Natural Language Semantics 6 (1):29-56 (1998)

In the framework of the minimalist program, the assumption that wh-in-situ move covertly to be assigned wide scope is infeasible. Rather, it is assumed that they must be interpretable in situ, and that syntactic conditions like ‘superiority’ are effects of economy, which restricts overt rather than covert movement of a wh-element. The remaining syntactic problem for this line of reasoning is the putative ECP effects of adverbial wh-adjuncts, which were the strongest evidence for covert movement. A serious semantic problem is that the interpretative procedures which have been proposed for wh-in-situ – unselective binding or absorption – fail to capture correctly their interpretation. I will argue first that both problems are solved if the interpretation in situ employs choice functions, and it is the function variable, rather than an individual variable, which is long-distance bound by the question existential operator. Adverbial adjuncts, which cannot be interpreted via choice functions, cannot, therefore, be interpreted in situ. However, the concept of economy underlying the account of overt superiority effects requires both theoretical and empirical clarification (as it leaves some empirical problems unaddressed). I argue, following a proposal by Golan (1993), that in this case the economy considerations apply at the interface (‘interface economy’) and that they consider not only different derivations out of the same numeration, but also their semantic representation
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DOI 10.1023/A:1008240014550
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References found in this work BETA

Syntax and Semantics of Questions.Lauri Karttunen - 1977 - Linguistics and Philosophy 1 (1):3--44.
Questions in Montague English.Charles L. Hamblin - 1973 - Foundations of Language 10 (1):41-53.
Adverbs of Quantification.David K. Lewis - 1975 - In Edward L. Keenan (ed.), Formal Semantics of Natural Language. Cambridge University Press. pp. 3--15.

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Citations of this work BETA

The scope of alternatives: indefiniteness and islands.Simon Charlow - 2020 - Linguistics and Philosophy 43 (4):427-472.
Indeterminate Phrase Quantification in Japanese.Junko Shimoyama - 2006 - Natural Language Semantics 14 (2):139-173.
Economy and Scope.Danny Fox - 1995 - Natural Language Semantics 3 (3):283-341.
Quantified Structures as Barriers for LF Movement.Sigrid Beck - 1996 - Natural Language Semantics 4 (1):1-56.

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