17 April 2000
The Movement Rule Formerly Known as Richard
In this paper, I am interested in English sentences of the following form: (1) John seems like he is ill
These sentences are of special interest because of their relationship to general processes of raising. When these sentences were first studied by Postal (Postal, 1971) and Rogers (Rogers, 1971; Rogers, 1973), a movement rule was sought that would raise the subject of a clause headed by like to the matrix subject position leaving behind a copy. Rogers calls this raising rule “Richard”, but it has also been known as “doubling”, “subject-copying”, and “copy-raising”. According to the raising analysis, (1) and (2) both seem to be related to (3) in similar ways: (2) (3) John seems to be ill John is ill
The standard GB analysis for (2) is that it is derived from the DS given in (4) by the process of raising. (4) [IP seems [IP to be [SC John ill ]]]]
In GB theory, ill assigns a theta-role to John in the Small Clause. John then moves to the specifier position of the embedded phrase, seeking Case. This A-movement results in (5): (5) [IP seems [IP Johni [I’ to be [SC ti ill ]]]]
This specifier position, however, is not a Case position – it is not head governed since the embedded IP is [-finite], and since seem is not an ECM verb John cannot get ECM Case. John must therefore move to a higher position to have Case assigned. In the Minimalist framework, John must move to a higher A-position in order for its Case features to be checked – otherwise, the derivation will crash. In both frameworks, this movement results in the observed word order: (6) [IP Johni [I’ seems [IP ti [I’ to be [SC ti ill ]]]]]
One crucial difference between (1) and (2) is the tense of the embedded phrase. Specifically, (1) has a [+tense] phrase and (2) has a [-tense] phrase. How does this difference affect the derivation? To answer this, consider (7), a sentence that differs from (2) only in the [tense] feature of the embedded phrase: (7) It seems John is ill
The accepted derivation for (7) is the same as that for (2), except the movement from the embedded subject position to the matrix subject position is not motivated by Case requirements
since John can get Case (or, in the Minimalist framework, can have its Case features checked) from the [+tense] T (or I) head. We therefore get a structure like (8). (8) [IP seems [CP Ø [IP Johni [I’ is [SC ti ill ]]]]
Finally, an expletive subject it is required in the matrix subject position – this is required by the Extended Projection Principle (EPP). In short, it appears that when the embedded phrase is [+tense], raising is not motivated by Case requirements, and therefore does not occur. This also accounts for the contrast between (1) and sentences like (9). (9) (10) It seems (that) John is ill * John seems (that) is ill
The embedded IP is [+tense] so raising is not motivated, and the raised version of the sentence, (10), is ungrammatical. Note also that the presence of the complementiser that blocks raising by the comp-trace effect. I will return to this below in §5. Sentences like (1) are therefore interesting because, when approached from the perspective of a raising analysis, we are faced with at least three problems: The first is that the subject of the embedded phrase seems to raise despite being in a Case position; the second is that it seems to leave behind an overt pronoun, perhaps a copy of some sort; finally, we must provide an account of theta-role assignment. As we shall see, rejecting the raising analysis outright is not a straightforward solution, as this creates other problems. The structure of the remainder of this paper is as follows: in §1, I will present the basic facts of copy-raising and suggest three possible analyses in §2 through §4, the Language-Particular Rule analysis, the Small Clause analysis, and the Base Generation analysis. Finally, a Minimalist analysis of the phenomenon will be presented in §5.
1 Some facts of Copy-Raising
Any analysis we eventually choose to explain copy-raising must account for the facts that we will lay out in this section. Therefore, we will deal here only with word order phenomena, and not with syntactic structure. To begin with, copy-raising in English apparently only occurs with physical perception verbs1 and three lexical forms that appear to be complementisers. Specifically, as far as I have been able to determine, only the matrix verbs seem, appear, and look definitely show this pattern, together with the complementisers like, as if, and as though. Note however that one combination here is not possible – we never get *appear like. With this one exception, therefore, the following sentences
1 While Rogers (Rogers, 1971; Rogers, 1973) implicates physical perception verbs (including sound, feel, and smell) in this effect, only seem and appear clearly assign no thematic role to their external argument. As we shall see, this is an important part of the problem, so I will consider only those verbs here. If it turns out that other perception verbs also assign no thematic role in these constructions then they will be included in the same analysis.
