Cyclic linearization of syntactic structure

This paper proposes an architecture for the mapping between syntax and phonology — in particular, that aspect of phonology that determines ordering. In Fox and Pesetsky (in prep.), we will argue that this architecture, when combined with a general theory of syntactic domains ("phases"), provides a new understanding of a variety of phenomena that have received diverse accounts in the literature. This shorter paper focuses on two processes, both drawn from Scandinavian: the familiar process of Object Shift and the less well-known process of Quantifier Movement. We will argue that constraints on these operations can be seen as instances of the same property of grammar that explains the fact that movement is local and successive cyclic. We begin by sketching a model in which locality and successive cyclicity are consequences of the architecture that we propose, rather than specific facts about movement itself. We next present our proposal in somewhat greater detail, and show how it can account for a wide range of apparent limitations on movement — in particular, superficially contradictory restrictions on Object Shift and Quantifier Movement. The restrictions on Object Shift include those grouped under the rubric of Holmberg's Generalization, which Quantifier Movement does not seem to obey. We will argue that Quantifier Movement instead obeys a near mirror-image of Holmberg's Generalization (an "Inverse Holmberg Effect"), but that both Holmberg's Generalization and its mirror image are expected if our proposed architecture is correct.
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