LINGUIST List 12.146

Mon Jan 22 2001

Qs: Quantifier Raising and the Binding Theory

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  1. Lotfi, Dances with the Quantifiers!

Message 1: Dances with the Quantifiers!

Date: 20 Jan 2001 22:12:32 EDT
From: Lotfi <>
Subject: Dances with the Quantifiers!

Dear colleagues,

May (1991) assumed that the operations Wh-Movement and Quantifier
Raising derived LF from S-structure. Such a designated level of
syntactic representation was motivated by some theory-internal
considerations such as the principles of the Binding Theory of
the time. The empirical support for 'invisible' LF operations were
sentences with quantifiers like (1) below with a structure satisfying
Principle A ONLY AFTER the application of QR at LF (1b) so that both
'the women' and 'the men'locally c-command an occurrence of
'each other':

(1) a. The men introduced each other to everyone that the women did.
 b. [everyone that the women [VP introduced each other to e-i]]-i
 [the men introduced each other to e-i].

Although QR generalises binding principles to sentences like (1a),
it can also risk their applicability for some other sentences that are
ungrammatical in terms of binding prior to the movement of the
quantifier to the left-most position of the sentence at LF but fulfill
the binding requirements after QR:

(2) ??a. She-i met every director that Mary-i knew.
 b. [every director that Mary [VP knew e-i]]-i [she met e-i]

In (2b), 'Mary'is outside the c-command domain of 'she'. Then 'Mary'
can antecede 'she' with no violation of binding requirements. The
prediction proves to be empirically false. Based on similar cases,
Chomsky (1981) concluded that Principle C was satisfied at S-structure;
a solution that is not available in Minimalist Syntax with S-structure
dispensed with.

Chomsky (1993), however, argues that only the specifier 'every' in the
DP 'every director'is raised at LF. It follows that (3b) will be the LF
representation of (3a) after QR.

 ??a. His-i friends like every student-i.
 b. every-j [his-i friends like [t-j student]-i]

(3) shows weak crossover (WCO) effects. The quantifier 'every' has
raised to an LF position high enough to c-command and, as a result,
fulfill the requirements of scope theory. Despite that, the DP 'every
student' does not take scope over the pronoun 'his'. This can explain
why the pronoun cannot be bound to the DP even after QR. It can also
explain the ungrammaticality of (2a).

Then the empirical challenge to the viability of this version of QR
must come from grammatical cases, if any, in which one (the nominal
element of the DP) cannot c-command a co-indexed pronoun unless the
whole DP is raised at LF. But do such cases exist?

If I'm right in my non-native judgements, they do!

In sentences in (4) below, the quantificational DP binds the pronoun
without c-commanding it.

 a. The nurse kissed [every child]-i on his-i birthday.
 b. Al Capone gave [every gangster]-i his-i share.

The problem in (4) can be solved if the whole DP is raised to the left-
most position of the sentence at LF. But this, by its turn, will pose a
problem for minimalist accounts of the ungrammatical (3)!

Ahmad R. Lotfi.

Ahmad R. Lotfi
English Dept, chair
Azad University

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