Feature‐Splitting Internal Merge: The Case of <i>Tough</i>‐constructions<sup>*</sup>

Miki Obata and Samuel David Epstein

in Ways of Structure Building

Published in print June 2012 | ISBN: 9780199644933
Published online September 2012 | e-ISBN: 9780191741609 | DOI:

Series: Oxford Studies in Theoretical Linguistics

Feature‐Splitting Internal Merge: The Case of Tough‐constructions*

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This chapter seeks to shed new light on the formal properties of Merge. Chomsky's (2007, 2008) feature-inheritance system makes it possible that two heads such as T and C simultaneously attract a single element. Obata and Epstein (2008, 2011) propose a new kind of structure building operation called Feature-Splitting Internal Merge (FSIM): which splits a single element into two syntactic objects. FSIM gives a new derivational, agreement-based, phi-featural account of improper movement phenomena, some of which converge. The FSIM hypothesis is applied to other types of structure building with the proposal that as there are three kinds of T/C there are also three kinds of v/V (including one licensing null-Case). One consequence is that tough-constructions are, in fact, derivable by a kind of “proper” (i.e. convergent) improper movement derivation. In addition, the analysis implies that Case on a tough-subject is revised" in the course of the derivation.

Keywords: feature-splitting internal merge; feature-inheritance; improper movement; tough-constructions; null case objects; multiple case assignment

Chapter.  7456 words. 

Subjects: Linguistics

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