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13.2. A-Scrambling: nominal argument shift
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Dutch allows a wide variety of word orders in the middle field of the clause. This subsection discusses the relative order of nominal arguments and clausal adverbs such as waarschijnlijk'probably'. All nominal arguments of the main verb may either precede or follow such adverbs, which is illustrated in (33) by means of a direct object and a subject. We will see that the word order variation in (33) is not free but restricted by information-structural considerations, namely the division between presupposition (discourse-old information) and focus (discourse-new information); cf. Van den Berg (1978), De Haan (1979) and Verhagen (1979/1986).

Example 33
a. Marie wil <het boek> waarschijnlijk <het boek> kopen.
  Marie  wants   the book  probably  buy
  'Marie probably wants to buy the book.'
b. Morgen zal <die vrouw> waarschijnlijk <die vrouw > het boek kopen.
  tomorrow  will    that woman  probably  the book buy
  'Tomorrow that woman will probably buy the book.'

There are various analyses available for the word order variations in (33); see the reviews in the introduction to Corver & Van Riemsdijk (1994) and Broekhuis (2007/2008: Section 2.1). It has been claimed, for instance, that the orders in (33a) are not related to movement of the object. One version of this claim can be found in Neeleman (1994a/1994b), where it is claimed that both structures in (33) can be base-generated. We will refer to this as the flexible base-generation approach.

Example 34
Flexible base-generation approach
a. Marie wil [V' waarschijnlijk [V' dat boek kopen]]
b. Marie wil [V' dat boek [V' waarschijnlijk kopen]]

Another slightly more complex version of this claim is found in Vanden Wyngaerd (1988/1989), where it is claimed that the object obligatorily moves into a designated accusative case position, which is indicated in (35) as the specifier of XP. The word order variation is accounted for by assuming that the clausal adverb can be generated in different base-positions: it can be adjoined either to VP or to XP. We will refer to this as the flexible modification approach; see Booij (1974) for an earlier proposal with similar properties.

Example 35
Flexible modification approach
a. Marie wil [XP waarschijnlijk [XP het boeki X [VPti kopen]]]
b. Marie wil [XP het boeki X [VP waarschijnlijk [VPti kopen]]]

This section will opt for a movement analysis: we assume that the nominal arguments are generated to the right of the clausal adverb within the lexical domain of the clause but that they shift under certain conditions into a more leftward position in the functional domain to the left of the clausal adverbs.

Example 36
Flexible movement approach (to be revised)
a. Marie wil [VP waarschijnlijk [VP dat boek kopen]]
b. Marie wil [XP dat boeki X [VP waarschijnlijk [VPti kopen]]]

The details of this analysis, which we will refer to as the flexible movement approach, will be fleshed out in more detail in Subsection I; this subsection will also show that there are empirical reasons for preferring the flexible movement approach to the two alternative approaches. Subsection II discusses a concomitant effect of nominal argument shift on the intonation pattern of the clause: while non-shifted arguments can be assigned sentence accent, shifted arguments cannot. We will argue that this can also be used as an argument in favor of the flexible movement approach. Having thus firmly established that nominal argument shift is derived by movement, Subsection will argue that this movement is of the same type as found in, e.g., passive constructions: we are dealing with A-movement.

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[+]  I.  A flexible movement approach to nominal argument shift

This subsection provides a number of empirical arguments in favor of a flexible movement approach to nominal argument shift. Subsection A starts by arguing that object shift involves leftward movement: objects move into some landing site that is located higher than (that is, to the left of) the base-position of the subject; subjects move into the regular subject position right-adjacent to the complementizer/finite verb in second position (the specifier of TP). Subsection B continues by showing that the movement is restricted by the information structure of the clause: nominal argument shift only applies if the argument is part of the presupposition (discourse-old information) of the clause. Subsection C concludes by discussing a word order restriction on the output structures of nominal argument shift. Some of the issues addressed in the following subsections are discussed more extensively in Sections N8.1.3 and N8.1.4, but are briefly repeated here for convenience.

[+]  A.  Two empirical arguments in favor of the flexible movement approach

This subsection provides a review of two classical empirical arguments in favor of a movement analysis to nominal argument shift: Wat voor split and VP-topicalization.

[+]  1.  Wat voor split

The standard argument in favor of a movement analysis of nominal argument shift is that placement of the nominal argument in front of the clausal adverb gives rise to a freezing effect. We demonstrate this in (37) by means of the so-called wat voor split. Example (37a) first shows that the string wat voor een boek can be fronted as a whole and should therefore be considered a phrase; the full string functions as a direct object. This, in turn, strongly suggests that the split in (37b) is derived by wh-extraction of wat from the wat voor-phrase. The acceptability contrast between the two (b)-examples shows that the wat voor split requires the remnant of the direct object to follow the modal adverb waarschijnlijk'probably'; cf. Den Besten (1985). If the word order difference between the (b)-examples is indeed related by leftward movement of the direct object across the clausal adverb, the unacceptability of (37b') can be accounted for by appealing to freezing: the wh-element wat has been extracted from a moved phrase.

