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Prestige Case Forms and the Comp-trace Effect

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Abstract. 

Case in English is “dormant”—not valued or resolved in the syntax—unless it is “activated” by the EPP feature of T. Case-activated DPs move to Spec,TP for Case valuation. Further extraction (e.g., wh-movement) of subjects requires “phase-early” Case resolution, guaranteeing that the uninterpretable Case feature of a subject is resolved early, in Spec,TP, in compliance with the Earliness Principle. An inability to resolve an active Case feature early results in the C-t effect. The dormant “object” case form is determined at PF either by a rule of default case (accusative) or by one of a set of rules assigning a prestige (usually nominative) case. This system correctly predicts a variety of details of the C-t effect and the possible occurrence and distribution of prestige case forms (It is I or between you and I ) where Case is dormant. The C-t effect in Spanish, Russian, and Polish are also briefly considered.
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Document Type: Research Article

Affiliations: The University of Texas at El PasoDepartment of Languages & LinguisticsEl PasoTX 79968USA, Email: [email protected]

Publication date: March 1, 2009

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