are all possible: (11) seems like John appears as if he is ill looks as though
For the greater part of this discussion I will assume that like, as if, and as though are complementisers, but this will eventually be called into question. Evidence for taking them to be complementisers include the impossibility of a co-occurring complementiser, as in the ungrammatical (12), and the simple problem of what else it could be. I return to these questions below. (12) * Joan seems like that she is in a bad mood
We can account for these distributional facts in any theory by allowing these verbs to subcategorise for their particular complementisers. Furthermore, in all these cases, the complementisers select for a [+tense] feature on the T/I of the embedded phrase. So, taking seems like to be representational of all the combinations, (13) is clearly ungrammatical. (13) * Joan seems like to be ill
Now, we must establish what positions the two subjects appear in. Consider first the matrix subject. The first question to ask is whether it gets a theta-role from the matrix verb. Three arguments can be given supporting the conclusion that no theta-role is assigned by the matrix verb to its external argument position: It can take the expletive it; it does not change the idiomatic reading of an NP raised out of an embedded idiom; and it does not change the idiomatic reading of a funny NP. First, the matrix verb can take the expletive pronoun it in the non-raised sentence, as in (14). (14) It seems like John is ill
Upon first glance, it might also seem as though these constructions can take the expletive there as well, as in (15). This is mistaken however. Instead, the alleged expletive there is in fact the copyraised subject, as can be seen by the agreement in (16). Without agreement between the subjects, and the subsequent agreement of the non-theta-assigning matrix verb, the sentence is ungrammatical, as shown in (17). (15) (16) (17) There looks as if there is a problem There look as if there are problems * There looks as if there are problems
Second, idiomatic readings are maintained. (18) (19) The cat seems like it is out of the bag The shit looks like it finally hit the fan
(18) and (19) both maintain their idiomatic readings despite the interference by the matrix verb and the complementiser. In contrast, consider a verb like act, which has a similar syntactic structure to seem except it assigns an external theta role: (20) (21) The cat acts like it is out of the bag [not idiomatic] The shit acts like it hit the fan [not idiomatic]
So whereas act seems to assign a theta-role to its subject, copy-raising verbs do not. And finally, so-called “funny NPs” can raise into the matrix subject position without losing their idiomatic readings, as sentences (22) to (24) show. (22) (23) (24) Careful tabsi seem like theyi were kept on the workers Good headwayi seems like iti was made on my essay today Heedi seems like iti was taken of my advice
Having established that the matrix subject position is not assigned a theta-role, I must point out briefly that both the matrix subject and the embedded subject are in A-positions. Support for this comes from their binding properties – both can bind anaphors. (25) (26) Joan looked [PP to herself ] [CP as though [IP she had been in a fight ]] Joan looked [CP as though [IP she hurt herself ]]
We can therefore be fairly confident that both subjects are in SpecIP positions. The fact that the matrix subject position gets no theta-role from the matrix verb was a motivation for Rogers’ introduction of Richard, the copy-raising rule. Unfortunately, as Horn points out (Horn, 1981), the raised idiomatic NPs and there are all unavailable for some readers. The same is true for funny NP’s. Since idioms are assumed to be inserted as a unit, and there is not inserted in D-structure, the fact that the raised versions of these sentences are grammatical is the major motivation for concluding that a raising operation is active in the first place. We must therefore search for another NP that is merged under restricted circumstances into the embedded phrase and yet can be copy-raised by all speakers. Horn calls attention to sentences such as (27) to (29), which are accepted by all speakers. (27) (28) (29) It sounds like it’s raining out It feels like it’s cold out there It looks like it’s raining/snowing/midnight
As we know, “weather it” appears in very limited cases such as weather and time expressions. If we could show that the matrix subject in (27) to (29) is actually “weather it” and not the expletive it, then we would have evidence for raising. Support for this comes from studying the contradictory readings of certain ambiguous sentences. Consider the pair of sentences given in (30) and (31). (30) John seems like he’s sicker than he really is
?# It seems like John is sicker than he really is
Sentence (30) is ambiguous, with one of its readings actually contradictory, and equal to the only reading possible from (31). Crucially, however, a non-contradictory reading is possible because John can take scope over seem. With this contrast in mind, consider (32). (32) It seems like it’s raining harder than it really is
This sentence has a contradictory reading, but a non-contradictory reading is also available. If the parallel with (30) is reliable, and there is no reason not to believe it is, then this indicates that the it in the matrix subject position is in fact the raised “weather it” and not an expletive. I have established that the matrix subject position is an non-θ position, that both subjects are actually in subject positions, and provided some support for the assumption that these sentences are the results of a raising operation. I now turn to some possible analyses of the copy-raising phenomenon.
