Notes on labeling and subject positions*

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This paper investigates aspects of the “halting problem” for subject movement: under what conditions is it obligatory? Where must it stop, giving rise to freezing effects? I will first introduce a particular implementation of the labeling approach presented in Chomsky (2013), and illustrate its explanatory power in connection with freezing effects. Then, I will use this approach to address subject-object asymmetries in extraction contexts. The freezing properties of subjects will be illustrated both for the preverbal subject position and for the special focal position in the low periphery of the clause analyzed in Belletti (2001b, 2004). A brief discussion of the consequences of labeling for the possibility of moving specifiers and complements will conclude the paper.


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