LINGUIST List 24.1794

Tue Apr 23 2013

Qs: Binding Judgments Requested

Editor for this issue: Brent Miller <>

Date: 23-Apr-2013
From: Steven Franks <>
Subject: Binding Judgments Requested
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Presenting a textbook argument from English for intermediate movement to speakers of Slovenian, Croatian, and Bulgarian, I recently encountered clear objections that the data did not carry over to their languages. Something like (1):

(1) Which picture of himself does John think that Mary prefers?

or intermediate (2):

(2) Which picture of himself does Mary think that John hopes that Sue will prefer?

Moreover, even when the fronted wh-phrase is overt, as in (3), speakers did not accept binding:

(3) John wonders which picture of himself Mary prefers.

I began to wonder whether this English phenomenon might be rare, an outlier. What is going on, and what does the possibility of (1)-(3) correlate with.

If anyone knows of any comparative or typological work on this, I'd appreciate the reference. Also, if you have native speaker judgments about this sort of binding, I'd appreciate hearing them.


Linguistic Field(s): Syntax

Page Updated: 23-Apr-2013