On a PP/DP asymmetry in extraction

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Preverbal subject DPs in English seem to allow for the extraction of a PP complement, but not of a DP complement stranding the preposition <i>of</i>. Assuming a top-down computation, we argue that an extracted PP cannot be re-merged within a criterial preverbal subject (in the sense of Rizzi 2006), but it can be re-merged within a non-criterial subject that has undergone full reconstruction. This &#8216;delayed remerge&#8217; implies that in the preverbal position, the selectional requirement of the N head for a PP complement is not computed yet. This immediately accounts for the impossibility of P-stranding within a preverbal subject: the presence of the preposition implies that the computation of the N&#8217;s selectional requirement has not been delayed.


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