The Weekly Newsletter of MIT Linguistics

Syntax Square 2/18 - Coppe van Urk

Speaker: Coppe van Urk
Title: Intermediate movement is regular movement: Evidence from Dinka
Date/Time: Tuesday, Feb 18, 12-1p (Note special time)
Location: 32-D461

One problem in a derivational view of syntax is how intermediate steps of a successive-cyclic movement are triggered. To deal with this, several authors have suggested that intermediate movement is a special operation, not triggered like regular movement, either because it is not feature-driven or because it happens at a different point in the derivation (e.g. Heck and Mu ̈ller 2000, 2003; Chomsky 2000). This talk brings facts from Dinka (Nilotic; South Sudan) to bear on this issue, a language in which the left periphery interacts morphosyntactically with A ‘-movement in a number of ways. I show that, in these interactions, intermediate movement behaves just like regular movement. In particular, both consistently feed phi-agreement. I argue that this similarity can be captured if terminal and intermediate movement are established in the same way, and are feature-driven (Chomsky 1995; McCloskey 2002; Preminger 2011; Abels 2012).