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Introduction to Transformational Grammar LINGUIST 601 December 3 2004 Wh Movement Eor notational convenience I have used traces ti tj etc to indicate copies throughout this handout 1 Wh Movement Question formation involves fronting of the questioned element eg in the Germanic Romance and Slavic languages Typically this fronting is obligatory l a Whoi does Martin like ti b Martin likes Who The on lb refers to the fact that lb is not a possible information seeking question It can be used as an echo question though The process of question formation in English involves two distinct movements Iitoic movement and fronting ofan interrogative phrase The two movements are independent ofeach other Iitoic movement can take place Without interrogative phrase fronting and interrogative phrase fronting can take place Without Iitoic movement 2 a YN Questions Iitoic but no fronting Has Martin left Did Martin leave Embedded Questions fronting but no Iitoic I wonder Who John Will annoy today 7I wonder Who Will John annoy today I wonder Who John annoyed today 7I wonder Who did John annoy today 0 Since most interrogative pronouns in English the exception is how start With W11 the process by Which interrogative phrases are fronted is referred to as Whimovement 11 Piedipiping Whimovement is triggered by the presence of an interrogative pronoun We can assume that interrogative pronouns have a Wh feature that forces them to move 3 Whoi does Derek like ti Whimovement can also be triggered by Whideterminers 4 Which doctori does Derek like ti Presumably the Whideterminer s Wh feature percolates and makes the entire phrase Which doc torcount as a Whiphrase Since possessors in English seem to occupy the same syntactic position as Whideterminers it is not surprising that when interrogative pronouns function as possessors their wh feature per colates and makes the entire phrase into a Whiphrase 5 a Whose doctori does Derek like ti VVhich person s doctori does Derek like ti b VVhose doctor s brotheri does Derek like ti Which person s doctor s brotheri does Derek like ti From a certain perspective in 5 it is only Whose or Which person that needs to move However in order to move Whose or Which person we need to take along a bigger constituent that contains it This process is called piedipiping ln 5 if we try to move something smaller than the phrase that actually moves we get ungrami maticality 6 a VVhoseh does Derek like ti doctor VVhich person si does Derek like ti doctor VVhich si does Derek like ti person s doctor Whose doctor si does Derek like ti brother VVhosei does Derek like ti doctor s brother VVhich person s doctor si does Derek like ti brother VVhich person si does Derek like ti doctor s brother VVhichk does Derek like ti person s doctor s brother 0 There are cases when piedipiping is optional This is often the case with Whiphrases that are 39 39 VJ of 39 39 are also able to percolate their 1 J J J O J J wh feature to the entire PP 7 a To whomi will Derek give a present ti b On which tablei did Derek put the book ti 12 Preposition Stranding Piedipiping of the preposition is not obligatory in 7 It is also possible to leave the prepositions behind and just move the Whiphrase 8 a VVhomk will Derek give a present to ti b Which tablei did Derek put the book on ti This process is known as preposition stranding Preposition stranding is not possible in Latin and in any Romance language 9 French a Stranding Qui asitu parle de who haveiyou talked about b Piedipiping De qui asitu parle about Who haveiyou talked Who have you talked about 10 Italian a Stranding Cui hai parlato di Who haveiyou talked about b Piedipiping Di cui hai parlato about Who haveiyou talked Who have you talked about Preposition or rather postposition stranding also does not seem to be an option in any postposii tional language such as Japanese Korean Hindi Kashmiri etc Prescriptive grammarians suggest that it is to be avoided in English too but there seems to be little other reason to avoid it In fact in certain environments piedipiping of prepositions that could have been stranded feels arti cial and stilted Sometimes the pull of prescriptive grammar piedipipe don t strand and the syntax of English strand is met simultaneously in curious sentences like the following ll a To Whom did you give the book to W 7 b To Whom are you referring to W 7 M Key pc 2 Island Phenomena WhiMovement is unbounded ie a Whiphrase can move unboundedly far from the clause Where it is merged l 2 a Whoi does Magnus like ti b Whoi did Loida think that Magnus liked ti c Whoi did Agustin believe that Loida thought that Magnus liked ti 1 However it is not always possible to move a Whiphrase from one location to another Con gurai tions from Which extraction is not possible are called islands 21 Adjunct Islands An important class of island consists of adjunct Clauses Adjunct clauses are very robust islands and do not alloW any kind of expression to be extracted out of them Extraction out of Adjunct Clauses 13 because clauses a John is unhappy because Sally likes Molly b Whoi is John unhappy because Sally likes ti 14 when clauses a John is unhappy when Sally hits Molly b Whoi is John unhappy when Sally hits Lg if clauses 15 a John will be unhappy if Sally hits Molly b Whoi will John be