2 Language-Particular rules
To account for the presence of the extra pronominal in copy-raising in Turkish and Ìgbo, Moore (Moore, 1998) and Ura (Ura, 1998) respectively propose language-particular rules that insert a pronominal under certain circumstances. Moore follows the analysis provided for Modern Greek by Perlmutter and Soames (Perlmutter & Soames, 1979). In both Greek and Turkish, the difficulty for the analysis is that the NP seems to move out of a finite ([+tense]) embedded phrase. For instance, consider (33) and (34) (from Perlmutter and Soames). (33) Fenome na ime fliaros simera seem/1Sg SUBJUNCTIVE be/1Sg talkative today ‘I seem to be talkative today’ (literally: ‘I seem that I am talkative today’) O filos mu fenete na kerdizi to pegnidi mono aftos the friend my seem/3Sg SUBJUNCTIVE be-winning the game only he/NOM ‘Only my friend seems to be winning the game’ (literally: ‘My friend seems that only he is winning the game’)
Of course, the fact that Modern Greek is a pro-drop language can make it difficult to find the pronominal. In (33) we see what appears to be regular raising, except that the NP (which is not overt) has raised out of a [+tense] phrase. Note, however, that only pronouns that are “not emphasized or contrasted” are dropped (163). Using a term like mono ‘only’ causes the pronoun to appear at the surface, as in (34). The story in Turkish looks very similar. Raising seems to draw NPs out of [+tense] embedded phrases, leaving behind a pronominal form. In Turkish, however, this pronominal is never overt for some speakers. Still, Moore proposes that raising out of finite phrases is copy-raising in which
silent pro is left in the embedded subject position. This is accomplished by the “copy-chain parameter”: (35)
the tail of an A-chain may be pronominal (168).
In this way, Moore essentially stipulates that in some languages raising is copy-raising. This does not, however, address the problems introduced above. Specifically, we still have no account of where theta-roles are assigned, and where Case is checked. Ura picks up the argument here. Studying Ìgbo, a language with copy-raising out of finite phrases, Ura proposes what amounts to a slight modification of Moore’s analysis. While Ura cannot get away from proposing a language specific rule or parameter to account for the distribution of this phenomenon, he does provide an explanation of the part of the problem related to Case. Recall that in regular movement-raising, the movement of the embedded NP is motivated by Case requirements. That is, it cannot be assigned Case in the embedded subject position. Ura proposes that we should consider Case checking to be an operation, and as such it is subject to the same principles that affect other operations. Specifically, checking is subject to the Last Resort Condition. This means that checking must only proceed if the derivation would otherwise crash. He provides the following analysis. Consider the target structure, the grammatical sentence (36) Ézèi di m [ kà oi hũ-rũ Adá ] Eze seems to me COMP he see-asp Ada Ezei seems to me [ that hei saw Ada ]
Consider the structure at the stage of the derivation where the embedded T is merged with the embedded vP: (37) [TP T [vP Eze v [VP V Ada ]]]
The subject is forced to move to SpecTP to satisfy EPP requirements. We then have (38): (38) [TP Ezei T [vP ti v [VP V Ada ]]]
Now, while it is true that Ézè is in a configuration in which it could check Case features with T, this only occurs if it is required in order for the derivation to converge. Instead, suppose Case features are not checked at this point. After the higher structure is merged with the tree there will be another EPP requirement to satisfy in the higher subject position. Ézè moves once again to satisfy the EPP. It is in this higher position that Case features are checked. (39) [TP Ezei T … [CP
× Case (checked)
[TP ti T [vP ti v [VP V Ada ]]]
× Case (unchecked)
There remain unchecked Case features in the embedded phrase. If these are not checked, the derivation will crash. Luckily, however, Ìgbo has a language-particular rule that can “supply an
intermediate position of the A-chain with a pronominal copy of the head of the A-chain” (74). As Ura points out, this is the rule that is responsible for copy-raising in all of the languages in which it is found. This pronoun has Case features (and agreement features, as Ura discusses), and is therefore in a configuration to have its features checked by the embedded T: (40) [TP Ezei T … [CP
× Case (checked)
[TP hei T [vP ti v [VP V Ada ]]]
× Case (checked)
This accounts for Case (and similarly agreement) features, so it is progress over Moore’s proposal. It does not, however, address theta-role assignment. There are at least two possible solutions to this problem. If we accept that the matrix raising verb does not assign an external theta-role then we only have one theta-role to assign, and two overt NPs. Clearly, only one of them gets a theta-role assigned in the usual manner. Therefore, either the raised NP gets a thetarole in its base position and transmits it down to the inserted pronoun, or else the pronoun somehow gets the theta-role after being inserted and transmits it up to its antecedent. Neither of these solutions is perfect, but the former is clearly the lesser of two evils – it, at least, was merged into a theta-position in Spec of vP earlier in the derivation. Ura goes on to specifically address some cases of English copy-raising, likening the above language-specific rule to a resumptive pronoun strategy. That is, since the resumptive pronoun strategy is active to some extent in English, it can fulfil the same role that the language particular rule does in Ìgbo, Greek, Turkish, and Haitian Creole, as we see below. Ura does not address entirely grammatical cases of English copy-raising such as (1), but rather focuses on more borderline cases: (41) (42) ??? Johni seems that hei has hit Bill * Johni seems that Bill has hit himi
