Between triviality and redundancy: evidence from Korean for the ban on CP conjunction
Tanya Bondarenko
February 2024

In many languages, conjunction of embedded CPs obligatorily takes wide scope with respect to the embedding verb (Bassi and Bondarenko 2021; Bjorkman 2013; Szabolcsi 1997, 2016). With the data from embedded conjunction in Korean, this paper argues that the impossibility of narrow scope stems from the fact that true intersective conjunction of embedded CPs is impossible in natural languages. I propose that the functional elements at the left periphery of embedded clauses have meanings which make intersective conjunction of embedded CPs always either logically trivial or redundant, leading to ungrammaticality of sentences containing it. Strings of the form 'V(erb) CP and CP' on this view arise when the sentence involves conjunction of higher constituents (e.g., conjunction of matrix VPs) followed by ellipsis, which leads to the obligatory wide scope. While Korean data provides support for the general approach to the wide scope of embedded CP conjunction proposed in (Bassi and Bondarenko 2021), according to which semantics of displacement in clausal embedding is making true CP conjunction illicit, it also calls for its refinement. Comparing clauses that combine with two kinds of nouns (nouns like cwucang 'claim' and nouns like sanghwang 'situation') suggests that complementizers are not the elements that introduce displacement, and thus equality semantics of displacement is not sufficient to explain all instances of the ban on embedded CP conjunction. I propose that complementizers introduce exemplification (Kratzer 1989, 2020) into the meanings of embedded clauses, which rules out intersective conjunction of embedded clauses whose meanings do not involve displacement.
Format: [ pdf ]
Reference: lingbuzz/007884
(please use that when you cite this article)
Published in: under review at NLLT
keywords: clausal embedding, korean, conjunction, triviality, redundancy, semantics, syntax
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