Syntax-Semantics Reading Group



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The Phasal Movement Hypothesis, D-Effect Freezing,

and the Optimality of Grammar

Dong-Whee Yang

This paper shows how the phasal movement hypothesis (1) is supported by six criteria of EF-movement and thereby contributes to the optimality of grammar:

(1) Phasal Movement Hypothesis (Chomsky 2005)

All A’-movements are solely induced by EF (=edge feature) of a phase head, i.e., EF-

movement.

We propose and motivate six criteria of EF-movement: 1. Lack of Agree; 2. EF-property; 3. Optionality; 4. Discourse Effects; 5. Lack of Covert Movement; and 6. Lack of Agree-related Movement Constraints.

Criterion 4 of Discourse Effects is motivated in depth with respect to syntactic freezing: it is shown that the D-Effect Freezing Principle is better motivated than the Criterial Freezing Principle (Rizzi 2004) and the Inactivation Freezing Principle (Chomsky 2005).

EF-movement or pure IM is a null hypothesis for movement that approaches SMT, since it “comes free” just like EM; hence, motivation of EF-movement in natural language contributes to the optimality of grammar as follows: (a) It contributes to the optimality of movement theory through motivation of optimal movement, i.e., EF-movement. (b) It contributes to optimal characterization of other overt movements, i.e., Agree-movement and head-movement. (c) It contributes to optimal characterization of CI interface conditions necessary for the grammar of natural language.

The extension of EF-movement, or EF-movement being induced by a non-phase head, is explored and motivated for phenomena like clause-internal scrambling.

Take a concrete example (2a, b) from Korean, which can be accounted for by our six criteria of EF-movement under the assumption that Wh-movement is EF-movement:

(2) a. *[TP kui-uy chinkwu-ka nwukwui-lul ttayli-ess-ni]?

he-GEN friend-NOM who-ACC hit-PAST-Q

'Hisi friend hit whoi?'

b. [CP nwukwui-lulj [TP tj [TP kui-uy chinkwu-ka tj ttayli-ess-ni]]]?

who-ACC he-GEN friend-NOM hit-PAST-Q

'Whoi did hisi friend hit?'

According to criteria 2, 3, 4, and 5, (2a) is out violating Weak Crossover whereas (2b) avoids Weak Crossover in terms of the parallel movements of clause-internal A-scrambling (=extended EF-movement) and A’-scrambling (=non-extended EF-movement) of the wh-phrase. You might immediately object, saying “Wh-movement in English is different!” Well, I will show you that the difference between Korean and English is not due to wh-phrase proper but due to something else.

Take another example from Korean, which can be accounted for by our six criteria of EF-movement under the assumption that Scrambling is EF-movement and that Case particle necessarily supports focus effects:

(3) a. [CP John-man-uli [TP motun salam-i ti salangha-n-ta]].

J.-only-ACC every man-NOM love-ASP-DEC

'Only John everyone loves.' (every>only; *only>every)

b. [CP/TP John-mani [TP ti [TP motun salam-i ti salangha-n-ta]]].

J.-only every man-NOM love-ASP-DEC

‘Only John everyone loves.' (every>only; only>every)



According to criteria 2, 3, and 4, the object John-man ‘John-only’ has to move to Spec-C due to the focus particle -man ‘only’ and the accusative Case particle –ul, obligatorily inducing reconstruction, in (3a) whereas it does not have to in (3b) since it may move to Spec-T or Spec-C due to lack of the Case-particle; hence, the difference in scope interpretation between (3a, b).






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