E.G. Ruys

Selected publications in linguistics

2017, Two Dutch many’s and the structure of pseudo-partitives. Glossa: a journal of general linguistics 2(1):7, 1–33. DOI https://doi.org/10.5334/gjgl.276
Download open access PDF from Ubiquity Press website
Two Dutch many’s and the structure of pseudo-partitives.
2015, (with Ora Matushansky), Measure for measure. In Zybatow, G., Biskup, P., Guhl, M., Hurtig, C., Mueller-Reichau, O. & Yastrebova, M. (eds). Slavic Grammar from a Formal Perspective: The 10th Anniversary FDSL Conference, Leipzig 2013 . Frankfurt: Peter Lang Verlag, p. 317-330. (Linguistik International; vol. 35)
2015, A Minimalist Condition on Semantic Reconstruction. Linguistic Inquiry 46-3, 453–488.
This article explains three known constraints on scope reconstruction— reconstruction is blocked into wh-islands, after remnant movement, and after countercyclic merger—by postulating an underlying condition on semantic reconstruction. This condition follows naturally, I believe, from Minimalist assumptions on chain interpretation --which I try to do without indices and without trace conversion-- in combination with the principle of compositionality. The result is a unifying alternative analysis of the data discussed in Cresti 1995, Fox 1999, and Sauerland and Elbourne 2002, among others.
A Minimalist Condition on Semantic Reconstruction
2015, (with Ora Matushansky), 4000 measure NPs: another pass through the шлюз. In Małgorzata Szajbel-Keck, Roslyn Burns and Darya Kavitskaya (eds), Formal Approaches to Slavic Linguistics; The First Berkeley Meeting 2014, 184- 205. Michigan Slavic Publications, Ann Arbor.
2015, On the Anaphoricity of Too. Linguistic Inquiry 46-2, 343–361.
Kripke (1990/2009) argues that the presupposition triggered by the additive particle too is anaphoric in nature, an influential thesis with important ramifications for the theory of presupposition. This article reexamines the empirical evidence and proposes an alternative explanation, leaving too with only its traditional existential presupposition.
Download free PDF from MIT Press website
On the anaphoricity of too
2013, (with William Philip), review of M.-E. van der Ziel. The Acquisition of Scope Interpretation in Dative Constructions: Explaining children’s non-targetlike performance. Nederlandse Taalkunde, 366-369.
2011, (with Yoad Winter), Quantifier Scope in Formal Linguistics. In D. Gabbay and F. Guenthner (eds), Handbook of Philosophical Logic, 2011, Volume 16, 159-225.
2011, Semantic Reconstruction and the Interpretation of Chains. In Reich, Ingo et al. (eds.), Proceedings of Sinn & Bedeutung 15, 515–529. Universaar – Saarland University Press: Saarbrücken, Germany.
Download free PDF from Saarland University Press website
2010, Expletive selection and CP arguments in Dutch, Journal of Comparative Germanic Linguistics 13:141-178.
Download free PDF from Springer website
Expletive selection and CP arguments in Dutch
2008, Stranding, weak pronouns, and the fine structure of the Dutch Mittelfeld, Natural Language & Linguistic Theory 26-3, 547-587.
This paper shows that stranded prepositions in Dutch (as in (1)) can only occur where PPs containing weak pronouns (as in (2)) can.
 
(1) a.   een oplossing waar Jan niet meer [ t op ] had gerekend
           a solution which Jan no longer [ on t ] had counted
     b. *een oplossing waar Jan [ t op ] niet meer had gerekend
           a solution which Jan [ on t ] no longer had counted

(2) a.  dat Jan niet meer [ op ze ] had gerekend
           that Jan no longer [ on them ] had counted
      b. *dat Jan [ op ze ] niet meer had gerekend
           that Jan [ on them ] no longer had counted
Stranding, weak pronouns, and the fine structure of the Dutch Mittelfeld
 
