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'Tough'-constructions and their derivation

Hicks, Glyn (2009) 'Tough'-constructions and their derivation Linguistic Inquiry, 40, (4), pp. 535-566. (doi:10.1162/ling.2009.40.4.535).

Record type: Article


This article addresses the syntax of the notorious 'tough' (-movement) construction (TC) in English. TCs exhibit a range of apparently contradictory empirical properties suggesting that their derivation involves the application of both A-movement and A'-movement operations. Given that within previous Principles and Parameters models TCs have remained “unexplained and in principle unexplainable” (Holmberg 2000: 839) due to incompatibility with constraints on theta-assignment, locality, and Case, this article argues that the phase-based implementation of the Minimalist program (Chomsky 2000, 2001, 2004) permits a reanalysis of null wh-operators capable of circumventing the previous theoretical difficulties. Essentially, 'tough'-movement consists of A-moving a constituent out of a “complex” null operator which has already undergone A'-movement, a “smuggling” construction in the terms of Collins (2005a,b)

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Published date: 14 October 2009
Keywords: tough-movement, null operators, a-bar movement, raising, phases
Organisations: Modern Languages


Local EPrints ID: 69052
ISSN: 0024-3892
PURE UUID: 142c5f47-a274-40d2-b522-5f97f68a912a

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Date deposited: 20 Oct 2009
Last modified: 19 Jul 2017 00:14

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