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Simpson, Andrew (1995) Wh-Movement, Licensing and the Locality of Feature-Checking. PhD thesis. SOAS University of London. DOI: https://doi.org/10.25501/SOAS.00033562

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Abstract

This thesis is a cross-linguistic examination of the syntactic mechanisms which licence wh-phrases, and of the implications of wh-licencing for other dependency-types with similar licencing requirements. In chapter 1 a wide variety of evidence is presented that wh-phrases occurring in situ at Spell-Out do not undergo any raising at LF. In chapter 2, arguing that wh-movement essentially occurs to satisfy a purely formal licencing requirement on wh-phrases, identified as wh-feature-checking, data from Hindi, Iraqi Arabic(IA) and various East European languages then show that it is wh-features carried by all wh-phrases rather than any on a +Q Comp which require checking, and that (wh)feature-checking is not restricted to taking place solely within the strict locality of Spec-head/head-adjoined configurations but must in fact be possible 'long-distance' and within larger domains, this possibility ultimately allowing for a linguistic model in which Spell-Out is identical with LF. Movement is then suggested to occur for two essential reasons: i) to trigger an ambiguous potential licencing head as a licencor for features of a particular type, and ii) in order that an element occurs within the licencing domain of its checking-head. Chapter 3 extends these proposals to Partial (Wh-)Movement constructions in German and Hungarian and examines how purely functional wh-expletive elements may alter the licencing locality associated with Comp. Chapter 4 considers n-word licencing in French, Italian and West Flemish, and argues for non-local checking of neg-features. Other significant properties of n-word constructions then lead to further conclusions concerning the nature of movement and its relation to licencing.

Item Type: Theses (PhD)
SOAS Departments & Centres: SOAS Research Theses > Proquest
DOI (Digital Object Identifier): https://doi.org/10.25501/SOAS.00033562
Date Deposited: 12 Oct 2020 16:57
URI: https://eprints.soas.ac.uk/id/eprint/33562

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