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Raising from a Tensed Clause and Linguistic Theory

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Abstract

In Maithili there exists a rule which is analogous to the Subject-to-Subject Raising rule in English. This rule is interesting because it raises the subject of a tensed embedded clause, whereas the Subject-to-Subject Raising rule raises to the matrix subject position the subject of a tenseless embedded clause. The DPtrace in the former case apparently violates one of the principles of Universal Grammar, namely, the binding principle for anaphors, proposed in Chomsky (1981,1995), since it is not bound in its governing category. We demonstrate, however, that the DP-trace does obey the binding principle. What is required here is to investigate this phenomenon from the perspective of the parametric variation that distinguishes Maithili-type languages from English-type languages. This article consists of four main Sections. In Section 1, we analyze the raising construction in Maithili. We also look into the rule of <i>i</i>-insertion, which optionally applies to fill the empty subject position of the matrix IP, in case Subject-to-Subject Raising does not apply. In Section 2, we present evidence in support of the rule of Subject-to-Subject Raising in Maithili. Section 3 shows how the stipulation of this rule complies with the theta-criterion, proposed in Chomsky (1981). Section 4 is addressed to the detailed analysis of the binding relation that holds between a DP-trace and its antecedent. In this part, we argue that INFL in Maithili, unlike in English-type languages, is generated inside V and does not govern the subject DP. The subject DP is rather governed and Case-marked by the preceding COMP, though it does not happen in raising constructions, since we assume that a raising verb may optionally trigger CPdeletion. We also show that in Maithili-type languages the notion of ‘governing category’ must dispense with “accessible SUBJECT”, since AGR in these languages cannot be treated as accessible SUBJECT. Finally, we show how binding principle (A) holds for the antecedent/DP-trace relation in Maithili.

References

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