LINGUIST List 14.1181

Fri Apr 25 2003

Diss: Syntax: Kiguchi "Syntax Unchained"

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  1. kiguchih, Syntax: Kiguchi "Syntax Unchained"

Message 1: Syntax: Kiguchi "Syntax Unchained"

Date: Fri, 25 Apr 2003 00:26:20 +0000
From: kiguchih <kiguchihhis.kanazawa-it.ac.jp>
Subject: Syntax: Kiguchi "Syntax Unchained"



Institution: University of Maryland
Program: Department of Linguistics
Dissertation Status: Completed
Degree Date: 2002

Author: Hirohisa Kiguchi 

Dissertation Title: Syntax Unchained

Linguistic Field: Syntax

Dissertation Director 1: Norbert Hornstein
Dissertation Director 2: Cedric Boeckx


Dissertation Abstract: 

This thesis is concerned with chains. Chains have been conventionally
defined as follows: "(a1,..., an) is a chain only if, for 1 <= i < n,
ai and ai+1 are nondistinct, and ai c-commands ai+1" (cf. Chomsky
1986a, Rizzi 1990, Brody 1995 and many others). As Hornstein (1998)
points out, though chains were originally not real grammatical objects
but mere notation to track the history of movement, they were promoted
to a legitimate syntactic tool in no time. This thesis questions
chains: Are chains really necessary? What would we lose if we did not
have chains as a primitive of the theory of Universal Grammar (=UG)?
This thesis especially investigates what we would gain if UG were free
from the notion of the chains. The claim of the thesis is that there
are good empirical reasons for eliminating chains.

The Minimalist Program, Chomsky's recent revision of the view of UG
(cf. Chomsky 1993, 1995), at least enables one to propose syntactic
operations free from chains. Nunes (1995) claims that an element can
move to a place, which does NOT c-command its base position. Nunes
(1995) calls this operation "Sideward movement". Then, Hornstein
(2000) further extends Nunes' (1995) proposal. He applies sideward
movement to various constructions, as I will show in the following
chapters. This thesis develops this line of thought. Here I attempt to
provide some instances where chains as defined above cannot
effectively license movement. More specifically, I will deal with some
cases of obviation of weak crossover-effects, PRO gate phenomena
discovered by Higginbotham (1980) and weakest crossover-phenomena
first observed by Lasnik and Stowell (1991).

In a nutshell, this thesis is an investigation of syntax without
chains, or as I put it, syntax unchained.
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