Example 37
a. Wat voor een boek zal Marie waarschijnlijk kopen?
  what for a book  will  Marie probably  buy
  'What kind of book will Marie probably buy?'
b. Wat zal Marie waarschijnlijk voor een boek kopen?
  what  will  Marie probably  for a book buy
b'. * Wat zal Marie voor een boek waarschijnlijk kopen?
  what  will  Marie for a book probably buy

Den Besten (1985) also claims that the wat voor split is categorically excluded for subjects of transitive verbs but Reuland (1985), Broekhuis (1987/1992), De Hoop (1992) and Neeleman (1994a) have shown that the split is possible if the subject is not in the regular subject position but occupies a position more to the right; this is clear from the fact that the split is possible if the regular subject position in (38b) is filled by the expletive er, but not if the expletive is absent.

Example 38
a. Wat voor vogels zullen (er) je voedertafel bezoeken?
  what for birds  will  there  your bird.table  visit
  'What kind of birds will visit your bird table?'
b. Wat zullen ??(er) voor vogels je voedertafel bezoeken?
  what  will  there  for birds  your bird.table  visit
  'What kind of birds will visit your bird table?'

This suggests that the subject is moved into the regular subject position from a more deeply embedded (more rightward) base-position in the clause. The introduction to this chapter has shown that in current generative grammar it is generally assumed that this base-position is the specifier of the light verb v, as indicated in (39).

Example 39
[CP ... C [TP ... T [XP ... X [vP Subject v [VP ... V ... ]]]]]

Example (33b) has further shown that subject shift may cross the clausal adverb waarschijnlijk'probably', for which reason we have assumed that such adverbs demarcate the left boundary of the lexical domain (which is now taken to be the vP). If so, the movement of the object in (33a) also targets a position in the functional domain of the clause. A currently more or less standard assumption is that both types of nominal argument shift are motivated by case assignment: the subject and the object (optionally) move into the specifier of some functional head that is responsible for structural case assignment: T for nominative case and some functional head X for accusative case. The many different proposals concerning the nature of X need not concern us here; we will therefore not digress on what X is and refer the reader to Broekhuis (2008: Section 3.1) for a review of a number of recent proposals (including proposals that dispense with the category X altogether).

Example 40
Flexible movement approach

      For completeness’ sake, we want to conclude the discussion of the wat voor split by pointing out that it is not clear whether freezing should really be held responsible for the unacceptability of example (37b') and example (38b) without the expletive er. The reason for this is that interrogative wat voor-phrases are non-D-linked and this may simply block object/subject shift; that nominal argument shift of wat voor-phrases is indeed impossible is strongly suggested by the sharp acceptability contrast between the two multiple wh-questions in (41).

Example 41
a. Wie zal waarschijnlijk wat voor boek kopen?
  who will  probably  what for book  buy
  'Who will probably buy what kind of book?'
b. * Wie zal wat voor boek waarschijnlijk kopen?
  who will  what for book  probably  buy

Notwithstanding this, the absence of a freezing effect in (37b) and (38b) with the expletive still supports the claim that remnants of wat voor-phrases should be located within the lexical domain of the clause, and hence also the claim that the subject and the object are base-generated within vP.

[+]  2.  VP-topicalization

Another classic argument in favor of a movement analysis of nominal argument shift involves VP-topicalization; see De Haan (1979) and Webelhuth & Den Besten (1987/1990). Since nominal argument shift is optional, the analysis in (40) correctly predicts that VP-topicalization may either pied pipe or strand the direct object.

Example 42
a. Marie wil <het boek> waarschijnlijk <het boek> kopen.
  Marie wants    the book  probably  buy
  'Marie probably wants to buy the book.'
b. [VP Het boek kopen] wil Marie waarschijnlijk tVP.
  the book  buy  wants  Marie probably
b'. [VPti Kopen] wil Marie het boeki waarschijnlijk.
  buy  wants  Marie the book  probably

The analysis in (40) further accounts for the fact illustrated in (43) that VP-topicalization cannot strand the object in a position following the clause adverb, as there simply is no landing site for the object there; Section 13.3.2 will return to the fact that (43) is acceptable if the object is contrastively accented.

Example 43
* [VPti Kopen] wil Marie waarschijnlijk het boekitVP.
  buy  wants  Marie probably  the book

It should be noted that the acceptability contrast between of (42b') and (43) is a problem for the flexible modification approach in (35), repeated here as (44), according to which the object is obligatorily moved into its case position, as this would allow us to derive both (42b') and (43) by means of VP-topicalization: the former can be derived from (44b) and the latter from (44a).

Example 44
Flexible modification approach
a. Marie wil [XP waarschijnlijk [XP het boeki X [VPti kopen]]]
b. Marie wil [XP het boeki X [VP waarschijnlijk [VPti kopen]]]

The acceptability contrast between (42b') and (43) also poses a serious problem for the flexible base-generation approach in (45) because topicalization is often claimed to involve maximal projections only; if so, (42b') and (43) are both predicted to be ungrammatical, as they can only be derived by movement of the verbal head in isolation. If we do allow V-topicalization, there still is a problem because we then wrongly predict both (42b') and (43) to be acceptable as there would be no a priori reason for assuming that (43) cannot be derived from (45a) by V-topicalization.

Example 45
Flexible base-generation approach
a. Marie wil [V' waarschijnlijk [V' het boek kopen]]
b. Marie wil [V' het boek [V' waarschijnlijk kopen]]

      The flexible movement approach in (40) can also easily account for the fact that it is not possible to pied pipe clausal adverbs by pointing to the fact that these are not included in the lexical projection of the verb (that is, vP); cf. Section 8.4.

Example 46
a. * [Waarschijnlijk het boek kopen] wil Marie.
b. * [Het boek waarschijnlijk kopen] wil Marie.
c. * [Waarschijnlijk kopen] wil Marie het boek.

