The semantics and syntax of Null complements

Robert Stainton
Western University
Consider sentences like (1): 1. Null Complement Containing Sentences a. Aryn followed b. Marie-Odile promised c. Corinne left d. Samir found out at midnight e. I applied f. They already know g. He volunteered h. Abdiwahid insisted i. I suppose j. Paul gave to Amnesty International These illustrate the phenomenon of null complements -- also called ‘pragmatically controlled zero anaphora’, ‘understood arguments’, and ‘linguistically unrealized arguments’. In each case, a complement is (phonologically) omitted, yet (a) the sentence is well-formed and (b) the meaning effect is as if a complement were present. This contrasts on the one hand with structures that lack complements, but are ill-formed as a result – e.g., (2a-c) – and, on the other hand, with structures that lack overt complements, are well-formed, but do not exhibit the meaning effect of a complement – e.g., sentences (3a-b). 2. Contrast with Ill-formed Structures..
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References found in this work BETA

Context and Logical Form.Jason Stanley - 2013 - In Maite Ezcurdia & Robert J. Stainton (eds.), The Semantics-Pragmatics Boundary in Philosophy. Broadview Press. pp. 316.
The Pragmatics of What is Said.François Recanati - 1989 - Mind and Language 4 (4):295-329.
Implicature, Explicature, and Truth-Theoretic Semantics.Robyn Carston - 2013 - In Maite Ezcurdia & Robert J. Stainton (eds.), The Semantics–Pragmatics Boundary in Philosophy. Broadview Press. pp. 261.

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