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# CAS LX 522 Syntax I - PowerPoint PPT Presentation

CAS LX 522 Syntax I. Week 9.5. Relative clauses. Finishing up from last week…. Last week, we covered wh -movement in questions like: What i did Bill buy t i ? and What i did Mary think Bill bought t i ?

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CAS LX 522 Syntax I

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CAS LX 522Syntax I

Week 9.5. Relative clauses

• Last week, we covered wh-movement in questions like:

• Whati did Bill buy ti?

• and

• Whati did Mary think Bill bought ti?

• And we looked at conditions on wh-movement, including Subjacency (you can’t move out of two bounding nodes in a single step) and the ECP (the trace of wh-movement must be licensed).

• Another place where we see wh-movement, besides in explicit questions (either in the main clause or embedded) is in relative clauses.

• The book which I read

• The woman who(m) I met

• These consist of a head noun (book, woman) and then what appears to be a wh-question that further specifies the referent of the head noun.

Relative clauses

D

SS

D

NP

• The structure of a relative clause is like this.

• A [+Q, +WH] CP is adjoined inside the NP.

the

N

N

CP

N

DPi

C

book

which

C

TP

[+WH][+Q]

• In addition to being able to say

• The book which Mary read

• We can also say

• The book that Mary read

• and

• And they all mean the same thing. So we expect that they would all have basically the same structure—so where is the wh-word?

• The secret to these last two kinds of relative clauses is Op, the silent wh-word.

• That is, the book which Mary read and the book Mary read are really exactly the same except that in one case you pronounce the wh-word, and in the other, you don’t.

• the book [CP whichi Mary read ti ]

• the book [CPOpi Mary read ti ]

• It is also possible to pronounce that with Op, giving us:

• the book [CPOpi that [TP Mary read ti ]]

• Why can’t we pronounce that with which?

• *the book [CP whichi that [TP Mary read ti ]]

• The Doubly-Filled COMP filter applies here too—you can’t pronounce both a wh-word and C at the same time. Thus:

• the book [CPOpi [TP Mary read ti ]]

• the book [CPOpi that [TP Mary read ti ]]

• the book [CPwhichi [TP Mary read ti ]]

• *the book [CPwhichi that [TP Mary read ti ]]

• Skeptical of Op? Is there really wh-movement of Op, a silent wh-phrase?

• I read the book [CP whichi [TP Mary said[CP that [TP Bill bought ti ]]]].

• *I read the book [CP whichi[TP Mary wonders[CP who [TP bought ti]]]].

• I read the book [CPOpi (that) [TP Mary said[CP that [TP Bill bought ti ]]]].

• *I read the book [CPOpi (that) [TP Mary wonders[CP who [TP bought ti]]]].

• So if we have a silent wh-phrase, why can’t we ask questions with it?

• Wherei did Mary buy that book ti ?

• Wheni did Mary buy that book ti ?

• Whyi did Mary buy that book ti ?

• Howi did Mary buy that book ti ?

• *Opi did Mary buy that book ti ?

• See why?

• Recoverability condition:The content of a null category must be recoverable.

• the place [Opi (that) Mary bought that book ti ]

• the day [Opi (that) Mary bought that book ti ]

• the reason [Opi (that) Mary bought that book ti ]

• the way [Opi (that) Mary bought that book ti ]

• In each case, we can tell what the wh-phrase is by looking at the head noun.

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