Effects of Head Movement on Theories of Subjacency and Proper Government

P. S. Law, 1991

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This dissertation offers a perspective from which to view the relationship between extraction and head-movement.  In particular, it claims that bounding theory must take syntactic head-movement into account in defining bounding domains, and that the possibility of subject extraction is related to abstract verb movement to C, which is argued to be a consequence of the interaction between the Principle of Full Interpretation and various other principles of the grammar.

It is suggested that bounding domains be defined with respect to head-movement in that a potentially bounding category can be subsumed under another if their heads are morphologically merged.  Evidence is presented to show that VP can be bounding in general, and that cases where the bounding effect is seemingly absent are due to head-movement.  It is also shown how this conception of bounding domains fits into a theory of bounding with two parameters which can annul bounding effects of maximal projections by complementation.  A principled explanation obtains for why certain combinations of categories as bounding domains are possible, and why some others are not.  The predicted four types of languages with respect to bounding variations are all attested.  It is also argued that successive-cyclic movement is strictly constrained by structure-preservation.

The apparent lack of the that-trace effect in some languages is suggested to have a principled account in terms of abstract verb movement to C, which is either a consequence of the interaction of the Principle of Full Interpretation and a theory of expletive replacement, or is due to some language-particular property like verb-second constraint in most Germanic languages requiring movement of the finite verb to C to hold at LF, if it is not already there at S-structure.  One desirable consequence that immediately follows is that the class of proper head-governers can now be restricted to all and only lexical categories.  It is suggested that abstract verb movement to C in relative clauses is independently justified by theory of predication, which requires a lexical category to fill the head of a constituent in order for it to function semantically as a predicate.  Consequently, the subject trace is properly head-governed by the verb in C.  The possibility of abstract verb movement to C thus explains in a uniform way the anti-that-trace effect in relative clauses, and the that-trace effect in complement clauses, without the assumption that the complementizers in these two types of constructions are different entities.

Thesis Supervisor:         Noam Chomsky

Title:                             Institute Professor

Chapter 1         Overview

            1.1       Introduction                                                                                          9

            1.2       A generative model of language                                                 10

            1.3       Notational conventions                                                              13

            1.4       Fundamental notions and definitions in syntactic theory               14

                        1.4.1    Syntactic features                                                                      14

                        1.4.2    Indexation                                                                                15

                        1.4.3    Syntactic representations                                                           17

            1.5       Modules of grammar                                                                             19

                        1.5.1    X-theory                                                                                  20

                        1.5.2    Hierarchical relations                                                                 24

                        1.5.3    Theta theory                                                                             24

                        1.5.4    Theory of feature selection                                                        28

                        1.5.5    Case theory                                                                              31

                        1.5.6    Theory of government                                                               34

                        1.5.7    Theory of proper government                                                    36

                        1.5.8    Bounding theory                                                                       37

                        1.5.9    Binding theory                                                              38

            1.6       Theory of agreement                                                                             40

                        1.6.1    Spec-head agreement                                                               40

                        1.6.2    Non-Spec-head agreement                                                       43

            1.7       Morphological spell-out rules                                                                47

            1.8       LF-objects                                                                                           49

            1.9       Overview of the chapters                                                                      50

            1.10     Abbreviation conventions                                                                      52

Appendix:  A note on the projection principle                                                    53

Chapter 2         Syntactic verb movement and bounding theory

            2.1       Introduction                                                                                          55

            2.2       Empirical adequacy of the subjacency condition                         56

            2.3       Analysis for bounding variations                                                            59

                        2.3.1    Bounding parameters                                                                59

                        2.3.2    Boundedness of clausal projections                                           61

                        2.3.3    Boundedness of nominal projections                                          63

                        2.3.4    Boundedness of VP                                                                  64

            2.4       Defining bounding domains: head-movement                              68

                        2.4.1    Clause structure and extraction in Welsh                                    68

                           VP-internal subject hypothesis                          69

                           Wh-movement in Welsh                                                72

                           On successive-cyclic adjunction and structure

                                                preservation                                                                  82

                        2.4.2    Effects of head-movement on bounding domains                        86

                           Welsh VP                                                                     86

                           English and Italian VP                                       88

                           Problems with English and Italian auxiliaries       92

                           Welsh particles yn, wedi, newydd and heb                   95

                           Boundedness of functional projections               101

                        2.4.3    Some problems with gerunds                                                    105

            2.5       Subjacency in Scandinavian languages                                       111

                        2.5.1    Island violations in Scandinavian languages                                111

                        2.5.2    Extraction out of verb-second clauses                           114

            2.6       Conclusions                                                                                          119

Appendix:  A note on preposition stranding                                                                   121