Ura suggests that (41) is marginally grammatical because the derivation can proceed as above up to the language particular rule. At that point, “the vacated subject position in the embedded clause is supplied with a pronominal copy of the moved element by the resumptive pronoun strategy, which is marginal in English” (82). On the other hand, (42) is judged to be ungrammatical because the movement of John out of the embedded phrase is not permitted since raising out of the object position is not licensed by seem. Ura’s footnote 81 briefly addresses sentences with as-if or like as complementisers, but states that sentences in which the embedded object has apparently raised are “not so good”. He provides (43) as an example. (43) ?? Johni seems as if Bill has hit himi
It seems, however, that this may have simply been a badly chosen example. Based on my judgement and an informal survey, (44) and (45) are both grammatical. (44) (45) John looks like Mary finally kissed him Joan seems like a car just ran her over
Tedi looks like Jane has been hassling himi again (Rogers, 1971)
In fact, there are other positions from which copy-raising is possible although the implied Amovement would be illicit. Consider, for instance, NPs that originate in possessive phrases. These can be either in the subject or the object of the embedded phrase, and in both cases “copyraising” seems to be possible. (47) (48) (49) (50) Johni looked like [ hisi cat ] had died Joani appeared as if [ heri investments ] had been lost on the stock market The presidenti seemed as if the senate has finally passed [ heri bill ] Johni looked like there was a fly in [ hisi soup ]
As Rogers points out, copy-raising also affects noun phrases within PP’s, as in (51): (51) This violini sounds like Max has been hammering nails with iti (Rogers, 1971)
A-movement is not permitted from any of these positions, and yet the sentences are grammatical. Even a resumptive pronoun strategy will not help, since the original movement is illegal. Thus, despite Ura’s explanation of feature checking, something else must be responsible for this phenomenon. Moore’s and Ura’s theories were already undesirable because they were essentially stipulative given the language-specific parameter, but they are empirically insufficient to account for the data. We therefore turn our attention to an alternative explanation, derived from an investigation of Haitian Creole.
3 The Small Clause analysis
Haitian Creole (HC) raising constructions have the same pattern as these special cases in English. In fact, as Deprez shows (Deprez, 1992), copy-raising always “occurs with predicates which assign no external theta-role and take tensed sentential complements” (198). Therefore, one important difference between HC and English is that all raising is copy-raising in HC but not in English. Another difference is that there is no (overt) complementiser in these constructions in HC. For example, (53) is related to (52) in HC in the same way as (55) is related to (54) in English. (52) sanble Jan pati seem John left It seems that John leaves Jan sanble li pati John seem he left John seems he leaves It seems like Joan left Joan seems like she left
Despite the differences between these phenomena, most conspicuously the fact that in HC the pronominal copy appears much more freely than in English, there are striking similarities between these two constructions. Most important for us is that in both cases there is an extra element, the pronoun, whose presence we must explain. Deprez proposes that the proper analysis of “pronominal raising”, as she calls it, involves a small clause with an extra specifier position, SPEC2. This small clause has a “subject” in SPEC2 and the pronominal in the specifier of the predicate of the small clause. Under this analysis, the derivation of (53) at the step before raising looks like (56). (56) [ sanble [SC Jan [PRED li pati ]]]
The assignment of theta-roles is critical to Deprez’s argument. In the configuration in (56), the pronoun li gets both case and a theta-role from the head, pati. According to Deprez, li may fail to satisfy the theta-requirement due to underspecificity that is particular to HC (Deprez 215). It therefore assigns its theta-role to its maximal projection by a process called vertical binding, in which an “unassigned external theta-role is transmitted to the immediate maximal projection of the theta-assigning head” (213). This theta-role is then assigned to Jan via another process of theta-assignment, predication, which “is a relation by which a maximal projection assigns a theta role inherited by vertical binding to its sister” (213). Thus, Jan gets a theta-role assigned via a rather complex sequence of events involving three different types of theta-assignment. It does not, however, get Case in this position. The result is that Jan raises to the matrix subject position and checks Case features with the matrix I0 head. The extension of this proposal to the English situation is straight-forward. An earlier stage of the derivation of (55) looks like (57), before raising: (57) [ seems [CP like [SC Joan [PRED she left ]]]]
