Zeljko Boskovic, Professor at the University of Connecticut
Title: On the contextuality of the EPP, the Comp-trace effect, and multiple wh- and subject positions
Abstract: The talk will broaden the scope of the Comp-trace effect with a number of phenomena from various languages which were not previously examined from this perspective and use this as a springboard to fine-tune the position of various subject and wh-phrases. This will in turn lead to proposing a new contextual approach to the EPP and a broader discussion of a more general theoretical move toward contextuality in syntax. In particular, it will be argued that there is an EPP domain, with the highest projection in this domain functioning as the locus of the EPP (on a par with similar approaches to phases and phasal edges). To address all these issues, the paper will explore low left periphery and the possibility of multiple subject positions, arguing that the landing site of local subject A’-movement is different from the landing site of other phrases undergoing such movement (so, the landing site of subject wh-movement in who left is lower than non-subject wh-movement (who in who did Mary leave) but higher than regular subjects (Mary in Mary left). A number of additional constructions and phenomena will be discussed, including quirky subjects, Japanese raising-to-object, Romance ECM, Germanic V-2 clauses, existential constructions, locative inversion, and clausal subjects.
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