unhappy if Sally hits ti 1 6 Relative clauses a Olafur likes the artist who composed Hyperballad b Whati does Olafur like the artist who composed ti 22 Complex NP Islands The term Complex NP refers to NPs that contain a complement CP 17a involves a Complex NP while 17b does not 1 7 a the Np Noclaim Cp that Bill is insane b the Np Npclaim Cp that Bill made We have already seen that relative clauses are islands Next we see that Complex NP are also islands 18 a Olafur believes the claim that Bjork composed Hyperballad b Whati does Olafur believe the claim that Bjork composed tiJ c Olafur believes that Bjork composed Hyperballad d Whati does Olafur believe that Bjork composed ti The minimal pair formed by 18b and 18d shows that it is the extra NP layer in 18b that is responsible for the island 23 Whiislands Another class of island is exempli ed by the Whiislands shown below These islands are weak in that extraction of arguments seems to only cause degradation and not ungrammaticality 19 I wonder whether to invite Preston 9 E 7Whoi do you wonder whether to invite ti Mary wonders whether Will invited Preston 7 Whoi does Mary wonder whether Will invited ti Pd 9 ln nitival Whetherquestions are the weakest Whiislands Finite Whetherquestions are a little harder to extract from but still much better than extraction from noniwhether questions 20 Tina is wondering what to give to Mona for Xmas F7 E Whoi is Tina wondering what to give to t for Xmas 9 Tina is wondering what Lisa gave to Mona for Xmas fl Whoi is Tina wondering what Tom gave to t for Xmas In general longiextraction of adjuncts in possible 7 since in principle a Whimoved adjunct could be associated with either the matrix or the embedded clauses cases like the following are ambiguous at least in principle 21 adjunct can be associated with either the matrix clause or the embedded clause a When did John say that Mary left b Where did John say that Mary left c How did John say that Mary left 1 Why did John say that Mary left But extraction of adjuncts out of Whiislands however leads to ungrammaticality 22 a Mark is wondering whether to eat lunch in the park b Where is Mark wondering whether to eat lunch c Mark wonders whether she should x her car today 1 Wheni does Mark wonder whether she should x her car t e Mark wonders whether to thoroughly clean his car today f Howi does Mark wonder whether to ti clean his car today g Mark is wondering whether to clean his car to impress Tom h Whyi is Mark wondering whether to clean his car ti Because of this asymmetry arguments vs adjuncts Whiislands are sometimes called selective islands The existence of Whiislands can be related to the fact that deriving these involves skipping an already lled SpecCP position This is similar to what we found for Aimovement Note though that the argumentiadjunct asymmetry that we nd with Whiislands does not follow directly from the do not skip intervening SpecCP requirement on Whimovement 24 Subjectiobject Asymmetries SubjectiObject Asymmetries All arguments are not created equal It seems to be easier to extract objects rather than subjects Further it seems to be impossible to extract from subject but it is possible to extract out of objects 241 Compitrace Effects Compitrace effects It is not possible to extract from the subject position in the presence of on overt Complementizer 23 thatitrace a Whoi do you think ti likes Mary b Whoi do you think that t likes Mary c Whoi do you think that Mary likes ti 1 Whoi do you think Mary likes Lg 24 foretrace a Asta would prefer for Einar to marry Hafdis b Whoi would Asta prefer for ti to marry Hafdis c Whoi would Asta prefer ti to marry Hafdis d Whoi would Asta prefer for Einar to marry ti 25 i trace a Tim wonders if Maya will marry Mira b Whoi does Tim wonder if ti will marry Mira7 c 7Whoi does Tim wonder if Maya will marry td d Whoi does Tim wonder 5 Maya will marry td ifis an interrogative YN question complementizer Interestingly even though Whether is typically located in SpecCP as opposed to C it causes CompiTrace effects along the lines of if 2 6 Whetheritrace a Tim wonders whether Maya will marry Mira b Whoi does Tim wonder whether ti will marry Mira7 c 7Whoi does Tim wonder whether Maya will marry td d Whoi does Tim wonder 5 Maya will marry td These effects seem to be even more general 27 Tim wonders who will review his book a b 7Which book does Tim wonder prhoj tj will review td 9 Tim wonders which booki Mark will review ti 1 Who does Tim wonder which booki tj will review td 27d can be ruled out by locality considerations However a wider conclusion is also possible 28 One cannot extraction from a subject position if the immediately higher Cidomain C0 or SpecCP are lled 242 Sentential Subjects Extraction from out ofa clause in subject position we know that the clausal arguments of adjeci tives can appear after the adjective in the object position or in the subject position It turns out that extraction out of such clauses is possible only if they appear in the object position 29 a It is important to invite Will to our party b Whoi is it important to invite t to our party c To invite Will to our party is important 1 Whoi is to invite t to our party important 30 a It is probable that Bill likes Einar b Whoi is it probable that Bill likes ti c That Bill likes Einar is probable d Whoi