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Bookmark and Share Paper 1696

(Im)perfect Domains: Yet Another Theory of Syntactic Movement
Omer Preminger
402-410 (complete paper or proceedings contents)


This paper proposes a novel account of the nature of syntactic movement, which is intended as an alternative to the Probe-Goal approach (Chomsky, 1995). The proposal is based on the idea that an XP that has unchecked features outside of its specifier (i.e., within X') constitutes an imperfect domain—and that purifying XPs (turning them into perfect domains) is the sole motivation for movement in syntax. The author demonstrates the workings of the proposed system, and highlight several of its advantages in comparison to conventional syntactic frameworks: in capturing the distinction between movement and so-called "long-distance" agreement; in deriving certain key properties of QR and reconstruction, including a novel prediction regarding the interaction of inverse scope with clause-mate negation; in deriving wh-movement out of embedded declaratives (without recourse to features postulated for this purpose alone); in accounting for the clause-boundedness of QR vs. the unboundedness of wh-movement; and in deriving the possibility of lexical selection for clauses in which wh-movement has occurred, vs. the impossibility of selection for clauses in which QR has occurred. The latter two are derived from a single property, accounting for their previously unexplained correlation.

Published in

Proceedings of the 26th West Coast Conference on Formal Linguistics
edited by Charles B. Chang and Hannah J. Haynie
Table of contents
Printed edition: $375.00