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My purpose in this paper is to find the precise correlation between A-bar dependency and the notion of referentiality. Since the crucial question in the issue is how to properly define referentiality, the content of the paper will be organized as follows. In section 1, as an initial attempt, I define referentiality by the lexical content (phi-features: person, number, gender) that only noun phrases inherently carry. The specification of phi-features will render argument wh-phrases referential (long-distance A' dependencies) and adjunct wh-phrases non-referential (local A' dependencies). In section 2, the initial definition of referentiality will be refined as a set theoretic notion of referentiality in order to capture the varying degrees of strength in A dependencies across wh-islands (weak islands) that different wh-phrases show. I will show that the relative strength of A' dependencies across wh-islands can be predicted by the referential hierarchy: adjunct wh-phrases < bare wh-phrases < which N < partitive wh-phrases. In section 3, I will consider the strong islands and introduce a new notion: Barrier Defiability.

Document Type: Research Article


Publication date: 1998-01-01

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