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Intervention Effects and Specificity Effects in Wh-questions

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Authors
Jegal, Min
Issue Date
2017
Publisher
Language Education Research Center, Seoul National University
Citation
Language Research, Vol.53 No.2, pp. 343-378
Keywords
Specificity (D-linking)islandsuperioritycrossoverintervention effect
Abstract
Specificity effects are a widespread phenomenon, both in overt and covert syntax, across all languages. This paper focuses on the cross-linguistic specificity effects found in overt syntax1) and questions why the specificity property of a moved wh-phrase leads to immunity to syntactic constraints involved in “Intervention.” I contend that a tendency for a specific phrase to override intervention effects lies in the inactiveness of its copy in the original position. This argument is supported by a large amount of empirical data: anti-reconstruction effects of specific wh-words and adjunction to outer vP-domain of specific quantifiers. When a wh-phrase is specific, its inactive original copy does not form a chain of movements, which permits the specific phrase to be out of the scope of a potential intervener in a relevant phase domain. This analysis is able to derive all specificity-related sentences that are free from intervention effects, thereby reconciling apparently conflicting examples under existing feature-based analyses such as Rizzi’s (2013) fRM and providing more consistent explanations on specificity effects.
ISSN
0254-4474
Language
English
URI
http://hdl.handle.net/10371/135160
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Language Education Institute (언어교육원)Language Research (어학연구)Language Research (어학연구) Volume 53 Number 1/3 (2017)
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