The flexible modification approach cannot account for the unacceptability of the examples in (46). The reason is that this approach can only account for the acceptability of the examples in (42b&b') by assuming that VP-topicalization can affect either XP or VP in (44). Consequently, it should be possible to derive example (46a) from (44a) by topicalization of the higher segment of XP, example (46b) from (44b) by topicalization of the higher segment of XP, and (46c) from (44b) by topicalization of the lower segment of XP. Even if we assumed that only the lower segments of XP and VP can be topicalized, the unacceptability of example (46b) would remain a problem. Similar problems arise for the flexible base-generation approach, as it should be possible to derive the examples (46a) and (46b) from, respectively, (45a) and (45b) by topicalization of the higher segments of V', and (46c) from (45b) by topicalization of the lower segment of V'. Even if we assume that only the lower segments of XP and VP can be topicalized, an option that should be allowed in order to make it possible to derive example (42b) from (45a), the unacceptability of (46c) would remain a problem. We conclude from this that the flexible modification and the flexible base-generation approach can only account for the unacceptability of the examples in (46) by appealing to ad hoc restrictions on what can or cannot be topicalized; the VP-topicalization data thus favor the flexible movement approach.

[+]  B.  Information-structural restrictions on nominal argument shift

Example (33a), repeated here as (47a), shows that the direct object het boek'the book' may either precede or follow the clausal adverb waarschijnlijk'probably'. Although this suggests that object shift is optional, the examples in (47b&c) show that this is not always correct: indefinite direct objects must follow while definite object pronouns must precede the clausal adverb.

Example 47
a. dat Marie <het boek> waarschijnlijk <het boek> koopt.
  that  Marie    the book  probably  buys
  'that Marie will probably buy the book.'
b. dat Marie <*een boek> waarschijnlijk <een boek> koopt.
  that  Marie      a book  probably  buys
  'that Marie will probably buy a book.'
c. dat Marie <het> waarschijnlijk <*het > koopt.
  that  Marie    it  probably  buys
  'that Marie will probably buy it.'

In fact, the two orders in (47a) are not always equally felicitous either. The order in which the direct object precedes the clausal adverb is normally used if the referent of the noun phrase is already part of the domain of discourse; cf. Verhagen (1986). This is illustrated by the question-answer pair in (48): due to the fact that the direct object was already introduced as a discourse topic in question (48a), it precedes the adverb in answer (48b). Note that we abstract away from the fact that there is an even better way of answering question (48a): by substituting the pronoun het'it' for the noun phrase het boek'the book'.

Example 48
a. Wat doet Marie met het boek?
question
  what  does  Marie  with the book
  'What is Marie doing with the book?'
b. Ik denk dat ze <het boek> waarschijnlijk <#het boek> koopt.
answer
  I think  that  she    the book  probably  buys
  'I think that sheʼll probably buy the book.'

When uttered out-of-the-blue, a question such as (49a) requires an answer in which the direct object provides new information and follows the clausal adverb; the order in which the object precedes the adverb is possible only if the referent of the direct object is already part of the domain of discourse, for example, when the speaker and the addressee are discussing Jan’s wish list, which includes a specific book title.

Example 49
a. Wat koopt Marie voor Jan?
question
  what  buys  Marie for Jan
  'What will Marie buy for Jan?'
b. Ik denk dat ze <#het boek> waarschijnlijk <het boek> koopt.
answer
  I think  that  she     the book  probably  buys
  'I think that sheʼll probably buy the book.'

The discussion above shows that direct objects preceding the clausal adverb refer to discourse-old information, whereas direct objects following the clausal adverb refer to discourse-new information. Since definite pronouns and indefinite noun phrases typically refer to, respectively, discourse-old and discourse-new information, their placement relative to the clausal adverb in the examples in (47) follows naturally. Another fact that follows naturally from this information-structural restriction on argument placement is that epithets always precede clausal adverbs; they always refer to an active discourse topic.

Example 50
dat Jan <de etter> waarschijnlijk <*de etter> haat.
  that  Jan the son.of.a.bitch  probably  hates
'that Jan probably hates the son of a bitch.'

It should be noted, however, that the notion of discourse-new information should be taken quite broadly in that it is not confined to the referential properties of the noun phrase. An example illustrating this, inspired by Verhagen (1986:106ff.), is given in (51). Although the referent of the noun phrase de verkeerde'the wrong person' is clearly identifiable for both participants, the neutral continuation of the discourse is as given in (51b): this is due to the fact that Peter is now characterized as "the wrong person to give the relevant information to". Note in passing that example (51b') is possible with a contrastive accent on the noun phrase, in which case this utterance is likely to be followed by another one revealing the identity of the person that should have been informed.

Example 51
a. Ik heb het aan Peter verteld.
speaker A
  have  it  to Peter  told
  'I have told it to Peter.'
b. Dan heb je waarschijnlijk de verkeerde ingelicht.
speaker B
  then  have  you  probably  the wrong.one  prt.-informed
  'Then you have probably informed the wrong person.'
b'. * Dan heb je de verkeerde waarschijnlijk ingelicht.
speaker B
  then  have  you  the wrong.one  probably  prt.-informed

      The examples in (52) show that subjects behave in essentially the same way as the objects in (47); cf. Van den Berg (1978). This is slightly obscured, however, by a complicating factor, namely that indefinite subjects may precede the clausal adverb if they are interpreted as specific (known to the speaker but not to the addressee) or if they are part of a generic sentence. We will ignore this here but return to the distinction between specific and non-specific indefinite subjects in Subsection C.

