LINGUIST List 12.3015

Mon Dec 3 2001

Books: Syntax

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  1. Ora Matushansky, Syntax: Mechanisms of Chain Formation

Message 1: Syntax: Mechanisms of Chain Formation

Date: Thu, 29 Nov 2001 21:57:50 -0500
From: Ora Matushansky <matushanMIT.EDU>
Subject: Syntax: Mechanisms of Chain Formation

UConn PhD thesis 2001

Cedric Boeckx &quot;Mechanisms of Chain Formation&quot;
$15. For ordering information, visit our Web page:


The theoretical domain of the present investigation is the mechanisms
of chain formation. The empirical domain is the nature of
resumption. I provide compelling arguments in favor of a
movement-based analysis of resumptive chains. However, unlike more
traditional analyses, I do not take a resumptive pronoun to be a
(minimal) copy of its antecedent. Instead, I argue that resumptive
elements and their antecedents are distinct syntactic entities, which
form a constituent with their antecedents upon First Merge. Resumptive
chains are the result of stranding (subextraction) under A-bar
movement. My proposal makes correct predictions in various domains
pertaining to the interpretive consequences of resumption, the
relation between resumption and clitic doubling, and cases of
agreement mismatch between the resumptive pronoun and its antecedent,
which turn out to be crucial in defining the nature of resumption. I
define as precisely as possible how resumptive chains are formed,
which necessitates a theory of extraction. The answer I suggest is
strongly reminiscent of Ross's (1967). For Ross, movement was
unbounded. Crossing an island in and of itself did not suffice to
yield a deviant output. Rather, only certain types of rules were
sensitive to islands. I revise Ross's taxonomy in such a way as to
make agreement processes island-sensitive. Movement triggered in the
absence of agreement can be island-insensitive. By stranding
resumptive pronouns, antecedents are able to undergo Move without
Agree, and thereby void islandhood. A careful examination of the
properties of resumptive pronouns is shown to predict when the latter
will be island-sensitive. The final chapter of this work expands the
data base by examining more marked instances of resumption, and shows
how these can be accounted for at no cost. In particular, cases of
mixed chains, resumptive pronoun fronting, clitic left dislocation,
and interacting A-bar dependencies are analyzed. Instances of
so-called intrusive pronouns (resumption restricted to island
contexts) are examined, and formally distinguished from cases of
genuine resumption. The chapter ends with a discussion of some
implications of the present analysis of resumption for domains like
Weak Crossover, parasitic gaps, reconstruction, and asymmetries
between interrogative and relative clauses<br>

Ora Matushansky
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Monday, July 23, 2001