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Asymmetry of Locality: A Minimalist View

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Abstract. This paper deals with an old, but recurrent, topic of a certain asymmetry of in situ wh-words with respect to classical extraction domains. Huang's analysis (1982) of wh-word scope tak-ing cannot offer an empirically adequate account for this important asymmetry, apart from the conceptual problem that does not fit into the minimalist assumption of computation (Chomsky 1995). I suggest two ways of scope taking at LF: movement of way 'why' vs. unselective binding of indefi-nite wh-words by the question morpheme. I will show that scope taking of in situ wh-words along this way can nicely account for the observed asymmetry of in situ wh-words with respect to islands, conforming to the minimalist thesis of movement as a last resort.

Keywords: binding; intervention; locality; morpheme; question

Document Type: Research Article


Publication date: 2006-01-01

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