INT: Relative clauses and intensionality

Head of the project: Dr. Cécile Meier
Prof. Dr. Thomas Ede Zimmermann
Staff: Jerra Busch

Short description:

The goal of this project is to clarify functional relations and differences between various types of relative clauses by detailed and thorough investigation of their interaction with intensional operations. The theoretic framework is provided by a type-driven semantics, as has already been proven successful for modal and nominal semantics. In the focus of research will be those intentionality effects that promise to give some indication of the compositional reading of various types of relative clauses. Furthermore, these effects hopefully shed light on empty positions within relative clauses. Commonly, these empty positions - the so-called traces - are interpreted as definite and extensional (semantic type e). With respect to intensional constructions however, this classical reading bares problems:

In there-be-relative clauses (of the third type) there are additional syntactic considerations forcing indefinite traces. To other types of so-called Amount-relative clauses (with object or quantity identity) relative clause constructions in concealed questions and concealed exclamatives can be assigned. These types require a semantically motivated reinterpretation of the traces.

Detailed project description as pdf-file (German)