Recent research has highlighted a remarkable variability in subject island effects. Focusing on intransitive verbs and adjectives, we argue that islandhood is determined at the syntax-semantics interface: subjects qualify as islands when they are interpreted outside the predicative nucleus of the clause, in a categorical LF structure (Ladusaw 1994); they are transparent for extraction when they undergo total reconstruction into the predicative nucleus, giving rise to a thetic structure. The thetic/categorical interpretation depends on various factors (most notably the stage-level versus individual-level nature of the predicate), whose interaction accounts for the observed variability of island effects, as shown by our experimental evidence. The relevance of subject reconstruction need not be stipulated; rather, it follows from a top-down-oriented computation, in which movement dependencies are implemented by a storage-and-retrieval mechanism.

Bianchi, V., & Chesi, C. (2014). Subject islands, reconstruction, and the flow of the computation. LINGUISTIC INQUIRY, 45(4), 525-569 [10.1162/LING_a_00166].

Subject islands, reconstruction, and the flow of the computation

BIANCHI, VALENTINA;CHESI, CRISTIANO
2014

Abstract

Recent research has highlighted a remarkable variability in subject island effects. Focusing on intransitive verbs and adjectives, we argue that islandhood is determined at the syntax-semantics interface: subjects qualify as islands when they are interpreted outside the predicative nucleus of the clause, in a categorical LF structure (Ladusaw 1994); they are transparent for extraction when they undergo total reconstruction into the predicative nucleus, giving rise to a thetic structure. The thetic/categorical interpretation depends on various factors (most notably the stage-level versus individual-level nature of the predicate), whose interaction accounts for the observed variability of island effects, as shown by our experimental evidence. The relevance of subject reconstruction need not be stipulated; rather, it follows from a top-down-oriented computation, in which movement dependencies are implemented by a storage-and-retrieval mechanism.
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Utilizza questo identificativo per citare o creare un link a questo documento: http://hdl.handle.net/11365/48946
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