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Linear Asymmetries and the LCA

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Abstract.  Kayne (1994) was instrumental in putting linear asymmetries on the generative research agenda. His Linear Correspondence Axiom is seen as a restrictive, conceptually attractive proposal supported by a wealth of empirical evidence. In this paper, we take issue with this assessment. (i) We show that for every structure that violates the LCA, there is an LCA‐compatible counterpart, including rightward movement structures and structures with rightward specifiers. (ii) We discuss Cinque's (2005) LCA‐based analysis of word order in the extended nominal projection, demonstrating that the data in fact do not support any hypothesis stronger than a ban on rightward movement. (iii) We demonstrate that claims to the effect that central properties of phrase structure (such as headedness and the single‐specifier restriction) follow from the LCA are incorrect. (iv) We show that the LCA is toothless without a restrictive theory of movement, but that it can only be reconciled with the data in the absence of such a theory.
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Document Type: Research Article

Publication date: March 1, 2012

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