Constraints on Displacement

A phase-based approach

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This monograph sets out to derive the effects of standard constraints on displacement like the Minimal Link Condition (MLC) and the Condition on Extraction Domain (CED) from more basic principles in a minimalist approach. Assuming that movement via phase edges is possible only in the presence of edge features on phase heads, simple restrictions can be introduced on when such edge features can be inserted derivationally. The resulting system is shown to correctly predict MLC/CED effects (including certain exceptions, like intervention without c-command and melting). In addition, it derives operator-island effects, a restriction on extraction from verb-second clauses, and island repair by ellipsis. The approach presupposes that syntactic operations apply in a fixed order: Timing emerges as crucial. Thus, the book provides new arguments for a strictly derivational organization of syntax. Accordingly, it should be of interest not only to all syntacticians working on islands, but more generally to all scholars interested in the overall organization of grammar.

Subjects: Theoretical linguistics; Syntax; Generative linguistics

  • Affiliations: 1: University of Leipzig

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