One obvious problem at this point is the question of how the theta-role is assigned by left to Joan. In HC it is facilitated by underspecificity on the part of the pronominal, but this does not hold in English. With no theta-role assigned to Joan, it is not clear that the derivation will converge. Another problem surfaces when we consider sentences in which it is the object of the embedded phrase that is coindexed with the matrix subject, such as (44) and (45) above. Deprez points out that structures such as (58) (Deprez’s (31a)) are ungrammatical in HC (217): (58) * Jan sanble Mari renmen li John seems Mary to like him
This result is in fact predicted by the small clause analysis provided. This is because theta-role assignment to the SPEC2 position of the SC is impossible since the pronominal no longer intervenes in order to facilitate theta-role assignment. Therefore, since Jan can not get a thetarole, the derivation crashes. In English, however, these sentences are grammatical as we saw above. Worse still, un-governed pronouns within possessive phrases are possible, as shown in (47) to (50). Since theta-role
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assignment will not work out in these cases as described by Deprez, the small clause analysis will not hold. So, while Deprez’s analysis is preferable to those provided by Moore and Ura, it is still empirically insufficient to account for the English data. Furthermore, the idea of the subject raising from an extra position posited only for this analysis is theoretically undesirable. If there is no more motivation for proposing the SPEC2 position, then this explanation of copy-raising amounts to a stipulation as well. We therefore turn our attention to the remaining possible analysis, that in which, despite appearances, there is in fact no raising operation.
4 Base Generation
Having described two possible analyses of English copy-raising and focussed attention on their shortcomings, we turn briefly to the remaining possibility. This is the idea that while (1) and sentences like it seem to be derived from (3) in the same way that (2) is, they are in fact not. That is, no raising is involved. The strongest argument for this position comes from the observation that the purported movement targets non-subject positions, as was indicated above in (44) to (51). Instead, we can liken copy-raised constructions to tough-movement constructions such as (59) which, under one analysis (Chomsky, 1981), has the underlying structure in (60). (59) (60) Joan is easy to please Joani is easy [CP OPi [C’ [IP PROarb to please ti ]]]
Case checking is simple in this derivation: PRO checks Case in its merged position as the argument of please and then moves to Spec IP to satisfy the EPP. Separately, Joan has Case checked in the matrix subject position. Still, assignment of theta-roles is not unproblematic. While it seems clear that the operator is assigned the theta-role of the argument of please, it is unclear whether or not Joan gets a theta-role. If it does not, as Chomsky argues, then we have a theta-criterion violation since every overt NP must be assigned a theta-role. Turning back to copy-raising constructions now, we could propose that the apparently raised NP is actually merged into the matrix subject position rather than moved there. Recall however that this was thought to be a non-thematic position. As a result, the investigation must turn to thetarole assignment to the overt NP. In pursuing the small clause analysis of HC raising, Deprez makes use of this tough-movementstyle derivation to explain raising from the object position of the embedded phrase. Recall that sentences like (58), in which sanble raises the object of the embedded phrase, are ungrammatical. Interestingly, another HC verb, rete ‘remains’, allows raising from either the subject or the object position of the embedded phrase. For instance, (61) is entirely grammatical: (61) Jan rete pou Mari renmen li John remain for Mary to like him
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‘It remains for Mary to like John’ When the verb was sanble, the problem with this derivation was that the pronoun is no longer in a position to facilitate theta-role assignment to the SPEC2 position of the small clause. This is easily solved, however – if an empty operator, OP, were in the position to assign a theta-role to the subject of the small clause by the process of predication. The structure of (61) is given in (62). (62) Jani rete [SC ti [PRED
pou Mari renmen lii ]]
The corresponding analysis of the English sentence given in (45) is shown as (63). (63) Joani seems like [SC ti [PRED
a car just ran heri over ]]
