Paths and Categories

D. M. Pesetsky, 1982

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This study has two parts.  In Part I, we consider the role of categorial selection in the theory of grammar.  Categorial selection governs the category of a predicate’s arguments, determing, for example, whether an argument must be an NP, and S’, etc.  We study asymmetries between subjects and objects in three quantificational constructions in Russian: the genitive of negation, distributive phrases with po, and numeral phrases.  The subject/object asymmetries can be explained by Chomsky’s (1981a) Empty Category Principle (ECP), if we separate categorial selection from q-theory, which governs the assignment of thematic (q-) roles.  We propose that categorial selection applies only at the level of Logical Form (LF), while q-theory applies at the three levels of D-structure, S-structure and LF.  This has wide consequences for the categorial status of empty categories, which in turn allows us to explain the subject/object asymmetries.  We extend our analysis to Russian Infinitival free relatives and secondary predicate constructions.  Finally, after separating categorial selection from q-theory, we argue that categorial selection itself should be subsumed under a more general semantic theory.

In Part II, we turn our attention to the ECP itself.  We argue that the ECP, the Subject Condition (Chomsky 1973), and well know constraints on the crossing and nesting of dependencies fall together under a general theory governing the interaction of paths in a syntactic tree.  A new subsystem of grammar is proposed, Path Theory, which contains a definition of paths, based on work by Kayne (1981a, 1982), and a Path Containment Condition (PCC).  We compare the PCC to other account of Crossing effects, and to the ECP, in Chapter Three.

In Chapter Four, we extend Path Theory to constructions with multiple gaps, adapting ideas of Kayne (1982).  We deal first with the “parasitic gap” constructions of Taraldsen (1981), Engdahl (1981) and Chomsky (1981b).  We then turn our attention to coordinate structures, arguing that most of Ross’s (1967) Coordinate Structure Constraint derives from the PCC.  Applying the general theory of multiple gaps to coordinate structures, we explain immediately the possibility of “Across the Board” exceptions to Ross’s constraint, including certain subject/object asymmetries discovered by Williams (1978).  We discuss constraints on the conjunction of tensed and infinitival clauses in the context of Across the Board exceptions to Ross’s constraint, and consider in this connection the status of expletive null subjects in so-called “pro-deop” languages.

In Chapter Five, we consider other topics in Path Theory.  We present a PCC account of ECP and Superiority Condition effects in Wh-in-situ constructions.  We discuss some distinctions between indicative and subjunctive clauses.  Finally, after considering some problems that arise in Path Theory, we note some desirable implications of Path Theory for the definition of government.

Thesis supervisor:         Noam Chomsky

Title:                             Institute Professor

Table of Contents

Part One          Categories

Chapter 1         Introduction

            1          UG and Core Grammar                                                                        12

            2          q-theory, the Projection Principle, and Binding Theory               16

            3          The Projection Principle, q-criterion, and Categorial Selection   29

Footnotes                                                                                                                     38