Chapter 3         Abstract verb movement and complementizer agreement

            3.1       Introduction                                                                                          125

            3.2       Complementizer agreement in West Flemish                                          126

                        3.2.1    Constructions with no wh-movement                                         130

                           Co-indexing of C and INFL                                          131

                           Selection of INFL by C                                                134

                           Stranded V analysis                                                      137

                           Expletive replacement analysis                           140

                        3.2.2    Constructions with wh-movement                                             144

                           West Flemish relative clauses                                        144

                           West Flemish die as a complementizer              148

            3.3       Complementizer agreement in French                                        154

                        3.3.1    Spell-out of traces                                                                    161

                        3.3.2    Improper movement                                                                 166

            3.4       On the feature [+/-PRED] and [+/-OP]                                     168

                        3.4.1    Distinction between operatores and non-operators                    169

                        3.4.2    Differences between interrogative and relative operators            170

                        3.4.3    Typology of DPs                                                                      173

            3.5       Agreement in CP                                                                                  174

                        3.5.1    Irish mutation in relative clauses                                     177

                        3.5.2    On Kinande Spec-head agreement in CP                                  181

                        3.5.3    Lack of agreement with adjuncts                                               183

            3.6       Conclusions                                                                                          189

Chapter 4         Abstract verb movement and proper government

            4.1       Introduction                                                                                          191

            4.2       Antecedent-government and the that-trace effect                                  192

            4.3       On head-government                                                                            199

                        4.3.1    Head-government by verbs in INFL                                          200

                        4.3.2    Head-government by complementizers                          205

                        4.3.3    The class of proper head-governers                                          206

            4.4       Expletive replacement and proper government                           213

            4.5       Parametric variations in the that-trace effect                                          218

                        4.5.1    Expletive deletion and proper government                                 219

                        4.5.2    Complementizer agreement and the verb-second property         221

                        4.5.3    The lack of the that-trace effect in verb-second languages         223

                        4.5.4    Overt and abstract verb movement to C                                    228

                        4.5.5    The that-trace effect and the Principle of Last Resort    233

            4.6       Consequences of the conjunctive ECP                                      234

                        4.6.1    Extraction out of wh-islands in West Flemish                 235

                        4.6.2    Extraction in Vata                                                                     238

                           Extraction of arguments                                     238

                           Extraction of adjuncts                                                   244

                        4.6.3    Long-distance dependency in Welsh                                         249

                        4.6.4    Argument/adjunct distinction                                                     256

                           Head-government of adjuncts                                       257

                           Intermediate traces and the ECP                                   259

                           Condition on A"-dependency                                        261

                           Principle of adverbial interpretation                                263

                           Antecedent-government of adjuncts                              269

                        4.6.5    Long-distance subject extraction in English                                273

            4.7       Subject extraction in West Flemish and Dutch interrogatives      280

                        4.7.1    On West Flemish expletive er                                                   280

                        4.7.2    On Dutch expletive er                                                               285

            4.8       Conclusions                                                                                          290

Chapter 5         Abstract verb movement and theory of predication

            5.1       Introduction                                                                                          297

            5.2       Some issues in relative clauses                                                   298

            5.3       Abstract and agreeing complementizers                                                 301

            5.4       Predication theory and relative clauses                                       309

                        5.4.1    The structure of relativized noun phrases                                    309

                        5.4.2    The semantics of relative clauses                                               314

                        5.4.3    The internal structure of relative clauses                         316

                           On relative operators                                                    316

                           Operators in Hebrew relative clauses                            321

                           The distribution of wh-operators                                   328

                           The distribution of empty operators                               330

                           The Predicate Principle                                     333

            5.5       Head-government in relative clauses                                                      336

                        5.5.1    Wh-relatives                                                                             337

                        5.5.2    Zero-relatives                                                                           338

                        5.5.3    That-relatives                                                                           340

            5.6       The that-trace effect versus the anti-that-trace effect                            341

                        5.6.1    The that-trace filter                                                                  342

                        5.6.2    Minimality in relative clauses                                                      344

                        5.6.3    Relative that as an agreeing complementizer                              344

                        5.6.4    The complementizer that as an expletive                                   352

            5.7       Short subject extraction                                                                        354

                        5.7.1    Vacuous movement of subjects                                     355

                        5.7.2    Extraction of non-local subjects and do-support                        359

                           The Adjacency Condition for morphological

support                                                             360

                           Short subject extraction and the ECP                            363

                           ECP effects in main clause                                            366

                        5.7.3    Main clause short subject questions as IPs                                 371

                        5.7.4    The root-clause condition and head-government                        373

                        5.7.5    Embedded short subject questions                                            376

            5.8       Agreement in relative clauses                                                                 380

                        5.8.1    Agreement chains and predication                                             381

                        5.8.2    Agreement linking                                                                     383

            5.9       Conclusions                                                                                          390

Appendix:  A note on short subject zero-relatives                                                          392