I argue that this favors a Freezing account of stranding: stranded P can only occur in the base position of the PP. I then use stranded Ps (and PPs with weak pronouns) to detect the base position of various PP types; and this in turn has various consequences for the structure of the Dutch clause. Lengthy discussion of intricate data involving stranded P around secondary predicates (esp. resultatives).
Download free PDF from Springer website.
2006. Unexpected Wide-Scope Phenomena. In Martin Everaert & Henk van Riemsdijk (eds), The Blackwell Companion to Syntax; Volume V. p. 175-228. Blackwell, Malden.
2006, (with Tania Ionin, Ora Matushansky), Parts of Speech: Toward a Unified Semantics for Partitives. In Christopher Davis, Amy Rose Deal & Youri Zabbal (eds), NELS 36: Proceedings of the 36th Annual Meeting of the North East Linguistic Society: Volume I , 357-370.
2006, (with Ora Matushansky) Meilleurs vœux : Quelques notes sur la comparaison plurielle. In O. Bonami & P. Cabredo Hofherr (eds.) Empirical Issues in Syntax and Semantics 6,  309-330.
Pre-final version in English.
2005, Weak and weaker prepositional complements. In Jenny Doetjes and Jeroen v.d. Weijer (eds.), Linguistics in the Netherlands 2005, 151-163.
A first report on work in progress. For the final version see 2008 (NLLT).
Download open access PDF from John Benjamins website
2004, A Note on Weakest Crossover, Linguistic Inquiry 35, 124-140.
This paper argues that Weakest Crossover does not motivate a revision of the condition responsible for Weak Crossover, as was argued by Lasnik & Stowell (1991). In (1):

(1) whoi ti is easy [OPi PRO to persuade hisi mother to love ti]

Lasnik and Stowell claim we should expect a WCO violation, because the Null-Operator OP has moved across, and locally Abar-binds the pronoun. So they revise the WCO condition so that it allows (1).
However, (1) not only contains the "inappropriate" antecedent OP for the pronoun, but also the perfectly appropriate antededent (trace of) who, which A-binds the pronoun. And there are a large number of WCO conditions available in the literature which immediately predict that this is enough to allow the bound variable reading.
The paper attempts to demonstrate that these conditions cover all Weakest Crossover facts, up to and (if I'm not mistaken) including the Topicalization facts of Postal (1993).
Download PDF (Adobe Acrobat) File (100 Kb)

2003, (with Mieke Trommelen) Constraints on post-lexical processes in Dutch. In Leonie Cornips and Paula Fikkert (eds.), Linguistics in the Netherlands 2003, 141-153.
Download Open Access PDF from John Benjamins website
2001, Dutch Scrambling and the Strong-Weak Distinction, Journal of Comparative Germanic Linguistics 4: 39-67.
2000, Weak Crossover as a Scope Phenomenon. Linguistic Inquiry 31:513-539.
This paper argues that Weak Crossover (as in (1)) cannot be captured by a constraint (such as the Bijection Principle) that refers to a syntactic binding-theoretic relation (such as coindexing) between the operator (every boy) and the pronoun (his):

(1) *hisi mother likes every boyi

One reason is that WCO configurations arise also when no such coindexing relation is present, and even when the pronoun is not present. It seems that WCO does not involve a failed binding relation, but a failed scope relation.
Download PDF (Adobe Acrobat) File (112 Kb)

