Wh-Movement, Licensing and the Locality of Feature-Checking

Andrew Simpson
This thesis is a cross-linguistic examination of the syntactic mechanisms which licence wh-phrases, and of the implications of wh-licencing for other dependency-types with similar licencing requirements. In chapter 1 a wide variety of evidence is presented that wh-phrases occurring in situ at Spell-Out do not undergo any raising at LF. In chapter 2, arguing that wh-movement essentially occurs to satisfy a purely formal licencing requirement on wh-phrases, identified as wh-feature-checking, data
more » ... from Hindi, Iraqi Arabic(IA) and various East European languages then show that it is wh-features carried by all wh-phrases rather than any on a +Q Comp which require checking, and that (wh)feature-checking is not restricted to taking place solely within the strict locality of Spec-head/head-adjoined configurations but must in fact be possible 'long-distance' and within larger domains, this possibility ultimately allowing for a linguistic model in which Spell-Out is identical with LF. Movement is then suggested to occur for two essential reasons: i) to trigger an ambiguous potential licencing head as a licencor for features of a particular type, and ii) in order that an element occurs within the licencing domain of its checking-head. Chapter 3 extends these proposals to Partial (Wh-)Movement constructions in German and Hungarian and examines how purely functional wh-expletive elements may alter the licencing locality associated with Comp. Chapter 4 considers n-word licencing in French, Italian and West Flemish, and argues for non-local checking of neg-features. Other significant properties of n-word constructions then lead to further conclusions concerning the nature of movement and its relation to licencing.
doi:10.25501/soas.00033562 fatcat:pry37gpo7nbqxmn6y5b6rhob6u