Using head [ INIT bool ] feature for word orders

analyses

#1

Implementing subordinate complement clauses involves various word orders: e.g. you can have an OV language where the clausal complement will follow the verb (rather than precede it) and the complementizer will attach on the left (rather than on the right). And then there can be various combinations in these dimensions (not all are possible but many are).

My current implementation relies on a head boolean feature INIT and on additional head-complement rules.

For example, if you have an OV language where the complementizer attaches on the left and the clausal complement follows the verb, you will need an additional head-complement rule which will fire for clausal-complement-verbs as well as for complementizers. So you will probably say something along the lines:

head-comp-phrase := supertypes &
[ HEAD-DTR [ HEAD +vc & INIT + ] ]

complementizer is [ INIT + ]
clausal-comp-verb is [ INIT + ].

Once I add a head-comp rule which fires for complementizers and clausal-complement verbs, grammatical sentences like the one below parse:

subject knows that subject2 object took

Now, for most grammars, I will also need to say that comp-head-phrase is [HEAD-DTR [HEAD INIT - ] and then that some lexical types are [ INIT - ], e.g. the regular transitive verb (in order for it not to go through the head-comp rule that I added).

Unless I do that, I will also admit ungrammatical sentences, since nothing stops the verb and/or the complementizer from also going through the regular comp-head:

subject subject2 object took that knows

Now, very generally, my question is: how do I determine what else needs to be constrained with respect to the INIT feature? Should nouns be?.. No, because they will still go through the general comp-head rule as they will be underspecified with respect to INIT, and they won’t go through head-comp as that one says its head daughter is a verb (or complementizer).

So, looks like, I need to worry about the INIT value for those lexical types which are affected by the new, added head-comp, in this case verbs and complementizers? If there are other verbs or complementizers which I don’t want to go through the new head-comp, I need to make sure I specify them as [ INIT - ]. But any other lexical types I should not worry about? Is this right?


#2

Yes, I think so. [ HEAD +vc ] restricts the “extra” HCR to only verbs and complementizers, so those are the only ones you need to worry about.