On the nature of syntactic movement : a study of clausal opacity in Spanish
- This dissertation investigates why A-bar-dependencies cannot be formed across certain syntactic configurations. Previous research concludes that syntactic movement proceeds in a successive cyclic fashion, from the specifier of one phase head to the specifier of the next one, and that it is subject to an antilocality constraint, which bans movement that is too short. Building on Bošković (2015, 2016a), the dissertation proposes that the requirement that movement occur via phase edges and antilocality come into an irreconcilable conflict in cases of A-bar-movement to the edge of a double phase configuration, where a phrase headed by a phase head is the complement to another phase head. Due to this conflict, A-bar-movement of a phrase to the edge of a double phase configuration is expected to fail (2-phase prediction). In contrast, A-bar-movement of a phrase to the edge of a single phase configuration should succeed (1-phase prediction). The dissertation validates these predictions through three case studies of Spanish: (i) A-bar-movement out of DPs headed by 'el' 'the' that contain a clause, (ii) A-bar-movement out of prepositional complements that contain a clause, and (iii) parasitic gap (PG) operator movement to the edge of prepositional adjuncts that contain a clause. In each case study, the validity of the 2-phase and 1-phase predictions is evaluated with respect to minimal pairs of configurations differing only in the number of phase heads. Specifically, a double phase configuration subsumes a paired single phase configuration, adding a phase either above or below the single phase configuration. The dissertation argues that DPs headed by 'el' that contain a clause and prepositional phrases that contain a finite clause, be they in complement or adjunct position, instantiate a double phase configuration, which consists of a CP layer inside a DP layer. The dissertation argues that the head of the DP layer is null in prepositional phrases that contain a finite clause. The dissertation also argues that bare clauses (i.e. clauses not introduced by a D) and prepositional phrases that contain an infinitival clause involve a single phase configuration, because they lack either the DP or the CP layer. The 2-phase and 1-phase predictions are borne out for all of these configurations. A-bar-movement out of DPs headed by 'el' that contain a clause and out of prepositional complements that contain a finite clause is impossible, and so is PG operator movement to the edge of prepositional adjuncts that contain a finite clause. In contrast, A-bar-movement out of bare clauses and out of prepositional complements that contain an infinitival clause is possible, as is PG operator movement to the edge of prepositional adjuncts that contain an infinitival clause. Both A-bar-movement out of prepositional complements that contain a clause and PG operator movement to the edge of prepositional adjuncts that contain a clause exhibit an infinitival vs. finite asymmetry, an asymmetry previously observed only for PG constructions. On this analysis, this infinitival vs. finite contrast is actually a single phase vs. double phase configuration contrast. That is, it is an epiphenomenon of the double phase configuration of prepositional phrases that contain a finite clause. This dissertation provides an in-depth look at the structure of clauses of various types in Spanish and offers a unified explanation for the failed operator movement of three phenomena that have previously received separate explanations. Such a unified explanation is possible because, despite surface differences, these phenomena share a D-C double phase configuration. Moreover, the framework developed has implications for cases of syntactic movement beyond Spanish. First, DPs containing a clause are attested in many languages in addition to Spanish. If such DPs have a D-C configuration, and D and C are phase heads in those languages, these DPs are predicted to be opaque domains. Second, the explanation offered for the correlation between opacity and finiteness might be applicable to other A-bar-constructions that have been observed to show an infinitival vs. finite contrast.
|Type of resource
|electronic resource; remote; computer; online resource
|1 online resource.
|Petersen O Farrill, Erika
|Levin, Beth, 1955-
|Degree committee member
|Degree committee member
|Levin, Beth, 1955-
|Stanford University, School of Humanities and Sciences
|Stanford University, Department of Linguistics
|Statement of responsibility
|Erika Petersen O Farrill.
|Submitted to the Department of Linguistics.
|Thesis Ph.D. Stanford University 2023.
- © 2023 by Erika Petersen O Farrill
- This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution Non Commercial 3.0 Unported license (CC BY-NC).
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