is that Bill likes ti probable However there is convincing evidence that clauses cannot appear in subject position ie the TPs in 2930c are actually not in subject position but in an adjoined position from where they bind a tracenull pronoun in subject position See Koster 1978 for details 0 Evidence from inversion in YN questions 31 a Is it important to invite Will to our party b ls to invite Will to our party important C Is inviting Will to our party important 32 a Is it probable that Bill likes Einar b ls that Bill likes Einar probable C Is Bill s liking Einar probable In contrast to nitenoni nite clauses gerunds which are NPs allow inversion 0 Lack of embedding 33 No sentential subjects in sentential subjects a That the answer was so obvious upset Ora b That that the code was a Ceaser cipher was so obvious upset Ora c That the codes being a Ceaser cipher was so obvious upset Ora 34 No sentential subjects in embedded complement clauses a Aniko thinks that that the answer was so obvious upset Ora b Aniko thinks that the answer being so obvious upset Ora 243 Extraction out of NP Extraction out of a clause embedded in an NP in subject position Extraction from a clause em bedded in an NP leads to degradation We nd the familiar argumentiadjunct asymmetry at work 7 extraction of arguments leads to a minor degradation while extraction of adjuncts leads to ungrammaticality 35 Complex NP Islands in object position John heard a rumor that you had read the Sandman comics VVhich bookk did John hear a rumor that you had read ti 3 John announced a plan to x the red car Which carh did John announce a plan to x ti e Howi did John announce a plan to x the red car ti lo However in all of the above examples the NP from which we were extracting was in object position If the relevant NP is placed in subject position the previously marginal but grammatical example becomes wholly ungrammatical 36 Complex NP Islands in subject position a A rumor that you read the Sandman comics has been circulating b VVhich bookk has a rumor that you read ti been circulating Extraction out of PPs embedded inside NPs displays the same pattern Extraction from subject NPs leads to ungrammaticality while extraction from object NPs is grammatical though perhaps slightly marginal 37 a Whati should I bring a bottle of ti b Whati should a bottle of ti be brought 3 The Basics of Wh Movement 38 Whoi does John think that Mary likes ti a GP that Mary likes WhOJ b Cp whoi that Mary likes WhOJJ c John think whoi that Mary likes Who 1 IOC0 John think whoi that Mary likes Wh0 e Cp Who IO FCO John think whoi that Mary likes Who 0 The Whiphrase is merged in its 297position o If it needs to move for EPP reasons it does 0 After having received Case the Whiphrase A imoves A imovement like Aimovement is suci cessive cyclic It moves through all intervening SpecCP positions 0 The movement of the Whiphrase is triggered by a C0 with a strong uWh feature The moved Whiphrase ends up occupying the SpecCP of the C0 that triggers the movement This can be seen in the following example where either the matrix C0 or the embedded C0 can be Ql 39 a Missy knows Cp which cari C Q Mary bought ti b 7 Which cari doesQ Mary know Cptg C07Q Mary bought ti 4 Handling Island Effects 41 Strong Island Effects Extraction out of adjunct clauses and out of subjects triggers strong island effects 0 The notion of the verbal spine 0 Only elements on the verbal spine can be extracted 0 Though subjects and adjunct clauses are themselves on the verbal spine XP s inside subjects and adjunct clauses are not on the verbal spine Thus they cannot be attracted In other words they are not visible to the attractor 42 Weak Island Effects There are syntactic environments out of which extraction ofarguments is degraded but is not im7 possible Extraction of adjunctions is however impossible Such environments are often referred to as weak or selective islands Whiislands and Complex NPiislands are both weak islands 40 Whiislands a Argument extraction 7 Whoi do you wonder whether PRO to invite Lg b Adjunct Extraction Wheni do you wonder whether PRO to invite Bill Lg 41 Complex NPiislands a Argument extraction 7 Which booki did John hear a rumor that you had read td b Adjunct extraction Wheni did John hear a rumor that you had read LGB td The variable behavior of arguments and adjuncts has been handled in the literature through two independent principles the ECP and Subjacency 42 The Empty Category Principle empty categories must be either head governed or an tecedent governed The de nition of the ECP makes reference to the notion of government In current terms gov emment can be thought of as identi cation Arguments are subcategorized and thus when they are moved the absence of an overt element is visible On the other hand this is not the case with adjuncts This distinction between adjuncts and arguments is captured by the proposal that predicates headigovern the copies of their arguments but not the copies of adjuncts Antecedent Government is the idea that a moved phrase cannot be too far from its copy A moved phrase that is near its copy antecedent governs its copy By near we mean within the smallest NPCP The notion of Antecedent Government also reappears in the related principle of Subjacency 43 Subjacency Two consecutive links of a chain can be