Example 52
a. dat <die vrouw> waarschijnlijk <die vrouw> het boek koopt.
  that    that woman  probably  the book buys
  'that that woman will probably buy the book.'
b. dat <#een vrouw> waarschijnlijk <een vrouw> het boek koopt.
  that      a woman  probably  the book buys
  'that a woman will probably buy the book.'
c. dat <ze> waarschijnlijk <*ze> het boek koopt.
  that   she  probably  the book buys
  'that sheʼll probably buy the book.'

      The discussion above has shown that the relative order of the object/subject and the clausal adverb is sensitive to the information-structural function of the object/subject. This favors an approach in which the restriction on word order is formulated in terms of properties of the subject/object and thereby again disfavors the flexible modification approach in (35), according to which the word order variation is due to alternative placements of the adverb. The flexible modification approach also runs up against a contradiction concerning the placement of clausal adverbs relative to the regular subject position, the specifier of TP. Consider the expletive constructions in (53). If we adopt the standard assumption that the expletive er occupies the regular subject position, which is corroborated by the fact that it is right-adjacent to the complementizer dat, the acceptability contrast between the two examples in (53) shows that clausal adverbs must follow this subject position.

Example 53
a. dat er waarschijnlijk een man op straat loopt.
  that  there  probably  a man  in.the.street  walks
  'that there is probably a man walking in the street.'
b. * dat waarschijnlijk er een man op straat loopt

The conclusion that clausal adverbs cannot be located in front of the regular subject position makes it very unlikely that the order variation in (52a) can be accounted for by assuming variable base-positions for the modal adverb, as suggested by the line of reasoning found in Vanden Wyngaerd (1989): if the subject is to occupy the regular subject position in order to receive nominative case, the order in an example such as dat waarschijnlijk die man op straat loopt'that that man is probably walking in the street' would imply that the clausal adverb can precede the regular subject position, contrary to fact, as shown by (53b). The resulting contradiction does not arise if we assume subject shift; see Broekhuis (2009b) and Vanden Wyngaerd (2009) for more discussion.

[+]  C.  Interaction of different types of argument shift

If we adopt the claim that nominal argument shift targets a position in the functional domain of the clause where the subject/object can be assigned case, we can summarize the findings from Subsection B as in (54); see Broekhuis (2008:ch.3), De Hoop (1992:ch.3) and Delfitto & Corver (1998) for somewhat different implementations of the same idea.

Example 54
Information-structural restrictions on nominal argument shift:
a. Nominal arguments expressing discourse-new information stay within the lexical domain.
b. Nominal arguments expressing discourse-old information move into their case position in the functional domain of the clause.

Now consider again the derivation suggested in (40), repeated here as (55). This derivation, in tandem with the two generalizations in (54), predicts that an object expressing discourse-old information will cross a subject that expresses discourse-new information.

Example 55

Although this prediction is more or less accurate for languages like German, it is clearly wrong for Standard Dutch, since in the middle field of the clause the subject normally precedes the direct object, as stated in the restriction on linear word order in (56): see, e.g., De Haan (1979:ch.4), Haegeman (1993a/1995), Williams (2003) and Müller (2000/2001) for extensive discussion of this restriction.

Example 56
Ordering restriction on nominal argument shift in Standard Dutch: nominal argument shift does not affect the unmarked order of the nominal arguments (agent > goal > theme).

The word order restriction in (56) can only operate in full force if one of the generalizations in (54) is violated. The discussion in the following subsections will show that this is indeed what we find; cf. Broekhuis (2008/2009).

[+]  1.  Direct object and subject shift

Example (57a) shows again that definite subjects may be located to the right of clausal adverbs like waarschijnlijk if they are part of the focus of the clause, that is, refer to discourse-new information. The examples in (57b&c) show that the subject and the object can both shift to the left of the clausal adverb provided they are part of the presupposition of the clause. The effect of the ordering restriction on nominal argument shift in (56) is illustrated by (57d); this example shows that a presuppositional object cannot shift across the subject if the latter is part of the focus of the clause and thus has to follow the modal adverb. This means that example (57a) is information-structurally ambiguous in that it also allows the direct object to be part of the presupposition of the clause; since the discourse-old object occupies a position within the lexical domain, this results in a violation of restriction (54b).

Example 57
a. dat waarschijnlijk de jongens dit boek gelezen hebben.
  that  probably  the boys  this book  read  have
  'that the boys have probably read this book.'
b. dat de jongens waarschijnlijk dit boek gelezen hebben.
c. dat de jongens dit boek waarschijnlijk gelezen hebben.
d. * dat dit boek waarschijnlijk de jongens gelezen hebben.

The results are different if we replace the direct object dit boek'this book' by the pronoun het'it'. Example (58a) first shows that the object pronoun differs from non-pronominal objects in that it cannot remain within the lexical domain of the clause if the subject is part of the focus of the clause. Example (58b) shows that it behaves like non-pronominal objects in that it cannot cross the subject, but (58c) shows that it differs from non-pronominal objects in that it is able to push the subject up into the regular subject position of the clause. This means that the subject in (58c) can be interpreted as referring to discourse-new information in violation of the restriction in (54a), as is clear from the fact that this example can be used as an answer to the question Wie hebben het boek gelezen?'Who have read the book?'.

