Eliminating d Structure

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Transcript of Eliminating d Structure


    Cedric Boeckx and Norbert Hornstein

    Abstract. This paper provides a minimalist analysis of the binominal each phenomenon.The analysis incorporates key ideas behind Sar and Stowells (1988) seminal paper butavoids the complications that this approach entails. Our proposal provides one moreempirical argument for movement into h-position, sideward movement, the primacy ofmovement over binding inmatters of construal, and the virtues of a very derivational viewof syntax. It is also consistentwith a framework that dispenseswith LFmovement entirely.

    1. Introduction: The Status of D-Structure

    Chomsky (1993) argues that minimalist reasoning leads to excluding a levellike D-structure from UG. The argument can be schematized as follows:

    (1) a. The faculty of language (FL) generates objects that pair sounds andmeaning.

    b. Thus, FL objects must interface at least with the interpretive com-ponents that ascribe a sound and meaning to each generated object.By assumption, interfacing takes place through levels of represen-tation.1 Call the interface level for sound PF (Phonetic Form) and theinterface level for meaning LF (Logical Form). Both PF and LFfollow from virtual conceptual necessity.

    c. Given the necessity of the interface levels LF and PF, minimalistreasoning suggests that UG has no more than these. In fact, minim-alist reasoning leads to the conclusion that grammar-internal levelsshould be eliminated, leaving only interface levels like LF and PF.

    d. If so, D-Structure (DS), a phrase marker formed by phrase structureoperations and lexical insertion and that feeds movement operations,should not exist.

    This reasoning imposes potentially strong restrictions on the organization ofUG. In particular, we should not expect to nd it necessary to advert to DS forthe statement of grammatical generalizations and conditions. In currentparlance, all such generalizations should reect Bare Output Conditions,requirements imposed on grammatical objects in virtue of their receiving asound and a meaning. Thus, we do not expect to nd generalizations thatexploit the properties of grammar-internal levels like DS (or Surface

    1 This is by no means a necessary conclusion. It could be that UG is not organized into levels, inwhich case the grammar will still interface with AP and CI but not necessarily via levels. Epstein,Groat, Kawashima, and Kitahara (1998), Uriagereka (1999), and Chomsky (2000, 2001) explorethis possibility. For present purposes, we keep to the more traditional assumption of interfacelevels, which by and large seem well motivated empirically.

    Blackwell Publishing Ltd, 2005. Published by Blackwell Publishing, 9600 Garsington Road, Oxford OX4 2DQ, UK and 350Main Street, Malden, MA 02148, USA

    Syntax 8:1, April 2005, 2343

  • Structure). Put another way, such generalizations are, at best, an empiricalchallenge to the Minimalist Program and at worst an argument against itsviability. In this paper, we consider one such empirical challenge and exploreits implications for the Minimalist Program (MP).

    2. The Properties of Binominal Each2

    The challenge we want to consider centers around the distribution ofbinominal each (BE), exemplied in (2).3

    (2) a. The men read one book each.b. The men read one book apiece.

    As discussed extensively in Burzio 1986 and Sar and Stowell 1988 (S&S),the phrase containing each in (2) (one book each) (henceforth the BE phrase)must be licensed by an appropriate plural antecedent for the sentence to beacceptable. (The same requirement holds for apiece phrases.4)The problem posed by BE for the MP is that the evidence suggests that the

    licensing of BE holds at DS. In fact, as discussed in this section, if we assumethat BE phrases must be locally bound at DS (i.e., they are DS anaphors), wederive virtually all of their salient properties.Consider rst the salient properties of BE.

    2.1 BEs Require Antecedents

    That BE requires an antecedent is illustrated by the unacceptability of (3).

    (3) *Three men each/apiece have arrived at Penn Station.

    This contrasts with (4), an instance of Q-oat.

    (4) Three men have each arrived at Penn Station.

    The generalization illustrated by (2) and (3) is that BEs only occur in clauseswith multiple nominals, one of which is plural. This follows if one assumes

    2 The reader should note that we focus exclusively on properties of English binominal each inthis paper. We leave a crosslinguistic investigation for future research. For work on binominal eachin other languages, see Gil 1982, and Zimmermann 2002, which draws in part on Choe 1987 (onKorean) and Link 1998 (on German).

