• Reciprocity in Spanish: Two Puzzles of Scope

      Gerfen, Chip (University of Arizona Linguistics Circle, 1992)
      Heim, Lasnik, and May (1991a, henceforth HLMa) note an interesting contrast in the behavior of the following sentences in English (their 78a -b): 1.a) They look like each other. b) They look alike. As HLMa point out, when embedded, the two sentences have distinct properties (their 79a -b): 2.a) John and Mary think they look like each other. b) John and Mary think they look alike. Sentence (2a) is ambiguous between broad and narrow scope interpretations. Thus, (2a) can either mean 'John thinks he looks like Mary, and Mary thinks that she looks like John' (the broad reading) or 'John and Mary think they (John and Mary) look like each other' (the narrow reading). In contrast, (2b) can only be construed with narrow scope. For HLMa the ambiguity of (2a) receives an explanation in terms of the morphological complexity of the reciprocal expression each other. Specifically, the quantificational distribution element each is adjoined to an antecedent, which is then subject to QR via the rule move-α at logical form (see May 1977, 1985). Put simply, this allows for different scope interpretations, depending on how far up the phrase marker each is moved. In contrast, the morphologically simplex alike contains no detachable distribution element, and, as a result, only the narrow scope reading is available. Of interest here is the fact that HLMa base their argument on the distinction between reciprocal meaning that is incorporated within a morphologically simplex versus a morphologically complex item. In support of this claim, they offer the following minimal pair of sentences from Italian (attributed to Luigi Rizzi): 3.a) I due pensano [di essersi battuti] (contradictory); the two thought be-each other-clitic beaten b) I due pensano [di avere prevalso l'uno sull'altro] (ambiguous); the two thought have prevailed the one over the other HLMa note that when taken by themselves, the embedded clauses in (3a -b) are both contradictory, but that only (3b) receives a non -contradictory reading in the embedded construction. In a manner analogous to their treatment of the English data in (1 -2), HLMa claim that this distinction is attributable to the fact that the clitic in (3a) forms a morphological unit with the verb to which it is attached and, thus, cannot be moved at LF. In contrast, they follow Belletti (1982) in arguing that the full form of the Italian reciprocal l'uno...l'altro includes a distributor l'uno which can be detached and moved at LF. Though no specific analysis is provided, it is assumed that the broad scope, and hence non -contradictory, construal of (3b) is attributable to the adjunction of the distributor l'uno to the antecedent I due. With these facts in mind, I consider the question of scope in Spanish reciprocal constructions. In sections 2 and 3, I present a surprising scope asymmetry between non -full (clitic) and full reciprocal constructions, which indicates that unlike English, the full reciprocal el uno al otro in Spanish does not allow for broad scope interpretations when embedded. In section 4, I argue that el uno al otro in Spanish is best analyzed as an adjunct, rather than as the subcategorized argument of the verb. And in section 5, I explore HLM's (1991b) "each-binding" variant of the movement analysis proposed in HLMa, showing that the asymmetry between full and non -full reciprocals can be accounted for in terms of the obligatory local A'-binding of the variable el uno of the adjoined full form. In section 6, I expand the data, providing evidence of another scope asymmetry. Specifically, I show that in contrast to the el uno al otro adjunct of the clitic doubled construction, VP adjuncts such as prepositional phrases with a reciprocal object do allow broad construals from embedded clauses. I argue that this asymmetry motivates the need to formally distinguish between at least two types of adjuncts, appositional adjuncts such as the doubled el uno al otro construction, and standard adjuncts such as PPs. I suggest that a profitable way of making this distinction can be found in restricting the assignment of referential indexes in the Relativized Minimality framework (Rizzi 1990). This approach both preserves the account of the asymmetry between non-full or clitic reciprocals and their doubled counterparts, as allows for broad construals from standard adjuncts.