separated by at most one NPIP node lfa movement violates subjacency then there is no antecedent government between the two links of the chain that violate subjacency Subjacency seems to be a weak constraint As long as the movement chain only violates subjai cency and not the ECP we only nd a minor degradation in acceptability The ECP on the other hand triggers a strong violation leading to outright ungrammaticality Now we can explain why there is an argument vs adjunct asymmetry with WhiislandsComplex NP islands Objects are sisters to a head ie headigoverned so they do not need antecedent government to satisfy the ECP Longimovement of objects as we see below violates subjacency which is responsible for the degradation in acceptability 44 Subjacency violations No ECP violation a 7Which car is 117 John wondering Cp whether C0 117 PRO to x Which car7 b 7Which car did 117 John announce Np a plan 117 PRO to x Which car7 Adjuncts however are not properly governed So for adjunct chains to satisfy the ECP each link must be antecedent governed by the immediately higher link If we longimove an adjunct the antecedent government requirement fails and the ECP kills the derivation 45 Subjacency violation and ECP violation a How is 117 John wondering Cp whether C0 117 PRO to x the red car h0W7 b How did 117 John announce Np a plan 117 PRO to x the red car h0W7 5 Other Environments for A Movement 0 Relative Clauses 46 Finite Relative Clauses a the man who Roland met b the man who Susan thinks that Roland met c the man who Susan likes the boy who gave a book to d 77the car that Bill knew how John had xed 47 ln nitival Relative Clauses a I found a book for you to read b I found a book for you to arrange for Mary to tell Bill to give to Tom c 1 found a book for you to arrange for Mary to meet the boy who gave to Tom d 7771 found a book for you to wonder whether to read 10 o Topicalization 48 a This book I really like b This book I asked Bill to get his students to read c This book Susan likes the boy Who gave to Roland d This book I wonder Who read 0 It Clefts Pseudoclefts 49 iticlefts a It is this book that I really like b It is this book that I asked Bill to get his students to read c It is this book that Susan likes the boy Who gave to Roland d It is this book that I wonder Who read 0 Toughimovement Toughimovement is the name given to a certain kind of displacement found in complements of adjectives like easytough etc 50 a John is easy for us to please b John is easy for us to convince Bill to do business With c John is easy for us to introduce Mary to the woman Who loves d What is John easy to give to compare With John is easy to give presents to In addition to the above constructions A imovement is also found in comparatives and degree clauses eg John is tall enough for you to see The element that A imoves in many of these constructions is a covert element sometimes called a null operator The constructions Where a null operator appears are called null operator constructions 6 Some Properties of Movement 0 Islands 61 Properties of A iMovement 0 Strong and Weak Crossover Strong Crossover a pronoun cannot bind a Whichain it cicommands 51 a Whoi does hei think ti left bad on the reading Who is such that he thinks that he left 0 Whoi does hei think you saW Lg bad on the reading Who is such that he thinks that you saW him Whoi ti thinks that hei left Whoi ti thinks that you saW him Pd 9 Weak Crossover If a Whichain and a pronoun are coiindexed the tail of the Whichain must c7 command the pronoun 52 a Whoi ti loves hisi mother b Whoi does hisi mother love t 7 bad on the reading Who is such that his mother loves him Recall that weakicrossover is also found with quanti ers 53 a Every boyi likes hisi mother b Hisi mother likes every boyi bad on the reading that a had This among other things has led people to propose that quanti ers also move by A imovement However this movement is covert and takes place at LE the level of Logical Form At this level the con gurations with quanti ers and Whiphrase are identical 54 a Every boyi ti likes hisi mother b Every boyi hisi mother likes ti Aimovement on the other hand does not trigger WCO 55 Every boyi seems to hisi mother ti to be intelligent 0 Licensing of Parasitic Gaps 56 Which book did John le ti without reading ti The second gap inside the Without reading clause is called a parasitic gap because it depends upon the main gap associated with le for its existence This can be seen below 57 a John led Oresteia without reading pg b John led Oresteia without reading it Only A imovement is able to license parasitic gaps Aimovement is not able to license parasitic gaps 58 a This book was led without reading pg b This book seems to have been led without reading pg 0 Case Requirement on the launch site of A imovement A imovement is not caseidriven The tail of an A ichain must always receive case This is in contrast to the tail of a nontrivial Aichain which must not receive case The caseirequirement is nicely exempli ed by relative clauses in which there is nullioperator movement 59 a the student Opi Mary is fond ti b the student Opi Mary is fond of ti References Koster J 1978 Why subject sentences don t exist in S J Keyser ed Recent Transformational Studies in European Languages Linguistic Inquiry Monographs 3 MIT Press Cambridge MA 53764