The dual life of embedded CPs: Evidence from Russian čto-clauses

Tatiana Bondarenko


With the data from clauses with the complementizer čto in Russian, I argue that embedded finite clauses with the same morphosyntactic appearance can receive two different denotations depending on the argument that they modify. I show that čto-clauses can combine with both nouns like mysl’ ‘thought’ and nouns like situacija ‘situation’, and that they do not have the same interpretation in these two cases. I propose that when čto-clauses combine with predicates of contentful individuals (like mysl’ ‘thought’), they describe the propositional content that these individuals have (Moltmann 1989, Kratzer 2006, Moulton 2015, a.o.). However when they combine with predicates of situations (like situacija ‘situation’), they provide the proposition that these situations exemplify. I furthermore show that the two meanings of čto-clauses can be detected when they occur with verbs as well, and sketch out a more decompositional view of how the two interpretations arise based on comparison with -(n)un-clauses that modify nouns in Korean.

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