v1 (coming soon)


Which aspects of semantic interpretation are due to predicates’ denotations and which are due to the denotations of their arguments? One way to approach this issue is examining clause-embedding verbs in the context of temporal interpretation, which acts as an indicator of underlying syntactic structures and semantic frames. For example, in (1), is it a fact about a verb like regret or a fact about its subordinate clause that explains why the leaving can be yesterday but not tomorrow? Is it the same for want in (2)?

(1) a. #Jo regretted leaving tomorrow. b. Jo will regret leaving yesterday.

(2) a. Jo wanted to leave tomorrow. b. #Jo will want to leave yesterday.

One reason this question is difficult to answer is that a change in embedded clause structure sometimes alters the relevant pattern. For example, in (3a), remember patterns like regret, but in (3b), it patterns like want. In both, remember takes a participial (-ing) clause, unlike (1) and (2).

(3) a. Jo will remember leaving yesterday. b. #Jo will remember to leave yesterday.

Is this an idiosyncratic fact about the verb remember or a general fact about the structure of its complements?

The MegaOrientation dataset consists of ordinal acceptability judgments for 898 clause-embedding verbs of English with a variety of nonfinite subordinate clause structures. A detailed description of the dataset is coming soon.

Moon, E. & A.S. White. 2019. The source of nonfinite temporal interpretation. In prep for the Proceedings of the 50th annual meeting of the Northeast Linguistic Society.


Aaron Steven White bio photo
Aaron Steven White
Ellise Moon bio photo
Ellise Moon