Example 58
a. * dat <waarschijnlijk> de jongens het gelezen hebben.
  that    probably  the boys  it  read  have
b. * dat het <waarschijnlijk> de jongens gelezen hebben.
  that  it    probably  the boys  read  have
c. dat de jongens het waarschijnlijk gelezen hebben.
  that  the boys  it  probably  read  have
  'that the boys probably have read it.'

It should further be noted that examples such as (58a) become fully acceptable if the subject is given contrastive stress; this shows that in such cases the subject may block object shift of the pronominal object in violation of the information-structural restrictions in (54b); we refer the reader to Section 13.3 for a discussion of the placement of contrastively focused phrases.

Example 59
dat waarschijnlijk de jongens het gelezen hebben.
  that  probably  the boys  it  read  have
'that the boys have probably read it.'

      We find more or less the same pattern with indefinite subjects. The situation is somewhat complicated, however, by the fact that, depending on its placement with respect to the clausal adverb, the subject can receive a non-specific interpretation (unknown to speaker and hearer) or a specific interpretation (known to the speaker but unknown to the hearer); if the indefinite subject twee jongens in (60) follows the clausal adverb waarschijnlijk'probably', it is preferably interpreted as non-specific, while twee jongens can only be interpreted as specific if it precedes waarschijnlijk (see also N8.1.4, sub I).

Example 60
a. dat waarschijnlijk twee jongens dit boek gelezen hebben.
  that  probably  two boys  this book  read  have
  Ambiguous: 'that two (of the) boys have probably read this book.'
b. dat twee jongens waarschijnlijk dit boek gelezen hebben.
  that  two of the boys  probably  this book  read  have
  Specific only: 'that two of the boys have probably read this book.'

The result changes again if we replace the direct object het boek'the book' by the pronoun het'it'. Placement of the indefinite subject after the clausal adverb, as in (61a), again requires the subject to be assigned contrastive stress; in case of a more neutral intonation pattern the pronoun pushes the subject up into the regular subject position right-adjacent to the complementizer, as in (61b). The fact that the subject in (61b) may provide discourse-new information again violates the information-structural restriction in (54a), and the fact that the contractively stressed subject in (61a) is able to block object shift of the pronoun violates the restriction in (54b).

Example 61
a. dat waarschijnlijk twee jongens/*jongens het gelezen hebben.
  that  probably  two boys  it  read  have
  'that two boys (not girls) have probably read it.'
b. dat twee jongens het waarschijnlijk gelezen hebben.
  that  two boys  it  probably  read  have
  Ambiguous: 'that two (of the) boys have probably read it.'

The data above show that referential object pronouns may push up subjects that express discourse-new information into the regular subject position adjacent to the complementizer, in violation of the information-structural restriction in (54a). Object shift of the pronoun can also be blocked in violation of the information-structural restriction in (54b) if the subject is assigned contrastive focus accent. This shows that the restrictions in (54) are not absolute, but can be overridden in order to satisfy the "stronger" word order restriction in (56). This suffices to show that there is a complex set of factors interacting (in the sense of optimality theory developed by Prince & Smolensky 2004) in determining the surface position of the nominal arguments of the clause.

[+]  2.  Direct object and indirect object shift

The discussion of the interaction of object and subject shift in Subsection 1 has shown that the information-structural restrictions in (54) can be overridden by the word order restriction in (56). The same can be shown by the interaction of indirect object and direct object shift. Since this is also discussed in detail in Section N8.1.3, sub V, we will confine ourselves here to a brief review of the relevant data. The examples in (62) show more or less the same as the examples in (57); although the direct and the indirect object can both shift across the modal adverb, the direct object cannot cross the indirect object in its base position.

Example 62
a. dat hij waarschijnlijk zijn moeder het boek heeft gegeven.
  that  he probably  his mother  the book  has  given
  'that he has probably given his mother the book.'
b. dat hij zijn moeder waarschijnlijk het boek heeft gegeven.
c. dat hij zijn moeder het boek waarschijnlijk heeft gegeven.
d. * dat hij het boek waarschijnlijk zijn moeder heeft gegeven.

The examples in (63) show more or less the same as the examples in (58). Example (63a) first shows that the object pronoun differs from non-pronominal direct objects in that it cannot remain within the lexical domain of the clause if the indirect object is part of the focus of the clause. Example (63b) shows that the object pronoun behaves like non-pronominal direct objects in that it cannot cross the indirect object, while (63c) shows that it differs from them in that it is able to push the indirect object up into the functional domain of the clause. As in the cases discussed in Subsection 1, the judgments only hold under a non-contrastive intonation pattern, as the orders in (63b&c) become acceptable if the indirect object is assigned a contrastive focus accent.

Example 63
a. * dat hij waarschijnlijk zijn moeder het heeft gegeven.
b. * dat hij het waarschijnlijk zijn moeder heeft gegeven.
c. ? dat hij zijn moeder het waarschijnlijk heeft gegeven.
  that  he his mother  it  probably  has  given
  'that he probably has given it to his mother.'

The fact that example (63c) is still somewhat marked may be related to the fact the pronoun may precede the indirect object in (63c), dat hij het zijn moeder waarschijnlijk heeft gegeven, but we postpone discussion of this issue to Section 13.4. The markedness of (63c) may also be related to the fact that it competes with the periphrastic construction dat hij het waarschijnlijk aan zijn moeder heeft gegeven'that he has probably given it to his mother', which does not run afoul of the information-structural restriction in (54a). The markedness of (64a) with a contrastively stressed indirect object blocking object shift of the pronoun het'it' may have a similar reason: the periphrastic construction in (64b) does not induce a violation of the information-structural restriction in (54b) which we see in (64a).