Chapter 2         Russian Quantification and Categorial Selection

            1.0       Three descriptive conditions                                                                  40

                        1.1       Genitive of negation                                                                  40

                                    1.1.1    The D-structure [XP, VP] restriction                             41

                                    1.1.2    The non-obliqueness restriction                         64

                                    1.1.3    Obligatory quantifier movement                         65

                        1.2       Po-phrases                                                                               69

                                    1.2.1    Po-phrases and the D-structure [XP, VP] restriction     70

                                    1.2.2    Po-phrases and the non-obliqueness restriction  72

                                    1.2.3    Po-phrases and obligatory QR                          73

                        1.3       No-agreement numeral phrases                                     74

                                    1.3.1    No-agreement numeral phrases and the D-structure

[XP, VP] restriction                                                      77

                                    1.3.2    No-agreement numeral phrases and the

non-obliqueness restriction                                            79

                                    1.3.3    No-agreement numeral phrases and obligatory QR        82

            2.0       The non-obliqueness restriction and the QP hypothesis              86

                        2.1       The QP hypothesis

                        2.2       Oblique vs. structural case

                        2.3       The non-obliqueness restriction

            3.0       QP’s and the Empty Category Principle

            4.0       The ECP, Category Blindness and Conditions A and C             122

                        4.1       QP and the ECP

                        4.2       Categorial selection and condition C                                          129

                        4.3       Categorial selection and condition A                                          134

                        4.4       Two more cases                                                                       149

                                    4.4.1    Infinitival free relatives                                       149

                                    4.4.2    Secondary predicates                                                   150

                                       Secondary predicates and the D-structure

                                                            [XP, VP] restriction                                          165

                                       Secondary predicates and the

non-obliqueness restriction                                169

                                       Secondary predicates and small clauses 170

            5.0       Categorial and semantic selection                                                          180

Footnotes                                                                                                                     206

Part Two          Paths

Chapter 3         Crossing Effects, the ECP, and the Subject Condition

            0          Introduction                                                                                          248

            1.0       The structure of S                                                                                 250

                        1.1       The definition of subject                                                            255

                        1.2       Contraction                                                                              255

            2.0       Remarks on the ECP                                                                            264

            3.0       Crossing and nesting                                                                             267

                        3.1       Crossing effects                                                                        267

                        3.2       Complementizer-trace phenomena                                            272

            4.0       Crossing dependencies vs. paths                                                           277

                        4.1       Crossing in two dimensions                                                       277

                        4.2       Paths                                                                                        288

                        4.3       Paths vs. linear crossing                                                            297

                        4.4       CTP effects                                                                              305

                        4.5       The subject condition                                                                313

                        4.6       The subject condition in small clauses and s’-deletion

                                    infinitivals                                                                                  319

                        4.7       Conclusions                                                                              337

Footnotes                                                                                                                     339

Chapter 3         Multiple Gaps and Paths

            1.0       Introduction                                                                                          356

            2.0       Paths and parasitic gaps                                                                        357

                        2.1       Parasitic gaps and subject condition violations               357

                        2.2       Parasitic gaps and “connectedness”                                           368

                        2.3       Left branch extraction                                                               387

                        2.4       Russian QPs revisited                                                               406

                        2.5       Parasitic gaps and crossing effects                                             420

            3.0       Coordination and multiple gaps                                                 433

                        3.1       The Coordinate Structure Constraint                                         433

                        3.2       Across the Board                                                                     443

                        3.3       The path between INFL and COMP                                        459

Appendix to 3.3                                                                                                           484

            4.0       Multiple gaps, the PCC, and subjacency                                               488

                        4.1       A unified theory of multiple gap constructions                490

                        4.2       Chomsky’s analysis of parasitic gaps                                         498

                        4.3       Subjacency and the PCC                                                          505

                        4.4       The PCC and LF, counteranalyses of ATB phenomena 511

                        4.5       Move-a, subjacency, and the PCC                                          530

            5.0       Conclusions                                                                                          551

Appendix: slash categoires and coordination                                                                  554

Footnotes                                                                                                                     559

Chapter 5         Further PCC Effects

            1.0       Introduction                                                                                          585

            2.0       Infinite paths: wh-in-situ and gapping                                         586

                        2.1       Wh-in-situ                                                                                586

                        2.2       ECP, Superiority, and the PCC                                     595

                                    2.2.1    Pure ECP effects                                                          595

                                    2.2.2    ECP/Superiority effects                                     598

                                    2.2.3    Pure superiority effects                                      602

                                    2.2.4    Infinite paths and wh-in-situ                                           605

                        2.3       Multiple wh-in-situ and absorption as coindexation                    613

                        2.4       Wh-in-situ and Logical Form                                                    629

                        2.5       Focus and gapping                                                                    640

                                    2.5.1    Focus and the PCC                                                      640

                                    2.5.2    Gapping                                                                       642

            3.0       Subjunctives and W-verbs                                                                    659

            4.0       Problems for the PCC                                                                          682

                        4.1       The PCC and QR                                                                     683

                        4.2       The PCC and Preposition Stranding                                          687

                        4.3       The PCC and NP-trace                                                            690

            5.0       Path Theory and the PCC                                                                     694

                        5.1       Path Theory and the definitions of government               695

                        5.2       Conclusions                                                                              702

Footnotes                                                                                                                     705