I argue that the well-known islandhood of adjunct prepositional phrases does not substantially derive from their adjuncthood. Instead, islandhood of these domains derives from various factors that are orthogonal to the argument/adjunct distinction, including PP-internal structure, lexical properties of prepositions, and semanticopragmatic construal. To show this, I demonstrate that PP islandhood crosscuts the argument/adjunct distinction. In particular, (a) PPs with NP complements are generally not islands, (b) PPs with tensed clausal complements are generally (strong) islands, and (c) PPs with gerundive complements are generally (weak) islands. These generalizations hold whether or not the relevant PP has a prototypical adjunct function.
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November 14 2023
The Argument/Adjunct Distinction Does Not Condition Islandhood of PPs in English
In Special Collection: CogNet
Online ISSN: 1530-9150
Print ISSN: 0024-3892
© 2023 by the Massachusetts Institute of Technology
Massachusetts Institute of Technology
Linguistic Inquiry 1–13.
Andrew McInnerney; The Argument/Adjunct Distinction Does Not Condition Islandhood of PPs in English. Linguistic Inquiry 2023; doi: https://doi.org/10.1162/ling_a_00511
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