45. Amherst: University of Massachusetts, GLSA, 227–240.
WURMBRAND, Susi/Magdalena LOHNINGER (to appear) “An implicational universal in complementation – Theoretical insights and empirical progress.” In: J. M. Hartmann/A. Wöllstein (eds), Propositional Arguments in Cross-Linguistic Research: Theoretical and Empirical Issues. Berlin: Mouton de Gruyter.
Copyright (c) 2020 Susanne Wurmbrand, Iva Kovač, Magdalena Lohninger, Caroline Pajančič, Neda Todorović
This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-ShareAlike 4.0 International License.
Authors who publish with this journal agree to the following terms:
- Authors are confirming that they are the authors of the submitting article, which will be published (print and online) in journal Linguistica by Znanstvena založba Filozofske fakultete Univerze v Ljubljani (University of Ljubljana, Faculty of Arts, Aškerčeva 2, 1000 Ljubljana, Slovenia). Author’s name will be evident in the article in journal. All decisions regarding layout and distribution of the work are in hands of the publisher.
- Authors guarantee that the work is their own original creation and does not infringe any statutory or common-law copyright or any proprietary right of any third party. In case of claims by third parties, authors commit their self to defend the interests of the publisher, and shall cover any potential costs.
- Authors retain copyright and grant the journal right of first publication with the work simultaneously licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-ShareAlike 4.0 International License that allows others to share the work with an acknowledgement of the work's authorship and initial publication in this journal.
- Authors are able to enter into separate, additional contractual arrangements for the non-exclusive distribution of the journal's published version of the work (e.g., post it to an institutional repository or publish it in a book), with an acknowledgement of its initial publication in this journal.
- Authors are permitted and encouraged to post their work online (e.g., in institutional repositories or on their website) prior to and during the submission process, as it can lead to productive exchanges, as well as earlier and greater citation of published work.