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Multiple Spell‐Out and Contraction at the Syntax–Phonology Interface

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Abstract.  The Multiple Spell‐Out model of Chomsky (2000, 2001, 2004) and Uriagereka (1999) provides a straightforward characterization of the syntactic environments for contraction. It is well known that wanna contraction is possible in the subject‐control case (Who do you wanna marry?) but blocked in the DP+infinitival case (*Who do you wanna marry you?). This asymmetry receives a straightforward account if the CP‐phase boundary demarcates the domain for contraction. More complex cases of contraction discussed by Postal & Pullum (1978, 1982) fall into place if left‐branching structures form a self‐contained Spelled‐Out domain as in Uriagereka’s model. The analysis can also derive a number of well‐known generalizations regarding auxiliary reduction such as (a) the invisibility of a Case‐marked trace for reduction and (b) the inhibitory effect of the gap on reduction. Generalization (a) is a natural consequence of the TP analysis for that‐less finite complements whereas (b) is the result of the tight interaction between the syntactic system and the fine‐grained prosodic classification of function words developed by Selkirk (1995). Particular details of the analysis support various principles of syntax such as the Economy of Projection and the notion of CP phase. This paper, therefore, achieves the minimalist desideratum of explaining linguistic phenomena solely in terms of interface conditions and computational efficiency.
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Document Type: Research Article

Publication date: September 1, 2012

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