Schlenker, Philippe. 2003. "Clausal Equations (A Note on the Connectivity
Problem)" (not the final version; the final version appeared
in Natural Language and Linguistic Theory 21: 157-214,
paper in pdf]
Abstract: According to a variety of tests, What
John likes is himself displays the same c-command relations as
John likes himself. But none of these relations appears to
hold on the surface; this is the 'connectivity problem'. Revisionists
maintain that the problematic examples are identity sentences with
no hidden structure, but that none of our c-command tests is infallible.
Conservatives claim that our c-command tests are reliable,
but that the clause John likes himself is indeed present at some
level of representation. Siding with the Conservatives, we follow Ross's
original insight and suggest that connectivity sentences equate a concealed
question with an elided answer: [What John likes]= [John likes himself].
New arguments are given for each component of the analysis, and it is
shown that connectivity effects are obviated when the elements that are
equated are referential rather than clausal. The correct truth-conditions
are derived from the semantics of identity, together with Groenendijk
& Stokhof's semantics for questions. The analysis is then extended
to cases of DP connectivity, such as His worry is himself, by
suggesting that semantically dyadic nouns have an additional argument
position, yielding the representation: [?x his [worry x]]=[his [worry
himself]]. Finally it is shown that recent objections based on 'anti-connectivity'
effects misfire, because the same facts hold of question-answer pairs,
as is expected on the present approach.