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Licensed Unlicensed Requires Authentication Published by De Gruyter Mouton 2018

Only syntax

From the book Freezing

  • Michael S. Rochemont


Traditionally, adverbial only association with focus (John only likes MARY) and constituent only association with focus (John likes only MARY) have received entirely distinct analyses, the former through alternative semantics (or a movement alternative where the associated phrase raises to the adverbial), and the latter through a type of Quantifier Raising. This paper argues that these two types of examples must be more closely related derivationally than traditionally thought. It is proposed that adverbial only generally, perhaps always, originates in constituent only position and is internally merged with its SpellOut position in the course of a derivation. The paper concludes with a brief argument against previous accounts of the apparent failure of only to associate with a trace.

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