Clearly, we must now ask what the required relationship is between OP and the coindexed pronoun. Deprez states that “empty operators can be related either to subjects or to objects, since they bind a variable which receives its own theta-role” (227). Even if we accept this, however, it is not clear that OP can be related to a non-argument position. That is, while Deprez considers cases in which OP is coindexed with the embedded object, she does not consider cases in which it must be coindexed with possessive-phrase-internal pronouns, as we know we must have in the English cases. If coindexation is enough then we would expect there to be no structural restrictions on the relative locations of OP and the pronoun. This may in fact be the case – I return to a similar question when I consider the relation between the matrix subject and the embedded pronoun in §5. Besides the problem with the relationship between OP and the pronoun is the fact that this solution seems stipulative – encoding the desired subject in a position where it can slip a thetarole to the matrix subject creates the impression of anticipating the outcome. We would clearly like a solution with more predictive power. A more Minimalist solution is that the matrix subject does not get a theta-role. In this view, its reference comes from coindexation, but it has no theta-role assigned. If this were possible within the theory, we would have no need for movement or empty operators in order for the derivation to converge. The structures would simply look like this: (64) (65) (66) (67) Johni seems [CP Joani looks [CP Johni looked [CP Joani looked [CP like [IP like [IP like [IP like [IP hei is ill ]] a car hit heri ]] [DP hisi cat ] had died ]] there was a fly [PP in [DP heri soup ]]]]
Note that coindexation is required for these sentences to be grammatical. When its removal is forced by changing the gender of the pronoun, the sentences are no longer acceptable. (68) (69) (70) (71) * Johni seems [CP * Joani looks [CP * Johni looked [CP * Joani looked [CP like [IP like [IP like [IP like [IP shei is ill ]] a car hit himi ]] [DP heri cat ] had died ]] there was a fly [PP in [DP hisi soup ]]]]
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This might be evidence that the matrix subject does not get a theta-role in its “raised” position, but rather through coindexation. We must leave the investigation of the feasibility of this proposal for another time.
5 A Minimalist Analysis
At this point, it is useful to stand back from the problem and evaluate the information we have gathered so far. The most significant result we have is that movement from the overt embedded position is impossible in so-called copy-raising sentences. This is a direct result of the availability of sentences such as (47) to (50), in which the apparently raised subject comes from a position in the embedded clause from which movement is impossible, such as a possessive phrase. This movement must be ruled out by the ECP or some other Minimalist principle in order to account for the impossibility of this movement in general. This does not rule out a movement analysis altogether, however, since movement from a different position is possible in principle. Here, I refer to movement from a special specifier position following seems like, as in Deprez’s analysis of copy-raising in Haitian Creole. In that particular analysis, the subject moves from the specifier of a small clause, as in the D-structure represented in (72). (72) [ sanble [SC Jan [PRED li pati ]]] seems Jan he left
Recall that in this analysis, theta-role assignment to Jan is mediated by the pronoun li, and then Jan moves to the matrix subject position to satisfy the Case filter. Deprez’s analysis included the possibility for a subject to relate to an object position in the embedded clause, although she provides no examples for which the subject is related to an NP within a possessive phrase. In order to get assignment of a theta-role to the subject when it is related to the embedded object, an additional operator, OP, is used as an intermediary, as in the D-structure in (73) rete [SC Jan [PRED remains Jan
pou Mari renmen lii ]] for Mari to like him
Two main difficulties for this analysis are discussed above. The first is that the relationship between OP and the pronoun is unexplained, making it unclear whether the analysis could account for the pronoun being located in a possessive phrase. The second difficulty for the analysis is that it has a flavour of stipulation. For these reasons, this account was abandoned. Indeed, any analysis involving movement from an extra position, whether it is an extra specifier position on a small clause or the specifier position of the complement phrase itself, will have a flavour of stipulation and will therefore be undesirable. An analysis that does not appeal to extra structural positions will be preferred. However, as we have seen, if we discard the idea of movement altogether and proceed with an analysis in which the matrix subject is base generated in that position then, having concluded that the matrix subject position is not a theta position, we would have to face a violation of the theta criterion. However, the theta criterion is not present in Minimalist analyses, its work instead being
