This paper investigates the cross-linguistic variation of the availability of the relative reading with NP internal focus in superlative expressions. Pancheva and Tomaszewicz (2013) observed that sentences like John has the best albums by U2 has a reading where John's albums by U2 are better than his albums by other artists. This reading is available in Polish but not available in English. This paper derives the variation using standard locality constraints: Phase Impenetrability constraint (Chomsky 2001), anti-locality (Abels 2003), and NP/DP parameter (Boskovi(c with acute accent) 2005 a.o.). The account proposed here makes the correct prediction of the argument/adjunct asymmetry in Polish and the absence of such asymmetry in the quantifier phrases, e.g. the fewest albums by U2.
Proceedings of the 31st West Coast Conference on Formal Linguistics
edited by Robert E. Santana-LaBarge
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