Swiping in Germanic


Authors
Jason Merchant
University of Chicago
Abstract
Establishing the level of representation or the point in a derivation at which movement takes place has never been a trivial matter, and as such remains an topic of substantial ongoing interest. For overt movement, this question is complicated by the availability in principle of two components in which movement could take place with indistinguishable effects on word order: in the derivation leading to Spell-Out, or in the mapping from Spell-Out to PF. To a great extent, the reasoning brought to bear on this question has been concentrated on A- and A'-movement and their properties; head-movement, in contrast, has remained a distant third. In this paper, I show that a little-studied peculiarity of elliptical wh-questions in Germanic can cast new light on this question, providing evidence that there is indeed head-movement which takes place late in the derivation at PF, after Spell-Out.* The peculiarity in question comes from a range of data found only under sluicing in a subset of the Germanic languages. In particular, it is found in sluices involving certain prepositions, in which the [+wh] object of the preposition appears not after the preposition in the usual head-complement order, but before it, as in (1).
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Scopability and Sluicing.Chris Barker - 2013 - Linguistics and Philosophy 36 (3):187-223.

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