A derivational ellipsis approach to ATB-movement

  • 1 University of Leipzig


This article argues for an ellipsis approach to ATB-movement on the basis of morphosyntactic mismatches and reconstruction asymmetries between conjuncts. I will argue that ATB-moved constituents are present in each conjunct; while those in the first conjunct undergo asymmetric extraction, those in the second conjunct are elided under identity with those in the first. Ellipsis in ATB-movement is licensed by means of an [E]atb-feature whose selectional restrictions correctly single out the elements that can undergo ATB-movement. Ellipsis applies derivationally and makes the elided constituents inaccessible for further syntactic operations. Asymmetric extraction is sanctioned by a representational definition of the Coordinate Structure Constraint: At LF, the asymmetrically extracted operator can bind both its own trace as well as the trace left behind by the operator in the second conjunct. Binding into the second conjunct is only possible if both operators bear the same index; this in turn is guaranteed by the recoverability condition on ellipsis, which requires an identical antecedent. Since the operator can bind both variables, the single-identity reading characteristic of ATB is correctly derived. Finally, the reconstruction asymmetries follow from mismatches between pronouns/R-expressions and their counterparts in the ellipsis site which ellipsis is famous for, so-called vehicle change effects.

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The Linguistic Review publishes high-quality papers in syntax, semantics, phonology and morphology within a framework of Generative Grammar and related disciplines, as well as critical discussions of theoretical linguistics as a branch of cognitive psychology. The journal welcomes reviews of important new monographs in these areas, dissertation abstracts and letters to the editor.