Example 64
a. ? dat hij waarschijnlijk zijn moeder het heeft gegeven.
  that  he  probably  his mother  it  has  given
b. dat hij het waarschijnlijk aan zijn moeder heeft gegeven.
  that  he  it  probably  to his mother  has  given
  'that he probably has given it to his mother.'

For completeness’ sake, it should be noted that Dutch differs markedly from German, which does allow the object to cross the indirect object. This is illustrated in (65) by means of examples taken from Vikner (1994).

Example 65
a. dass Peter wirklich Maria das Buch gezeigt hat.
German
  that  Peter really  Maria  the book  shown  has
b. dass Peter Maria wirklich tIO das Buch gezeigt hat.
c. dass Peter Maria das Buch wirklich tIOtDOgezeigt hat.
d. dass Peter das Buch wirklich Maria tDO gezeigt hat.
[+]  3.  Indirect object and subject shift

The previous two subsections have argued that the ordering restriction on nominal argument shift in (56) cannot be violated in Dutch, contrary to what is the case in German. This subsection will discuss an apparent counterexample to this claim. The problem is illustrated in example (66), which shows that passive ditransitive and dyadic unaccusative constructions do not obey restriction (56); on the assumption that the orders in the primeless examples are unmarked, we would expect the primed examples to be unacceptable under a neutral, non-contrastive intonation pattern (and vice versa) but both orders seem fully acceptable (although some speakers may prefer a periphrastic indirect object to the nominal indirect object in (66a')).

Example 66
a. dat Elsdat de boekennom worden aangeboden.
passive
  that  Els  the books  are  prt.-offered
  'that the books will be offered to Els.'
a'. dat de boekennom Elsdat worden aangeboden.
b. dat de jongensdat het tochtjenom bevallen is.
nom-dat verb
  that  the boys  the trip  pleased  is
  'that the trip has pleased the boys.'
b'. dat het tochtjenom de jongensdat bevallen is.
c. dat de gastendat de soepnom gesmaakt heeft.
nom-dat verb
  that  the guests  the soup  tasted  has
  'that the soup has pleased the guests.'
c'. dat de soepnom de gastendat gesmaakt heeft.

It seems, however, that the primed examples impose specific restrictions on the placement of clausal adverbs like waarschijnlijk'probably' under a neutral intonation pattern: the number signs are used to indicate that the indirect objects may follow the adverb only if they are assigned contrastive accent.

Example 67
a. dat de boeken <Els> waarschijnlijk <#Els> worden aangeboden.
  that  the books    Els  probably  are  prt.-offered
  'that the books will probably be offered to Els.'
b. dat het tochtje <de jongens> waarschijnlijk <#de jongens> bevallen is.
  that  the trip    the boys  probably  pleased  is
  'that the trip has probably pleased the boys.'
c. dat de soep <de gasten> waarschijnlijk <#de gasten> gesmaakt heeft.
  that  the soup    the guests  probably tasted  has
  'that the soup has probably pleased the guests.'

Since Section 13.3 will show that contrastively accented phrases are at least sometimes external to the lexical domain of the clause, the conclusion that presents itself is that the ordering restriction in (56) is only valid to the extent that it prohibits nominal argument shift across another nominal argument that remains within the lexical domain of the clause; for independent evidence in favor of this claim, we refer the reader to the discussion about the interaction between nominal argument shift and wh-movement in Section N8.1.3, sub V.

[+]  D.  Conclusion

The discussion in this subsection has shown that nominal argument shift is regulated by the information-structural restrictions in (54) in tandem with the word order restriction in (56). According to (54) nominal arguments move into their case-position in the functional domain of the clause if they express discourse-old information but remain within the lexical domain of the clause if they express discourse-new information. We have further seen that restriction (56) is only valid to the extent that it prohibits nominal argument shift across another nominal argument that remains within the lexical domain of the clause; the theme argument of a passive ditransitive or a dyadic unaccusative construction may cross the goal argument on its way to the regular subject position provided that the latter has undergone object shift.
      Some of the topics discussed in this subsection are treated more extensively in Chapter N8. Section N8.1.3 focuses on object shift and addresses issues more specifically related to special types of nominal objects: noun phrases with a generic or partitive reading, indefinite noun phrases with a specific or non-specific reading, quantified noun phrases, etc. Section N8.1.3 also discusses the placement of nominal objects relative to a wider range of adverbial phrases including manner adverbs, negation and temporal/locational adverbs preceding the modal adverbs. Section N8.1.4 more specifically deals with issues related to subject shift in expletive er'there' constructions.

[+]  II.  Nominal argument shift and the location of sentence accent

The introduction to this section mentioned that there are three approaches to nominal argument shift. We adopted the flexible movement approach, according to which the nominal argument is optionally moved out of the lexical domain into a designated case position in the functional domain of the clause; we have further shown that there are empirical reasons for preferring this approach to the flexible base-generation and flexible modification approaches. This subsection provides additional reasons for rejecting these two alternative approaches.
      Consider the (a)-examples in (68) which show that object shift goes hand-in-hand with a change in intonation pattern: while the sentence accent (indicated by small caps) is assigned to the direct object if it is part of the focus of the clause, it cannot be assigned to the direct object if it is part of the presupposition of the clause. The (b)-examples show that the two intonations patterns also occur with the same interpretative effect if the adverb is not present. The symbols ⊂ and ⊄ are used to indicate "is (not) part of".

