ESD Test Suite Examples

Someone old (maybe it was Abrams) arrived.

Linguistic Characterization

A parenthetical, for our purposes, is a constituent set off from its context by appropriate punctuation (parentheses, dashes, semi-colons) and not integrated with that larger context via ‘ordinary’ syntactic and semantic means. Such constituents have been the focus of debate in the syntactic and pragmatic literature (see Blakemore 2006) regarding the nature of their connection to the sentence. Some authors (e.g., Haegeman 1988) maintain that they are extra-grammatical, while others (e.g., Potts 2002, 2003) argue that they are generated by the grammar but require special treatment in interpretation. For our purposes, given that they are part of the string, the grammar must assign an analysis to them somehow, including integrating them into the MRS. However, that integration is necessarily ‘loose’, reflecting their special status.

Motivating Examples

ERS Fingerprints

On our analysis, the parenthetical predication relates parenthetical clause (represented by the local top handle of the embedded clause) to the host, in this case represented by the intrinsic argument (be it an eventuality or an instance) of the constituent that the parenthetical attaches to. In terms of the scope tree, the parenthetical relation is attached by sharing the handle of the EP related to its syntactic attachment site.

h0:parenthetical[ARG1 i1, ARG2 h2]
h0:[ARG0 i1]



Open Questions

h0:parenthetical[ARG1 i1, ARG2 h2]
h0:[ARG0 i1]
h2:[ARG0 e]

Expert External Commentary

Grammar Version


Blakemore, D. (2006). Divisions of labour: The analysis of parentheticals. Lingua 116(10):1670-1687.

Haegeman, L. (1988). Parenthetical adverbials: the radical orphanage approach. In: Chiba, S. (Ed.), Aspects of Modern English Linguistics. Kaitakushi, Tokyo, pp. 232–254.

Potts, C., (2002). The syntax and semantics of as-parentheticals. NLLT 20:623–689.

Potts, C., (2003). Conventional implicatures, a distinguished class of meanings. In: Ramchand, G., Reiss, C. (Eds.), The Oxford Handbook of Linguistic Interfaces. Oxford University Press, Oxford.

More Information

ErgSemantics/Parentheticals (last edited 2015-06-04 17:00:35 by EmilyBender)

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