The Korean Association for the Study of English Language and Linguistics
[ Article ]
Korea Journal of English Language and Linguistics - Vol. 22, No. 0, pp.265-278
ISSN: 1598-1398 (Print) 2586-7474 (Online)
Print publication date 31 Jan 2022
Received 13 Feb 2022 Revised 20 Mar 2022 Accepted 28 Mar 2022

‘So’ as a TP-substituting Propositional Anaphor

Myung-Kwan Park ; Wooseung Lee
(1st author) Professor, Dept. of English Language, Dongguk Univ.
(corresponding author) Professor, Dept. of English Education, Konkuk Univ.

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This paper revisits some interesting asymmetry observed between that-clause and ‘so’ in English. Despite the fact that that-clauses embedded within an array of verb phrases can be pro-formed by ‘so’, the ones embedded within morphologically related noun phrases cannot. Moulton (2015) attempted to offer an account of this asymmetrical phenomenon by proposing that, contra standard assumptions, that-clauses embedded within those verb phrases are predicates rather than arguments in a parallel fashion to those embedded within derivationally related nouns. In other words, he argues that, based on derivational relatedness, the semantico-syntactic function of that-clause within a noun phrase can be extended to a verb phrase as well. We explore this issue by reexamining the syntactic distribution of ‘so’ and the semantic function of that-clause embedded within two distinct syntactic categories, a noun phrase and a verb phrase. We then propose that ‘so’ is a TP-substituting propositional anaphor. In so doing, we argue that there exist two types of CPs (cross-linguistically) and that these distinctions account for different syntactic behaviors of ‘so’ as a propositional anaphor in a variety of constructions.


proposition, anaphor, that-clause, so, argument, predicate


We are very grateful to anonymous reviewers for their helpful comments and suggestions. All errors are our responsibility.


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