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Here is a summary of the responses on strong/weak
Illicit movement of an operator (for instance a
wh-word) across a pronoun in argument position when
the pronoun c-commands the variable (trace) of the
operator and pronoun and trace are coindexed.
This sounds difficult but isn't quite so:
(1) *Whoi, does hei think, ti has won the competition?
(1) is ungrammatical with the indexing indicated.
Given this coindexing the interpretation of this
sentence would be:
For what x, x a person: x believes, that x has won the
In this case the variable (who) crosses a pronoun in
argument position (A position) (he). he c-commands the
variable (trace t) and there is coindexing of trace,
pronoun and operator. Compare this with the
(2) Whoi ti thinks, hei has won the competition?
Illicit movement of an operator over a constituent
(his mother in (3)) which c-commands the variable
(trace) and contains a pronoun coindexed with this
(3) *Whoi does [hisi mother] really like ti?
For what x, x a person: the mother of x likes x.
There is no weak crossover effect with A-movement:
(4) Johni seems to hisi sister [ti to be a fool].
All A'-movements (that is movement in non-argument
position) are subject to the strong crossover effect
while only those A'-movement relations involving a
quantifier-variable relation are subject to the weak
crossover effect. wh-words behave as other quantifiers
do. Compare the question operator of (3) with the
relative operator in (5) (and with the topicalization
(5) Johni, whoi hisi mother really likes ti ...
(6) Johni, hisi mother really likes ti.
Mohammad Rasekh Mahand
English and Linguistics Department
Litrature and Humanities Faculty
Bu-Ali Sina University
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