The A/A-Bar Distinction and Movement Theory

A. K. Mahajan, 1990

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This thesis argues for a reformulation of the A/A-bar distinction in the theory of syntax.  In the first part of this thesis, it is shown that this reformulation is forced by both theoretical considerations raised by VP internal subject theories and also certain empirical considerations relating to scrambling operations in Hindi.  Evidence for the reformulation includes locality constraints on movement, weak crossover phenomena, reconstruction effects and binding properties associated with movement.  This evidence also leads to a new approach to the study of scrambling phenomena.  It is suggested that scrambling operations " an operation that involves substituting the scrambled element into a SPEC of a functional projection internal to IP (with properties similar to a rule like Passive) and an operation that adjoins the scrambled NP to a maximal projection (with properties similar to a rule like QR).  The approach developed here yields a framework that seems to be promising for the study of variation found with respect to scrambling phenomena in natural languages.

The second part of this thesis argues that a language that does not have overt wh-movement at s-structure may not have wh-movement to SPEC CP at LF either.  It is argued that in a language like Hindi, the wh-phrases simply undergo QR at LF.  This operation adjoins a wh-phrase to the nearest IP.  We show that this approach yields a number of consequences that are desirable in Hindi, a language that at first glance seems to be mixed between a language with overt wh-movement in syntax as well as wh-in-situ.  We discuss some aspects of wide scope quantification in Hindi and some other languages and show that the absence of wh-movement to SPEC CP at LF yields certain effects that would be surprising under the approaches that permit wh-movement to SPEC CP at LF.

Thesis supervisor:         Noam Chomsky

Title:                             Institute Professor

Table of Contents

Outline of the thesis                                                                                                       6

Chapter 1         Scrambling                                                                                           7

            1.0       Introduction: free word order and scrambling                             7

            1.1       Theoretical assumptions                                                                        10

            1.2       Argument shift                                                                          15

                        1.2.1    On the A/A-bar distinction                                                        15

                        1.2.2    Some remarks on Hindi word order                                          19

                        1.2.3    Wh-phrases in simple sentences in Hindi                                    20

                        1.2.4    Some remarks on Weak Crossover                                          22

                        1.2.5    NP fronting and Weak Crossover in Hindi                                 25

                        1.2.6    Scrambling and reflexive binding                                                32

                        1.2.7    Reflexive binding and reconstruction                                          34

            1.3       Adjunction to XP                                                                                  38

                        1.3.1    Weak Crossover and long distance scrambling out of a

                                    finite clause                                                                               38

                        1.3.2    Reflexive binding and long distance scambling out of a

                                    finite clause                                                                               43

                        1.3.3    Short distance adjunction                                                          46

                        1.3.4    Summary                                                                                  46

            1.4       Evidence against a mixed position                                                          47

                        1.4.1    Reconstruction and Weak Crossover                                        47

                        1.4.2    Parasitic Gaps                                                                          52

                        1.4.3    Summary                                                                                  55

                        1.4.4    German evidence                                                                      56

            1.5       Conclusion: toward a unified theory of scrambling                                  61

Chapter 2         Agreement, Case and scrambling                                                          68

            2.0       Introduction                                                                                          68

            2.1       Theoretical background                                                                        70

            2.2       Agreement                                                                                            72

                        2.2.1    Some basic facts about Hindi agreement                                    72

                        2.2.2    Some basic facts about Hindi Case marking                              75

                        2.2.3    Subject agreement                                                                    75

                        2.2.4    Object agreement                                                                     78

                        2.2.5    Agreement and adverbial interpretation                          80

            2.3       Case and agreement                                                                             89

            2.4       Visibility condition                                                                                 97

            2.5       Case, agreement, and scrambling                                                          100

            2.6       Agreement and specificity                                                                     103

Chapter 3         Against wh-movement in Hindi                                                  107

            3.0       Introduction                                                                                          107

            3.1       Simplex clauses: wh-in-situ                                                                    112

                        3.1.1    Simple questions                                                                       112

                        3.1.2    Multiple questions                                                                     118

                        3.1.3    Some verb-wh adjacency effects in Hindi                                  121

            3.2       Wh-phrases in subordinate clauses                                                        126

                        3.2.1    An outline of various strategies for wh-phrases in

embedded clauses                                                                    127

            3.3       Embedded questions                                                                             131

                        3.3.1    Movement out of embedded questions                          133

            3.4       Wide scope questions                                                                           134

            3.5       Extraction wh-questions                                                                        136

                        3.5.1    Multiple wh-questions                                                   138

                        3.5.2    The non-barrierhood of the complement CP                              142

                        3.5.3    Complex NP constraint: subjacency at LF                                 148

                        3.5.4    Argument-adjunct asymmetries under long distance

                                    multiple movement: relativized minimality effects             152

                        3.5.5    Wh-phrases in infinitives                                                            159

            3.6       kvaa-questions                                                                                     164

                        3.6.1    Introduction                                                                              165

                        3.6.2    Multiple kvaa questions                                                 169

                        3.6.3    kvaa questions and multiple embeddings                                    170

                        3.6.4    Extractions out of kvaa questions                                              173

            3.7       Summary                                                                                              174

            3.8       Wh-in-situ in English                                                                             176

                        3.8.1    Uniclausal multiple questions                                                     176

                        3.8.2    Wide scope wh-in-situ in English                                               179

                        3.8.3    On adjunction to IP in English                                       184

            3.9       Wh-in-situ in other languages                                                                187

            3.10     Conclusions                                                                                          193