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accomplished for the most part by Full Interpretation. Specifically, theta role assignment is feature checking, and unchecked theta features are uninterpretable at LF. The result of this is that all theta features must be checked by LF. However, there is no requirement that an argument must have theta features at all. If an argument were to have no theta feature then it could inhabit a non-theta-checking position, such as the external argument position of a verb like seem. In short, I suggest that in apparently copy-raised constructions the matrix subject is base generated in its surface position, and it has no theta features to be checked. As stated, this still incurs a violation of Full Interpretation at LF, since all DP’s must be semantically interpretable as well. So while it is not fatal for the matrix subject to not get a thematic role, it is fatal if it does not get a semantic role. In light of this interpretation of thematic role assignment and semantic role requirements, we can see a pattern in the grammaticality and ungrammaticality of copy-raising sentences. Consider the critical cases: (74) (75) (76) (77) (78) (79) * John seems that there is no tomorrow * Johni seems that hei is ill ?? John seems like there is no tomorrow Johni seems like hei is ill John eats like there is no tomorrow Johni eats like hei is on a diet
In sentences (74) to (77), John does not receive a thematic role. In sentences (74) and (75), John also receives no semantic role, resulting in the ungrammaticality of these sentences. In (74), there is no co-referent from which John can receive a semantic role. In contrast, John is coindexed with he in (75), but co-reference is blocked. Similarly, John has no co-referent and therefore receives no semantic role in (76)2. Crucially, in sentence (77), while by hypothesis no thematic role is assigned, John is coindexed with he and co-reference is not blocked, resulting in John inheriting a semantic role from he. In fact, as we saw from both the weather-it sentences and the thereagreement sentences, the features of he are somehow transmitted to John through coindexation. Finally, (78) and (79) are included to fill out the paradigm, providing cases in which thematic roles are assigned directly to John from the matrix verb, eat. We are left with the question of why co-reference is blocked in (75) but not in (77). If that blocks co-reference while like does not, then the results are modelled. It remains to elaborate on the that-blocking effect or, more likely, the “like/as if/as though”-transparency effect. In order to do this, we must consider more data, comparing the grammaticality and acceptability of sentences with that-CP’s and those with like.
Sentence (76) is not judged to be as ungrammatical as sentence (74), and it is unclear why this is the case. A hint may be that the possible reading of (76) requires that John be visibly depressed or otherwise displaying his sense that the world is going to end before tomorrow. This suggests that, under this reading, John gets a thematic role from seem. Perhaps this reading is impossible in (74) because the thematic-role assigning verb seem does not take a CP headed by that.
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In this discussion, I follow Brody in taking a representational approach to syntax, evaluating complete structures based on certain constraints (Brody, 1995). This is in contrast to a derivational approach in which certain movement operations would be disallowed because the movement itself violates some condition. In contrast, in a representational framework the structure that results from apparent movement (rather than the movement itself) is disallowed because the resulting structure violates a condition or constraint. Given this framework and the conclusions derived so far, a simple analysis presents itself: (80) a) There is some correspondence involving coindexation which licences the transmission of semantic properties b) that blocks this correspondence c) like does not block this correspondence
The analysis of a typical copy-raised sentence is therefore quite simple. For an example, consider (1). John has no theta feature so the fact that seem does not check theta features is unproblematic. However it is still a ment by Full Interpretation at LF that John get a semantic interpretation. Since it cannot do this by theta feature checking, it must get its semantic role by coreference. In this case, coreference by the coindexation correspondence is not blocked, and so the structure is legal. If instead of like, the complementiser had been that, then coreference would be blocked, John would get no semantic role, and the structure would be ruled out. We must now ask, what is the correspondence that licences transmission of semantic information from the embedded pronoun to the coindexed matrix subject, and why does that block the correspondence while like does not. I suggest that the only structural correspondence that will capture the data is a simple c-command relation between the matrix subject and the pronoun in the embedded clause. Specifically, an NP is in correspondence with a pronoun if it c-commands the pronoun. The remainder of this paper is concerned with specifying the relevant distinction between complementisers like that and those like like. One possibility is that like does not trigger the comp-trace effect while that does. This would be a desirable solution since the comp-trace effect is independently motivated. Furthermore, if we assume the existence of a null complementiser Ø, then we have a precedent for a complementiser that does not trigger the comp-trace effect, as in (81). (81) Whoi does it seem Ø ti is ill?