Example 68
a. dat Peter waarschijnlijk het boek koopt.
object ⊂ focus
  that  Peter  probably  the book  buys
a'. dat Peter het boek waarschijnlijk koopt.
object ⊄ focus
  that  Peter  the book  probably  buys
b. dat Peter het boek koopt.
object ⊂ focus
  that  Peter  the book  buys
b'. dat Peter het boek koopt.
object ⊄ focus
  that  Peter  the book  buys

The examples in (69), taken from Verhagen (1986), show more or less the same thing. These examples confirm the claim in Section N8.1.3, sub IC, that object shift of indefinite objects with a non-specific interpretation is normally impossible, while object shift of indefinite objects with a generic (or partitive) reading is obligatory; (69a) expresses that renting some bigger computer is probably necessary, while (69a') expresses that any computer bigger than a certain contextually defined standard should probably be rented (not bought). The (b)-examples illustrate again that these interpretations do not crucially depend on the presence of a clausal adverb but on the intonation pattern of the clause.

Example 69
a. Daarom moet hij waarschijnlijk een grotere computer huren.
  therefore  must  he  probably  a bigger computer  rent
a'. Daarom moet hij een grotere computer waarschijnlijk huren.
  therefore  must  he  a bigger computer  probably  rent
b. Daarom moet hij een grotere computer huren.
  therefore  must  he  a bigger computer  rent
b'. Daarom moet hij een grotere computer huren.
  therefore  must  he  a bigger computer  rent

The flexible movement approach can easily account for the correlation between the intonation pattern of the clause and the interpretation of the object in (68) and (69) by adopting the claim from Section 13.1, sub III, that the sentence accent must be assigned to some element within the lexical domain (unless it is phonetically empty). Because the shifted objects in the primed examples are not within the lexical domain, sentence accent must be assigned to the clause-final verb; see Van den Berg (1978) for the same conclusion in somewhat different theoretical terms. It is not clear whether the two alternative approaches can account for this correlation. The flexible modification approach seems to leave us empty-handed, as there is no obvious link within this approach between adverb placement and the relevant correlation between intonation and interpretation. The same holds for the flexible base-generation approach as far as the (b)-examples in (68) and (69) are concerned: because the primeless and primed examples are assigned identical syntactic structures, there is no clear syntactic property that could account for the correlation between intonation and interpretation; see Verhagen (1986: section 3.2.3) for a similar argument against Hoekstra’s (1984a: section 2.7.3) hypothesis that object shift involves adjunction to VP, which we did not discuss here.

[+]  III.  Nominal argument shift is A-movement

Subsection IA suggested that nominal argument shift is related to case marking in that the subject and the object (optionally) move into the specifier of some functional head that is responsible for structural case assignment: T for nominative case and some functional head X for accusative case. If true, this implies that nominal argument shift involves A-movement. This is supported by the fact that this kind of movement seems to be restricted to nominal arguments, which was already noted by Kerstens (1975), Van den Berg (1978) and De Haan (1979), who proposed a transformational rule of NP-preposing to account for these phenomena.

Example 70
Flexible movement approach

Nevertheless, it is claimed occasionally that prepositional objects may undergo the same process; see, e.g., Neeleman (1994a/1994b). An important reason for assuming that leftward movement of such PPs should be distinguished from nominal argument shift is related to the distribution of PPs containing a definite pronoun. First, recall from Subsection IB that definite subject/object pronouns normally undergo nominal argument shift because they refer to discourse-old entities. This is illustrated once more in (71a), in which the object pronoun hem can only follow the clausal adverb if it is assigned contrastive accent: Jan nodigt waarschijnlijk hem uit (niet haar)'Jan will probably invite him (not her)'. Second, example (71b) shows that leftward movement of a complement-PP is optional if its nominal part is a definite pronoun; this clearly shows that the division between discourse-old and discourse-new information has no bearing on the positioning of PP-complements. Finally, leftward movement of the naar-PP produces a marked result if we replace nauwelijks'hardly' by the prototypical clausal adverb waarschijnlijk'probably'; cf. (71b'). This shows that leftward movement of prepositional objects should be distinguished from nominal argument shift.

Example 71
a. Jan nodigt <haar> waarschijnlijk <*haar> uit.
  Jan invites    her  probably  prt
  'Jan will probably invite her.'
b. dat Jan <naar haar> nauwelijks <naar haar> kijkt.
  that  Jan    at her  hardly  looks
  'that Jan is hardly looking at her.'
b'. dat Jan <??naar haar> waarschijnlijk <naar haar> kijkt.
  that  Jan      at her  probably  looks
  'that Jan is probably looking at her.'

The examples in (72) further show that while shifted pronouns can be phonologically weak, the pronominal part of a shifted PP must be strong. The fact that the pronominal part can be weak if the PP follows the adverb again shows that leftward movement of prepositional objects should be distinguished from nominal argument shift; we refer the reader to Section 9.5, sub IIIA, for a more detailed discussion.

