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Complement Extraction Lexical Rules and Argument Attraction

Stefan Müller
DFKI, DFKI Research Reports (RR), Vol. 97-08, 1997.


In (Müller, 1994), several problems with the processing of complement extraction lexical rules (CELRs) (Pollard and Sag, 1994, Ch.~9) are discussed. CELRs destroy the ordering information implicitly contained in the COMPS list, making it impossible to assign structural case without default mechanisms (which would be an extension of the basic HPSG formalism). Furthermore, it can be shown that the ARG-S list---a static list suggested by Pollard and Sag to take over the function of the COMPS list in Binding Theory---cannot be used for case assignment. This paper aims to demonstrate how these problems can be solved by use of a dynamically constructed ARG-S list. Together with a modified schema for the construction of German verb clusters, this dynamic list allows for an application of CELRs to both auxiliaries and main verbs, which explains the frontability of subjects and von-PPs in passive constructions, as well as the frontability of subjects in perfect constructions. The proposed account also solves some implementational problems caused by a variable COMPS list.

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