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Volume 33, Issue 1


Head-head relations in Problems of projection

Vicki Carstens
  • Corresponding author
  • Department of Linguistics, Southern Illinois University, 3232 Faner Hall, Carbondale, Illinois
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/ Norbert Hornstein / T. Daniel Seely
Published Online: 2015-12-12 | DOI: https://doi.org/10.1515/tlr-2015-0014


Chomsky 2013 argues that D of an external argument in Spec TP is in principle as close to C as T is. Assuming that “inversion depends upon locality independent of category,” T and D should therefore compete with each other as candidates for raising to C in English questions, yet only T so raises. Chomsky takes this to indicate that the external argument is in its base position, Spec, vP, when C is merged. Our paper argues that this approach cannot generalize to account for why only V+v and not D of an external argument can raise to T in V-v-to-T languages. It also has major difficulties accounting for a well-known asymmetry: T raises to C only in English non-subject questions. We conclude that head-movement is sensitive to categorial and other features of lexical items, contra the claims of Chomsky 2013.

Keywords: head-movement; projection; Feature Inheritance; T-to-C; labeling


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About the article

Published Online: 2015-12-12

Published in Print: 2016-02-01

Citation Information: The Linguistic Review, Volume 33, Issue 1, Pages 67–86, ISSN (Online) 1613-3676, ISSN (Print) 0167-6318, DOI: https://doi.org/10.1515/tlr-2015-0014.

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