S-Space Language Education Institute (언어교육원) Language Research (어학연구) Language Research (어학연구) Volume 50 Number 1/3 (2014)
Vacuous It-Extraposition: A Lexicalist, Construction-based Approach
- Kim, Jong-Bok
- Issue Date
- 서울대학교 언어교육원
- 어학연구, Vol.50 No.2, pp. 333-356
- English licenses the extraposition of a clausal expression to the sentence final position while introducing the expression it in the object position. The object extraposition also includes the so-called vacuous extraposition in which the expletive object and the allegedly extraposed CP are adjacent. This paper investigates actual uses of the vacuous object extraposition, using contemporary corpora. Based on the empirical data obtained from the comprehensive corpus search, we suggest that the illocutionary rule of ‘assertion’ plays a key role in licensing the construction, in addition to the factive lexical semantics of the matrix
verb in question. Together with the assumption that English employs not only verbal but also nominal extraposition, we also offer a construction-based analysis that can account for the licensing conditions as well as grammatical properties of the construction.