The Weekly Newsletter of MIT Linguistics

LingLunch 11/30 - Magdalena Lohninger (MIT)

Speaker: Magdalena Lohninger (MIT)
Title: Cross-clausal A-dependencies: A composite probe approach
Time: Thursday, November 30th, 12:30pm – 2pm
Location: 32-D461

Abstract: Hyperraising, i.e. A-movement out of a CP complement clause, posits a puzzle for generally assumed constraints like the Ban on Improper Movement or the Phase Impenetrability Condition and has been discussed widely in the recent years. In this talk I present a typological examination of Hyperraising as well as Hyper-ECM across unrelated languages, covering them under the umbrella term cross-clausal A-dependencies (CCA). I start by investigating empirical properties of CCA such as that i) the A-dependency stems from the matrix predicate, ii) the DP undergoing CCA is base-generated in the embedded clause and moves through the embedded left edge (SpecCP) and iii) the embedded CP often resembles a regular phase. In the course of this typological investigation of CCA, I conclude that the ability to hyperraise is not a parametric option but rather, that CCA falls into five structurally different configurations across languages (including Prolepsis). These five resemble each other on the surface but underlyingly differ in four relevant properties: i) selectional properties of the matrix predicate, ii) movement or high base-generation of the DP undergoing CCA, iii) A-Minimality differences and iv) interpretational restrictions (s.a. topic requirements). Based on these four parameters, I present a methodological tool to disentangle CCA constructions across different languages as well as within single ones. Further, I suggest a composite A’/A probe analysis for a subclass of CCA constructions, namely such involving movement out of the embeddded clause. The analysis is couched in ongoing research on the probing mechanism of A’/A probes and I discuss different implementational options such as Feature Gluttony (Coon & Keine 2021, Coon, Baier & Levin 2021), Interaction and Satisfaction (Deal 2015, 2022) and Contingent Probes (Branan & Erlewine 2020, Branan 2021). Last, I delve into (last resort) independent probing options for composite A’/A probes and what they might tell us about CCA co-occuring with regular long-distance A’-movement.