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The ‘short movement’-TH/EX puzzle: Generally, a surface subject argument is attracted by T to Spec,TP. But in many Expletive Ss as in (1a-c), the potential.

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Presentation on theme: "The ‘short movement’-TH/EX puzzle: Generally, a surface subject argument is attracted by T to Spec,TP. But in many Expletive Ss as in (1a-c), the potential."— Presentation transcript:

1 The ‘short movement’-TH/EX puzzle: Generally, a surface subject argument is attracted by T to Spec,TP. But in many Expletive Ss as in (1a-c), the potential subject moves a short distance and then stops. What explains this apparently anomalous movement? (1)Short movement (= TH/EX) in Expletive S’s: a. There is [vP a train arriving (*a train)] b. There was [ vP a book taken (*a book) from the shelf] c. There was a book being (*a book) taken (*a book) from the shelf. =Apparent leftward iteration of TH/EX (not legitimate TH/EX for Chomsky (2001)) d. There [ vP arrived (*a train) a train] = rightward TH/EX (‘invisible’ extraposition) (Chomsky 2001) Thesis Low There Insertion, the presence of TH/EX positions, and the ban on multiple theres (Chomsky 2001) in expletive sentences can be explained by viewing the EPP features of verbalizing heads as being articulated into their Agree and Merge components. This articulation is lexically idiosyncratic—it is different for different functional heads. Some background findings TH/EX in the syntax- Rezac (2006) posits a TH/EX position in the syntax in association with the progressive and passive participles, and a single higher TH/EX position when both are present. However, their exact position, the reason(s) for their appearance, and what motivates movement to them are open questions. The level of There Insertion- Richards & Biberauer (2005) argue that EXPL Insertion is ‘low’, universally limited to the Spec of a phase head (v or C). The TH/EX Puzzle Nicholas Sobin The TH/EX Puzzle Nicholas Sobin Verbs allowing There Insertion- Deal (2009) argues that the functional structure of verbs is key to explaining which verbs allow There Insertion. Only non-inchoative unaccusative vs have a base- generated empty Spec allowing There Insertion. Deal’s (2009: ) functional analysis of verb types: (2)a. Unergative:[ vP DP [ v Voice v √ ] ] (e.g. laugh) b. Transitive:[ vP DP [ v Voice v [ √P √ DP ] ] ] (e.g. watch) c. Inchoative:[ vP event c [ CAUSE v [ √P √ DP ] ]] (e.g. fall) d. Non-inchoative unaccusative:[ vP [ v ˜ [ √P √ DP ] ] ] (e.g. arrive, be) Deal’s analysis of ‘There is a train arriving’ (with two instances of v ˜ ) has There Insertion in Spec of the lower v ˜ rather that the higher one for purposes of Case and ϕ agreement between there and a train, leaving TH/EX unaccounted for: (3) [ vP (*there) ⇓ [ v v ˜ [ Asp Asp prog [ vP there ⇓ [ v v ˜ [ √P √arrive a train DP ]... (where ‘ ⇓ ’ = phase boundary; agreement may hold across one phase boundary) None of the preceding analyses offer a precise account of TH/EX positions, TH/EX movement, or the motivation for this movement. Key aspects of this proposal A. Quantifier Floating points toward an EPP feature for each v: i. (All) the girls (all) could (all) have (all) been (all) smoking cigars. ii. (All) the cigars (all) have (all) been (all) given out. B. Verbalizing heads as proposed by Deal are assumed here, since they appear successful in delimiting verbs allowing There Insertion (in IVES). C. Agree holds over at most one phase boundary. (Deal 2009) D. Core Claim: Splitting EPP into Agree and Merge components (Chomsky 2000) may not be‘general’, but lexically idiosyncratic; different functional heads may have differing split EPP properties. EPP features and derivations EPP for v ˜ : [ uTheta AGR, uD MRG ] ([uTheta] must Agree a true argument; [uD] may Merge an argument or there.) (4) [ vP there ⇓ [ v v ˜ [ √P √arrive [ DP a train ] ] ] ] [uTheta] AGR [uD] MRG ‘There arrived a train’ The University of Texas at El Paso (5) ‘There is someone laughing’ [ vP there ⇓ [ v v ˜ [ Asp Asp prog [ vP someone DP ⇓ [ v Voice v √laugh ]]]]]] [uTheta] AGR [uD] MRG (6) ‘There is a train arriving’ [ vP there ⇓ [ v v ˜ [ Asp Asp prog [ vP a train DP ⇓ [ v v ˜ [ √P √arrive... [uTheta] AGR [uTheta] AGR [uD] MRG (Here, ‘high’ [uTheta] AGR blocks ‘low’ There Insertion and multiple theres.) EPP for Voice pass : [uTheta] AGR/MRG ([uTheta] must Agree and Merge an argument.) (7) ‘There was someone arrested’ [ vP there ⇓ [ v v ˜ [ Pass Pass [ vP someone DP ⇓ [ v Voice Pass [ √P √arrest... [uTheta] AGR [uTheta] AGR/MRG [uD] MRG (8) ‘There is someone being arrested’ [ vP there ⇓ [ v v ˜ [ Asp Asp prog [ vP someone DP ⇓ [ v v ˜ [ Pass Pass [ vP [uTheta] AGR [uTheta] AGR [uD] MRG [uD] MRG ⇓ [ v Voice Pass [ √P √arrest... [uTheta] AGR/MRG (Here too, ‘high’ [uTheta] AGR blocks ‘low’ There Insertion and multiple theres.) EPP for simple v (have, seem): [uD] AGR/MRG ([uD] must Agree and Merge either an argument or there.) (9) ‘There has arrived a train’ (and not *‘There has a train arrived’) [ vP there ⇓ [ v v [ Asp Asp perf [ vP ⇓ [ v v ˜ [ √P √arrive a train ].. [uD] AGR/MRG [uTheta] AGR [uD] MRG Conclusion ‘Short movement-TH/EX’ occurs when a ‘lower’ v ˜ both Agrees and Merges an argument so that a higher v ˜ can locally satisfy it’s [uTheta] feature while Merging there. Multiple theres are blocked, since once there is inserted, it can only undergo Agree with a head which will also Merge it. Presented at LING50 MIT, Cambridge, MA 9-11 December, 2011


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