[b-hebrew] Placeholders: )$R w/o antecedent

C. Stirling Bartholomew jacksonpollock at earthlink.net
Wed Oct 20 17:27:09 EDT 2004

In a previous discussion I called into question the use of empty
constituents, a.k.a. placeholders, to mark the position of a fictitious
antecedent in the analysis of )$R where it functions as a relative and has
no antecedent, "Headless Relative."

While fully admitting that I do this mentally while trying to sort out a
complex clause structure, that is a far cry from the incorporation of dummy
constituents into formal syntax theory. K.Lambrecht:1994* agrees that this
is a bad policy. If your language model requires traces and placeholders for
the analysis of syntax, semantics and information structure that is an
indication that the model is defective.

 K.Lambrecht:1994* appears to be a serious attempt at combining the best
from formal and functional approaches. It is a 10 year old book so I assume
most of you have read it already :-)

Clay Bartholomew 

*Pages 28-29 Lambrecht, Knud: 1994, Information structure and sentence form.
Topic, focus, and the mental representation
of discourse referents., Cambridge, Cambridge University Press.

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