Example 72
a. Jan nodigt <ʼr> waarschijnlijk <*ʼr> uit.
  Jan invites    her  probably  prt
  'Jan will probably invite her.'
b. dat Jan <*naar ʼr> nauwelijks <naar ʼr> kijkt.
  that  Jan    at her  hardly  looks
  'that Jan is hardly looking at her.'

      Another argument in favor of an A-movement analysis of nominal argument shift can be based on anaphor binding and bound variable readings of pronouns. The English subject raising examples in (73) first show that A-movement is able to feed these binding relations; the crucial thing is that in the primeless examples the noun phrase is clearly located within the infinitival clause and therefore does not c-command the nominal complement of the to-PP, while in the primed examples the noun phrase has been A-moved into the subject position of the matrix clause and so c-commands the reciprocal/possessive pronoun from this position as a result; see Section 11.3.7, sub IIIA, for a more detailed discussion.

Example 73
a. * Thereiseem to each other [tito be some applicantsi eligible for the job].
a'. Some applicantsi seem to each other [t'i to be ti eligible for the job].
b. * Therei seems to his mother [ti to be someone eligible for the job].
b'. Someone seems to his mother [t'i to be ti eligible for the job].

For Dutch we can show the same by using constructions with dyadic unaccusative (nom-dat) verbs such as bevallen'to please' in (74). Section 2.1.3 has shown that (just as in the case of passive ditransitive constructions) the nominative-dative order in (74a) is the neutral one. The fact that subject shift feeds anaphor binding therefore supports our claim that we are dealing with A-movement, that is, that subject shift targets the regular subject position; cf. Vanden Wyngaerd (1989).

Example 74
a. dat <de jongen> zichzelf <*de jongen> goed bevalt.
  that      the boy  himself  well  pleases
  'that the boy is quite pleased with himself.'
b. dat <de jongens> elkaar <*de jongens> goed bevallen.
  that    the boys  each.other  well  please
  'that the boys are quite pleased with each other.'

Consequently, the fact illustrated in (75) that object shift also feeds anaphor binding and bound variable readings also strongly supports an A-movement analysis; cf. Vanden Wyngaerd (1988/1989).

Example 75
a. * Zij heeft namens elkaar dejongens gefeliciteerd.
  she  has  on.behalf.of each other  the boys  congratulated
a'. Zij heeft dejongensi namens elkaarti gefeliciteerd.
  she  has  the boys  on.behalf.of  each.other  congratulated
  'She congratulated the boys on behalf of each other.'
b. * Zij heeft namens zijn begeleider elke jongen gefeliciteerd.
  she  has  on.behalf.of  his supervisor  each boy  congratulated
b'. Zij heeft elke jongeni namens zijn begeleider ti gefeliciteerd.
  she  has  each boy  on.behalf.of  his supervisor  congratulated
  'She congratulated each boys on behalf of his supervisor.'

Let us adopt the standard assumption that the direct object is base-generated within the VP while VP adverbials are adjoined to VP, as in (76a). Because the object is more deeply embedded than the adverbial phrase, the former does not c-command the latter, and this accounts for the fact illustrated in the primeless examples in (75) that the direct object cannot bind the italicized pronominal elements within the adjunct. If the vP-external landing site of object shift is an A-position, the contrast between the primeless and primed examples in (75) follows; in the resulting structure in (76b) the direct object c-commands the VP adverbial and it is consequently able to bind the italicized pronominal elements within it.

Example 76
a. [vP ... v [VP Adverb [VP DO V]]]
b. [XP DO X [vP ... v [VP Adverb [VPtDO V]]]]

      There are also potential problems for an A-movement analysis. The fact illustrated in (77) that leftward movement of the direct object licenses a parasitic gap is often considered an A'-movement property; cf. Bennis & Hoekstra (1984).

Example 77
a. * Zij heeft [zonder PRO pg aan te kijken] dejongens gefeliciteerd.
  she  has  without  prt.  to look.at  the boys  congratulated
b. Zij heeft dejongensi [zonder PRO pg aan te kijken] ti gefeliciteerd.
  she  has  the boys  without  prt.  to look.at  congratulated
  'She congratulated the boys without looking at them.'

Example (78) shows that things turn out to be even more complicated: leftward movement of the direct object may simultaneously feed binding and license a parasitic gap. Webelhuth (1989/1992) concluded from this that the dichotomy between A- and A'-positions is too coarse, and that we have to postulate a third, Janus-faced position that exhibits properties of both A- and A'-positions.

Example 78
a. Zij heeft de jongensi [zonder pg aan te kijken] namens elkaar gefeliciteerd.
  she  has  the boys  without  prt. to look.at  on.behalf.of each.other  congratulated
  'She congratulated the boys on behalf of each other without looking at them.'
b. Zij heeft elke jongeni [zonder pg aan te kijken] namens zijn begeleider gefeliciteerd.
  she  has  each boy  without  prt. to look.at  on.behalf.of his supervisor congratulated
  'She congratulated each boy on behalf of his supervisor without looking at him.'

Examples of this sort have given rise to ardent debates on the nature of nominal argument shift and on the licensing condition for parasitic gaps but the main issues are not yet settled. For instance, the fact that infinitival clauses containing a parasitic gap normally precede PP-adjuncts containing an anaphor opens up the possibility of assuming that nominal argument shift is A-movement, which feeds anaphor binding, but that it can be followed by an additional A'-movement step, which licenses the parasitic gap; cf. Mahajan (1990/1994). We will not digress on this issue here but refer the reader to Section 11.3.7, sub III for an extensive review of the debate.

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