Cross-Methodological Approaches to Syntax and Semantics (XMASS) minilab
The XMASS minilab is funded via the Primus program of the Charles University and its Faculty of Arts (2019-2022). Its aim is to study natural language syntax and semantics without any methodological or framework-based bias. Members of the XMASS minilab come from different theoretical backgrounds (from generative to usage-based) and use a variety of methods (experiment, corpus, typology, fieldwork). The cross-methodological concept of the minilab has crystalized from the conviction that different methods and even frameworks are complementary and can be fruitfully combined in the quest for the understanding of various linguistic phenomena.
Radek Šimík (PI)
Veronika Kloudová (nanosyntax)
Klára Matiasovitsová (L1 acquisition)
Adam Pospíšil (Arabic, fieldwork)
Jakub Sláma (corpus, usage-based) profile
Hana Strachoňová (sign language) profile
From interrogatives to relatives
From interrogatives to relatives is the project currently under investigation in the XMASS minilab. Our starting point is a set of cross-linguistic generalizations about the behavior of wh-words and wh-constructions, suggesting a consistently asymmetric relation between wh-interrogatives and wh-based relatives (a paper on these is in preparation):
- While interrogative or correlative wh-in-situ is commonplace, there is no wh-in-situ in headed or free relatives (or it is extremely rare).
- If wh-words in interrogatives and relatives move to different positions, relative ones always move higher.
- Relative pronouns are identical or mophologically derived from interrogative ones; never conversely.
- Sortal wh-paradigms get reduced on the way from interrogatives through correlatives and unconditionals to free and headed relatives.
- The following robust implicational tendencies hold: If L uses wh-words for headed relatives, it uses them for free relatives; if it uses them for free relatives, it uses them for correlatives and/or unconditionals; if it uses them for correlatives and/or unconditionals, it uses them for interrogatives.
The project investigates various issues related to the above generalizations, including the compositional semantics of relative pronouns, the typology and nanosyntax of relative and related pronouns, L1 acquisition of English and Czech wh-words in various wh-constructions, microvariation of wh-word use in Arabic vernaculars, competing relativization strategies in Czech, and wh-words and relative clauses in the Czech Sign Language.
Šimík, Radek. to appear. Free relatives. In Daniel Gutzmann, Lisa Matthewson, Cécile Meier, Hotze Rullmann, and Thomas E. Zimmermann (eds.), The Wiley Blackwell companion to semantics. John Wiley & Sons.
Šimík, Radek. 2020. Doubling unconditionals and relative sluicing. Natural Language Semantics. 28(1), 1-21. https://doi.org/10.1007/s11050-019-09157-4
Biskup, Petr and Radek Šimík. 2019. Structure of conditional and (cor)relative clauses: New evidence from locality. In Maggie Baird and Jonathan Pesetsky (eds.), NELS 49: Proceedings of the 49th Annual Meeting of the North East Linguistic Society, Volume 1, 135-144. Amherst, MA: GLSA Publications.
Šimík, Radek. 2018. Ever free relatives crosslinguistically. In Uli Sauerland and Stephanie Solt (eds.), Proceedings of Sinn und Bedeutung 22, Vol. 2, 375-392. Berlin: Leibniz-ZAS. https://ojs.ub.uni-konstanz.de/sub/index.php/sub/article/view/112