1998, On "Fewest Steps". Proceedings of WECOL 9.
This paper addresses some empirical and theoretical properties of economy constraints as defined in Chomsky 1995, chapter 4. It argues that three such constraints (Procrastinate, Fewest Steps, "No Redundant Features") have questionable theoretical properties. All are violable, without their interaction being properly defined; the latter two are "global" in such a way as to be incompatible with the overall framework; Procrastinate, furthermore, is underdetermined by the empirical data; and "NRF" appears to defy consistent definition altogether. I propose to redefine the Fewest Steps constraint in such a way that the effects of the other two can be derived from this constraint, without the accompanying theoretical problems. This move also resolves some serious empirical problems associated with these constraints, having to do with expletive-placement in English (it vs. there) and Subject-Object asymmetries in overt Accusative-checking languages.
Download PostScript File (zipped: 69,938 bytes)
Download PDF (Adobe Acrobat) File (73,486 bytes)
1998, (with Johan Kerstens) Waarom Minimalisme, Tijdperk Taal!, HAG, Den Haag.
1997, review article of Andi Wu, The Spell-Out Parameters, GLOT International 2-8, 9-11.
1997, On Quantifier Raising and Move-F. In J. Don & T. Sanders (eds) OTS Yearbook 1997, 83-104.
This paper discusses some problems that arise from Chomsky's (1992,1995) proposal that QR does not involve DP movement, but movement of just the DP specifier or the Formal Features associated with the DP.
The most pressing problem is this. How can an LF like this:

everyi [ John met [NP ti boy ]]

be interpreted? The suggested answer is that every quantifies over Choice Functions. This solution in turn suggests an interesting revision of the theory of QR, and a neat (partial) solution for WCO.
Download PostScript File (zipped: 87,034 bytes)
Download PDF (Adobe Acrobat) File (94,031 bytes)

1997, (with Johan Kerstens, Mieke Trommelen, Fred Weerman) Plato's probleem; een inleiding in de generatieve taalkunde, Coutinho, Bussum
1994, A Global Economy Analysis of Weak Crossover. In Reineke Bok-Bennema and Crit Cremers (eds.), Linguistics in the Netherlands 1994, 223-234. Amsterdam, Philadelphia: John Benjamins.
This is by far the funniest paper I ever wrote. And it's all serious. The story, in a nutshell, is this. Why is (1) out?

(1) whoi does hisi mother love ti

(1) is out (WCO) because (2) is in:

(2) [ whosei mother ]k tk loves himi

(2) has the same meaning as (1) but is much more economical, because it involves a shorter movement. So (1) is blocked. The funny thing is that this story requires that you believe in violable, transderivational, global economy constraints (which almost nobody does) - but you can't beat it for descriptive adequacy.
Download PostScript File (zipped: 29,510 bytes)
Download PDF (Adobe Acrobat) File (43,576 bytes)

1994, (with Johan Kerstens) Generatieve Syntaxis; een inleiding, Nijhoff, Groningen
1992, The Scope of Indefinites. Doctoral dissertation, Utrecht University. Utrecht: LEd. 
 

Linguistic diversions
 
1988 (with Jan Don), Polaire Morfologie. ms, Utrecht University
In 1988, Jan Don and I cowrote a paper entitled Polaire Morfologie. In its measly 6 pages, it contained the definitive treatment of the morphosyntax and semantics of the Dutch adjectival prefix on-. This brilliant, groundbreaking paper would have secured both our linguistic reputations and landed us cushy jobs at reputable and well-funded seats of higher learning, if it had not been for one unfortunate mishap.
Due to a clerical error, the paper was not published in the Mindboggling Contributions department of LI. Instead it appeared in SCHOTS, an obscure Utrecht journal whose editorial policy prohibited the citation of any article published therein. In fact, each and every page of this now-defunct journal was marked with a stamped message "NOT FOR CITATION" (I'm not making this up!). Thus, what should have been a significant contribution to linguistics was buried forever in the moulding pages of a local rag.
Now, for the first time, Polaire Morphology is being made available to a slightly larger audience. If you read Dutch, and if you are willing to abide by the "NOT FOR CITATION" rule, you are invited to follow the link below to the HTML version.
J. Don & E. Ruys, Polaire Morfologie.
2001, Wide Scope Indefinites; The Genealogy of a Mutant Meme ms, Utrecht University.
How an innocent observation by Tanya Reinhart in (1976) initiated a string of publications that all managed to get a very simple observation wrong.
Download PDF (Adobe Acrobat) version.
Wide Scope Indefinites
 

 
Home
 


Word clouds created at wordle.net