Dissertation/Thesis Abstract

Copy Theory of Movement and PF Conditions on Spell-Out
by Kang, Chorong, Ph.D., University of Southern California, 2017, 255; 10608530
Abstract (Summary)

In this dissertation, I investigate how agreement, movement, and pronunciation determine surface position of a phrase. The main interest of this dissertation is in the question why in some cases an element is pronounced in the position where it is interpreted while in other cases, there is a discrepancy between the position for interpretation and the position for pronunciation. To investigate this issue, I will first discuss a relation between agreement and movement. Inspired by Reverse Agree (Wurmbrand 2012), I will clarify a condition of movement. Based on the suggested relation between agreement and movement, I will propose three different types of movement: phrasal movement, parasitic phrasal movement, and parasitic head movement. The crucial difference between phrasal movement and parasitic (phrasal/head) movement is that an element does undergo movement in the case of phrasal movement, while an element does NOT undergo movement in the case of parasitic movement.

Following the copy theory of movement, I assume that an element that undergoes phrasal movement leaves its copies in its base position and its destination along with other intermediate positions, unlike one that undergoes parasitic movement. Thus, PF needs to choose which copy to pronounce when there is more than one copy in a chain. Zooming in the issue of selection of copy for pronunciation, I will discuss PF constraints that play a role in copy-selection. Especially, adopting Landau (2007)’s intuition that EPP is a pure PF requirement, I will argue that a high-copy privilege assumed in the previous studies are misled by pronunciation-wise reinterpreted EPP. Furthermore, I will argue that once we get rid of the effects of EPP, a low copy is rather preferred to be selected for pronunciation due to economy conditions. I will show how the interaction between the EPP as a PF constraint and an economy condition favoring low-copy pronunciation accounts for both (i) prevalent high-copy pronunciation and (ii) apparent lack of a high-copy privilege across languages.

Based on the system developed, I will provide a typological study in two representative cases of movement: (i) subject agreement/movement and (ii) wh-agreement/movement. This system provides a new approach for the typology of in-situ subjects and in-situ wh-phrases. In the proposed system, in-situ subject/wh-phrases are the results of either parasitic movement or low-copy pronunciation in phrasal movement. An in-situ phrase generated by parasitic movement does not have a copy in a higher position, so it cannot take a high scope. Furthermore, since the phrase does not undergo movement, it is insensitive to movement constraints (e.g. island constraints). By way of contrast, an in-situ phrase generated by a low-copy pronunciation in a movement chain shows “high” behaviors in addition to sensitivity to movement constraints. I will show how the two theoretically possible in-situ subjects/wh-phrases are realized in languages.

Furthermore, based on the definition of the EPP, I will propose various ways to satisfy the EPP. Instead of filling the specifier position of a functional head, I will argue that morphology can be inserted as a means of satisfying the EPP. In addition, I assume that morphology insertion as a way of satisfying the EPP includes a case of inserting an intonation morpheme, suggested by Cheng and Rooryck (2000). This additional way to satisfy the EPP accounts for a range of otherwise puzzling prosody relevant phenomena: i) acceptance of inverse scope reading in so-called rigid scope languages with the help of prosody; ii) ameliorating the intervention effects in Korean and Japanese with the help of prosody. Finally, by reviewing previous studies, I will show how the proposed system accounts for exceptional low-copy pronunciation.

Indexing (document details)
Advisor: Simpson, Andrew
Commitee: Li, Audrey, Saltarelli, Mario, Zubizarreta, Maria Luisa
School: University of Southern California
Department: Linguistics
School Location: United States -- California
Source: DAI-A 79/01(E), Dissertation Abstracts International
Source Type: DISSERTATION
Subjects: Linguistics
Keywords: Copy theory of movement, Experimental syntax, Spell-out constraints, Syntax-morphology interface, Syntax-prosody interface
Publication Number: 10608530
ISBN: 978-0-355-19014-4
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