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Which Subject Islands Will the Acceptability of Improve with Repeated Exposure?
Rui P. Chaves and Jeruen E. Dery
96-106 (complete paper or proceedings contents)


It has been observed that the acceptability of several types of extraction islands improves with repeated exposure, a phenomenon sometimes referred to as 'satiation'. The existence of satiation in Subject Islands (SIs) remains controversial, however. Whereas Hiramatsu (1999), Snyder (2000) and Francom (2009) observed it, Sprouse (2009) and Crawford (2011) did not. In particular, Sprouse (2009) argues that satiation in Snyder (2000) is due to a confound. In this work it is shown that certain SIs reliably satiate, provided that the sentences are pragmatically plausible and not too complex. This means that Sprouse (2009) and Crawford (2011) have overstated the significance of their results. The findings also indicate that, in some cases, SIs can be fairly acceptable regardless of wh-phrase specificity and of predicate type.

Published in

Proceedings of the 31st West Coast Conference on Formal Linguistics
edited by Robert E. Santana-LaBarge
Table of contents
Printed edition: $375.00