The Weekly Newsletter of MIT Linguistics

Syntax Square 11/19 - Ruth Brillman

Speaker: Ruth Brillman
Title: Too tough to see
Date/Time: Tuesday, Nov 19, 1-2p
Location: 32-D461

This talk argues for a deep syntactic similarity between gapped degree phrases (GDPs) and tough-constructions (TCs). Building on novel observations as well as previous findings (Akmajian 1972, a.o.), I argue that GDPs contain a tough-movement structure within them, plus an additional layer of syntactic structure particular to GDPs. I argue that TCs, and the TC core within GDPs, involve both an A-step and an A-bar step (cf. Hicks 2007, Hartman 2012). This explains the syntactic and semantic similarities and differences, between the two constructions.