Support for this analysis comes from the comparison of Wh-movement across like and that. We find that, while it is not entirely grammatical to some speakers, (83) is more acceptable than (82). (82) (83) * Whoi does it seem that ti is ill? ? Whoi does it seem like ti is ill?
Unfortunately, this analysis does not describe the data. The comp-trace effect only affects movement out of the embedded subject, immediately beside the complementiser. It does not
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affect movement out of the object position, for instance. So, for example, the comp-trace effect does not rule out sentences like (84), which are just as acceptable as (85) and (86). (84) (85) (86) Whoi does it seem that John kissed ti ? Whoi does it seem Ø John kissed ti ? Whoi does it seem like John kissed ti ?
If the comp-trace effect were the only thing blocking semantic correspondence, we would expect that a matrix subject with no theta role would get a semantic role from a pronoun embedded in a CP headed by that as long as that pronoun is not the subject of the embedded IP. However, as we can see from (87), this is not the case. (87) * Joani seems that John hugged heri
It looks like that blocks a wider set of structural relations than we can attribute to the comp-trace effect3. Perhaps like and that simply affect different types of relations between positions, that is, non-movement chains. It might be possible to distinguish between the two complementisers by referring to the type of chain they block or do not block – specifically, I propose that that blocks A-chains (ie. chains between elements in A-positions), does not block Ā-chains, and prohibits movement from the position immediately below itself in the tree (the comp-trace effect); in contrast, like does not block A-chains, Ā-chains, or prevent movement out of its immediate neighbour. As a result, words like like permit the correspondences we have observed and do not trigger the comp-trace effect. This is a line of research that must be pursued further. Another line of research that remains open is the question of why like does not trigger the comptrace effect. One possibility is that like is not a complementiser after all, but is in fact part of the VP with seem, taking as a complement a bare IP. If this were true then the reason there is no comp-trace effect is that there is simply no complementiser. Unfortunately, though perhaps not fatally, it can be shown that seem like is not a complex verbal unit by insertion of a PP: (88) (89) (90) [IP It seems [PP to me ] [CP that [IP John is in trouble ]]] [IP It seems [PP to me ] [IP John is in trouble ]] ? [IP It seems [PP to me ] like [IP John is in trouble ]]
For at least some speakers, (90) is just as acceptable as (88) and (89). For me, however, (90) is marginal in comparison with (88) and (89) which are both perfect. This may be an indication that those speakers that accept (90) are reanalysing like to be a complementiser. More work needs to be done along these lines to establish the syntactic category for like, as if, and as though.
Note that sentences like (a) below may provide some evidence that the correspondence is in fact permitted when it does not trigger the comp-trace effect, since the sentence seems to be acceptable to at least some speakers. On the other hand, note that (b) is also acceptable to some degree despite being expected to trigger the comp-trace effect. (a) ? Johni seems like Mary said that we should vote for himi (b) ? Johni seems like Mary said that hei voted for Bush
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6 Works Cited
Brody, M. (1995). Lexico Logical Form: A Radically Minimalist Theory. Cambridge, MA: MIT Press. Chomsky, N. (1981). Lectures on Government and Binding. Dordrecht: Foris. Deprez, V. (1992). Raising Constructions in Haitian Creole. Natural Language and Linguistic Theory, 10, 191-231. Horn, L. (1981). A Pragmatic Approach to Certain Ambiguities. Linguistics and Philosophy, 4, 321358. Massam, D. (1988). Case Theory and the Projection Principle (Dissertation Abstract). The Linguistic Review, 5, 377-390. McCawley, J.D. (1988). The Syntactic Phenomena of English (Vol. 1-2). Chicago: University of Chicago Press. Moore, J. (1998). Turkish Copy-Raising and A-Chain Locality. Natural Language and Linguistic Theory, 16, 149-189. Perlmutter, D.M., & Soames, S. (1979). Syntactic Argumentation an the Structure of English. Berkeley: University of California Press. Postal, P.M. (1971). Cross-Over Phenomena. New York: Holt, Rinehart, and Winston. Quirk, R., Leech, G., & Svartvik, J. (1972). A Grammar of Contemporary English. London: Longman Group Ltd. Rogers, A. (1971). Three Kinds of Physical Perception Verbs. Chicago Linguistic Society, 7, 206-222. Rogers, A. (1973). Physical Perception Verbs in English: A Study in Lexical Relatedness, UCLA. Ura, H. (1998). Checking, Economy, and Copy-raising in Igbo. Linguistic Analysis, 28(1-2), 67-88.