Phrase Structure in Minimalist Syntax

M. Koizumi, 1995

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This thesis is a study of clause architecture within a theory of generative grammar.  It discusses four major syntactic hypotheses that have crucial bearing on the design of phrase structure: the Agreement-based Case theory, the internal subject hypothesis (ISH), the uniform three-level X-bar theory, and a hypothesis about string vacuous head movement.

In Chapter 2 through Chapter 4, I discuss object positions in three typologically and genetically different languages, i.e. English, Zarma, and Japanese, and argue that they all possess Object Agreement Phrases (AGRoP).  A consideration of learnability suggests that the presence of AGRoP in these languages, particularly in Japanese, is not learnable from the data available to children.  Thus, it is highly likely that UG is so construed that every language has AGR (The Universal AGR Hypothesis).

In Chapter 5, I turn to subject positions.  There is conflicting evidence regarding the base-position of the external argument.  Some data indicate that the external argument originates in a position lower than its surface position, as is expected under the internal subject hypothesis.  Other data suggest that the base-position of the external argument is outside AGRoP and the VP that dominates the main verb and the internal arguments.  If the ISH is correct in that all arguments of a predicate category (e.g. V) originate within the maximal projection of this category, then the apparently contradicting data suggest that there are two verbs, hence two VPs, in a single clause (The Split VP Hypothesis).  One verb is above AGRoP, and the other is below AGRoP.  The so-called external argument is an argument of the upper V, and "internal arguments" are arguments of the lower V.

Chapter 6 is concerned with X-bar theory.  I argue, contrary to the wide held view, that some functional categories allow more than one specifier position within their projections (Layered Specifiers), and that the number of specifiers is different across categories.  If this is correct, the X-bar schema as such cannot be a part of Universal Grammar, as already suggested by Fukui (1986) and others.  Our claim, however, is crucially different from Fukui"s (1986) in that the specifiers of functional categories do not necessarily (but sometimes do) "close off" their projections.

In Chapter 7, I discuss string vacuous cerb raising in head final languages.  In particular, I present evidence that verbs in Japanese raise out of the VP in overt syntax.  Its consequences are also explored to various aspects of syntactic theory such as the Proper Binding Condition, Kayne"s (1994) Linear Correspondence Axiom, etc.

Thesis Supervisor:         Noam Chomsky

Title:                             Institute Professor

Table of Contents

Chapter One    Introduction                                                                                          9

            1          Outline of the thesis                                                                               9

Chapter Two    Invisible AGR in English                                                                        15

            1          Case adjacency effects                                                             16

            2          Deriving the adjacency condition                                                           26

            3          The ECM construction                                                              31

            4          The double object construction                                                 37

            5          Some differences between English and French                           41

Chapter Three  Invisible AGR in Zarma                                                             47

            1          Basic word orders                                                                                47

            2          Adverb placement                                                                                52

            3          The double object construction                                                 57

Chapter Four    Invisible AGR in Japanese                                                                     59

            1          Syntactic compounds                                                                            59

                        1.1       Raising vs. Control                                                                    60

                        1.2       Stative compounds                                                                   66

            2          A Minimalist account                                                                            70

                        2.1       Three-layered case theory                                                         71

                        2.2       Derivations                                                                               74

            3          Alternative analyses                                                                              78

                        3.1       Quantifier raising                                                                       79

                        3.2       Complex control predicates as lexical compounds                     81

            4          Consequences                                                                                      84

                        4.1       Control predicates without accusative Case-features                  84

                        4.2       Tensed embedded clauses                                                        87

                        4.3       Multiple embedding                                                                  88

                        4.4       Causative constructions                                                 90

            5          Conclusion                                                                                           97

Chapter Five    The Split VP Hypothesis                                                                       99

            1          A split VP hypothesis                                                                            101

            2          Motivations for the split VP hypothesis                                      105

                        2.1       Quantifier float                                                              105

                        2.2       Relativized minimality                                                    110

                        2.3       Participle agreement                                                                  113

                        2.4       Chain condition                                                             115

            3          Arguments for the internal subject hypothesis revisited               119

                        3.1       Simplification of q"marking                                                       119

                        3.2       INFL as a raising category                                                        120

                        3.3       VP coordination                                                                       121

                        3.4       Reconstruction effects                                                               122

                        3.5       Quantifier float                                                              123

            4          Can the domain extension convention be eliminated?                  125

            5          Conclusion                                                                                           129

            Appendix to Chapter Five:  related proposals                                                    129

Chapter Six      Layered Specifiers                                                                                137

            1          Double-layered specifiers                                                                      138

                        1.1       Topicalization in English                                                            138

                        1.2       Embedded V2                                                                          147

            2          Multiply-layered specifiers                                                                    152

                        2.1       Multiple WH fronting                                                                153

                        2.2       Multiple subjects                                                                       158

            3          Double-multiply-layered specifiers                                                         160

            4          Conclulsion                                                                                           163

Chapter Seven  String Vacuous Overt Verb Raising                                                       165

            1          Overt verb raising in Japanese                                                   166

                        1.1       Clefting                                                                         166

                        1.2       Coordination                                                                            170

            2          Apparent alternative analyses                                                                174

                        2.1       Gapping                                                                                   174

                        2.2       Right-node-raising                                                                    176

            3          Consequences                                                                                      178

                        3.1       Restructuring                                                                            178

                        3.2       Complex predicate formation                                                    181

                        3.3       Proper binding condition                                                           185

                        3.4       Multiple long-distance scrambling as remnant scrambling            194

                        3.5       Are floating quantifiers floating?                                     197

                        3.6       Is Japanese SVO?                                                                    201

            4          Conclusion                                                                                           203

            Appendices to Chapter Seven                                                                           204

                        A.        Numeral quantifiers and the conjunctive particle             204

                        B.         On the uncleftability of the lower VP in English              207

                        C.        Traces not created by movement                                               209