The Weekly Newsletter of MIT Linguistics

Syntax Square 12/6 - Liuda Nikolaeva

Speaker: Liuda Nikolaeva
Title: The Case for Wholesale Late Merger
Date/Time: Tuesday, Dec 6, 1-2p
Location: 32-D461

The syntactic literature has traditionally distinguished two types of phrasal movement, A-movement and A’-movement. Left-Periphery Fronting (LPF hereafter), usually referred to as “scrambling”, in Russian and other languages poses a challenge to this traditional dichotomy, because it exhibits a mix of common diagnostic properties. In this paper, I offer a unified account of Russian LPF, based on Takahashi and Hulsey’s (2009) theory of Wholesale Late Merger (WLM). On the account I propose, LPF is A-movement, but crucially it is A-movement from a cased position, which accounts for the properties that it shares with A’-movement. In addition to providing an empirically satisfactory account of the Russian phenomena, my proposal provides new support for Takahashi and Hulsey’s original theory.