The Weekly Newsletter of MIT Linguistics

Syntax Square 3/5 - Yadav Gowda (MIT)

Speaker: Yadav Gowda (MIT)
Title: Moving Clauses
Time: Tuesday, March 5, 1pm-2pm
Location: 32-D461

The first part of this talk will focus on the derivation and interpretation of so-called ‘Comp-internal clauses’ in Bengali (Bhattacharya 2001). Clauses headed by the head-initial complementizer je normally appear obligatorily extraposed to the right of the (normally head-final) verb:
(1) ami bollam [je Aparṇa deri korlo]      I       said      C Aparna late did     I said that Aparna was late.
However, when an element appears in first position within the clause (henceforth the PJE, or pre-je-element), these clauses obligatorily appear to the left of the verb, in the normal object position:
(2) ami [Aparna je deri korlo] bollam.      I       aparna  C  late did      saidI said that Aparna was late.
I will present previously unnoticed facts about the binding and scope behavior of Comp-internal clauses which suggest that the PJE occupies its own matrix specifier, despite the fact that it appears to move along with the rest of the clause. I will argue that this mismatch suggests that Comp-internal clauses involve clausal pied-piping driven by long scrambling of the PJE.
In the second part of this talk, I will consider facts which suggest that clausal scrambling in other languages (Basque, Bavarian German, Kannada) may also be amenable to an analysis in which this movement is driven by a clause-internal element, and discuss how this supports previous arguments on the immobility of CPs (Koster 1978, Stowell 1981, and many others).