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Summary Details

Query:   Strong/Weak Crossover
Author:  Mohammad Rasekh
Submitter Email:  click here to access email
Linguistic LingField(s):   Syntax

Summary:   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?

weak crossover:

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
in (6)):

(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

LL Issue: 13.2039
Date Posted: 06-Aug-2002
Original Query: Read original query


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