LINGUIST List 13.3244

Tue Dec 10 2002

Diss: Syntax: Matushansky "Movement of Degree..."

Editor for this issue: Karolina Owczarzak <>


  1. matushan, Syntax: Matushansky "Movement of Degree/Degree of Movement"

Message 1: Syntax: Matushansky "Movement of Degree/Degree of Movement"

Date: Mon, 09 Dec 2002 15:43:39 +0000
From: matushan <>
Subject: Syntax: Matushansky "Movement of Degree/Degree of Movement"

Institution: Massachusetts Institute of Technology
Program: Department of Linguistics and Philosophy
Dissertation Status: Completed 
Degree Date: 2002

Author: Ora Matushansky 

Dissertation Title: 
Movement of Degree/Degree of Movement

Linguistic Field: Syntax

Dissertation Director: Noam Chomsky

Dissertation Abstract: 

In this project we examine the DP-internal behavior of degree
operators contained in attributive extended APs, specifically degree
fronting (so sunny a day) and degree right extraposition (a day sunny
enough). We argue that both processes have to do with the scope of the
degree operator, namely, that degree fronting is a diagnostic of
clausal scope of the degree operator, while right extraposition is
overt QR to the DP-internal landing site where a quantifier can be

We first show that pre-determiner APs in Germanic languages (so sunny
a day) are moved to [Spec, NumP] only if they contain a degree
operator, i.e. an element that cannot be interpreted in situ. We will
then show that the appearance of the adjectival projection in that
position is due to pied-piping, and that different degree operators
behave differently with respect to how much material is moved overtly

We then turn to right extraposition. We will show that it can be
differentiated from other cases traditionally denoted by the same term
(e.g. a professor proud of her children). On the other hand, it has
certain properties permitting to assimilate it to DP-extraposition to
the right periphery of the vP (Heavy NP Shift); it has new information
status and permits stranding of the argument of the degree operator (a
more interesting problem than this). These and similar factors suggest
that right extraposition of degree-containing extended APs is overt QR
of the degree operator accompanied by more or less pied-piping.

The overall picture seems to be that QR an overt movement processes
examined for clausal projections exist in nominal projections as well
and have similar properties.

Soon to be available from MITWPL.
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