Blackwell Publishing Journal Backfiles 1879-2005
In many head-final languages such as German, Hindi, Japanese, and Korean, but also in some other languages such as Russian, arguments of a verb can occur in any order. Furthermore, arguments can occur outside of their clause (“long-distance scrambling”). Long-distance scrambling presents a challenge both to linguistic theory and to formal frameworks for linguistic description because it is very unconstrained: in a given sentence, there is no bound on the number of elements that can be scrambled nor on the distance over which each element can scramble. We discuss two formal frameworks related to tree-adjoining grammar. First, we show how scrambling facts from Korean can be handled by nonlocal multicomponent TAG (MC-TAG). Then, we argue that overt vWt-movement in German makes this analysis unattractive, and suggest a new version of MC-TAG, called V-TAG, which can handle both Korean and German word order variation. Interestingly, this new version has more attractive computational properties than nonlocal MC-TAG. We conclude that this formalism is an attractive basis for the development of psycholinguistic processing models and practical parsers alike.
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