    3 The name comes from Sar and Stowell 1988. Our discussion heavily leans on this earlieranalysis. We steal shamelessly from their earlier efforts. Their work, in turn, was based on a prioranalysis and discussion in Burzio 1986, where the BEs were rst extensively discussed.

    4 Very often in this paper we exemplify core generalization by means of apiece. We do so fortwo reasons. First, the apiece data is often clearer than the each facts (for reasons that we do notunderstand). Second, there is little temptation to analyze apiece as a quantier rather than anadverb. The fact that BEs with apiece have all the same properties as those with each suggests thatwhatever is going on here should not be traced to the QP status of each.

    24 Cedric Boeckx and Norbert Hornstein

    Blackwell Publishing Ltd, 2005

  • (i) that BEs are constituents of some nominal argument, for example, the eachphrase is part of the object nominal one book each in (2); and (ii) that BEs areanaphoric and hence require antecedents.There are various interesting restrictions on the kind of phrase that can host

    BEs.5 The central one is that the host of BE must be indenite.

    (5) a. The boys read (one/two/many/several) books each/apiece.b. *The boys read the/all/most books each.

    2.2 The Antecedent Must C-Command the BE

    Consider the sentences in (6).

    (6) a. *Three men each/apiece read the books.b. The men read three books each/apiece.c. (?)John talked to/with the men about three books each/apiece.d. *John talked to three men each/apiece about the books.e. *John talked beside the men about three books each/apiece.

    The contrast between (6a) and (6b) follows on the assumption that the subjectasymmetrically c-commands the object in simple transitive clauses. Toaccommodate the contrast in (6c,d) we need to assume that the prepositionsthat accompany indirect objects and commitatives do not block binding. Thisseems necessary even in simple cases of reciprocal binding.

    (7) John talked to/with the men about each other.

    Indirect objects and commitatives are argument-like adjuncts (quasi-arguments) in that they are typically thought to be generated lower thanthose headed by other prepositions (like before/after). In many languages theyaffect the morphology of the verb and they readily allow for prepositionstranding, as shown in (8).

    (8) a. Which men did John talk to/with t about Bill?b. *Which men did John read my book before/after?

    It is plausible that these prepositions function more like Case-markers than liketrue PPs. If this is so, then the men can bind the BEs in (6c) but not in (6d,e).

    2.3 BE Must Be Locally Bound

    The plural antecedent of BE cannot be in a different domain than BE. If weassume that being in the same minimal clause puts two expressions in the same

    5 See S&S for a fuller description than the one we provide here.

    On Eliminating D-Structure: The Case of Binominal Each 25

    Blackwell Publishing Ltd, 2005

  • domain (see Lasnik 2002 and already Postal 1974 for discussion of clausemateconditions), we account for the unacceptability of the examples in (9).

    (9) a. *The men expect/believe/said that three books each/apiece areexciting.

    b. *The men want/expect/believe Bill to be reading three bookseach/apiece.

    The BE in both examples is in the embedded clause and its antecedent, the men,is in thematrix. Consequently, BE cannot be locally bound and thereby licensed.So far none of the requirements listed in this section require the assumption

    that the licensing of BEs be at DS (though they are consistent with it). Theexplanations would remain the same if we assumed that the bindingrequirement was an LF condition. However, two additional sets of datasupport the assumption that BEs are DS-anaphors.

    2.4 ECM Contexts

    The rst set of facts shows that BEs are not licensed when in the subjectposition of nonnite clauses. As is well known, subjects of nonnite clausesact with respect to binding as if they occupied the next higher clause. Thus,ECM subjects can be bound by an antecedent in the next higher clause andpronouns must be obviative with respect to elements in this clause.

    (10) a. John believes/expects/wants himself1/*him1 to be in great demand.b. John considers himself intelligent.c. The boys made/saw each other leave.

    This follows if we assume that the ECM subject actually raises to the clause ofits case checker/assigner in overt syntax or LF (see Postal 1974 and Lasnik &Saito 1991). If so, then movement renders the ECM subject a part of the upperclause.With this in mind, consider the following BE data.6

    (11) a. *The men wanted/expected/believed one eld each/apiece to bereserved.

    b. *The girls considered one boy each/apiece insufferable.c. *The boys made/let one ball each/apiece bounce.

    The sentences in (11) show that BEs are not acceptable as ECM subjects. Thisfollows if BE is not part of the same clause as its antecedent at the point where

    6 Some examples sound better than others. Consider (i).

    (i) ??The mathematicians proved three