Relative Clause and Wh-movement Universals

John A. Hawkins

in Efficiency and Complexity in Grammars

Published in print November 2004 | ISBN: 9780199252695
Published online January 2010 | e-ISBN: 9780191719301 | DOI:
Relative Clause and Wh-movement Universals

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This chapter is concerned with relative clauses and wh-movement structures across languages, which is examined from the perspective of Minimize Domains, Minimize Forms, and Maximize On-line Processing. The chapter is organized as follows. Section 7.1 introduces background assumptions and details. Section 7.2 examines the Keenan–Comrie Accessibility Hierarchy from the perspective of MiD and MiF. Section 7.3 links the wh-fronting option to basic word order types, specifically to verb position, and accounts for the quantitative regularities in terms of MiD. In Section 7.4 numerous other increasing complexity hierarchies are proposed and tested, derived from MiD and MiF. Section 7.5 examines MaOP effects in wh-questions and relative clauses. Section 7.6 summarizes some apparent grammatical mysteries that make sense from a processing perspective, such as the ‘that-trace’ effect in English and subjacency violations in Japanese.

Keywords: grammar; relative clauses; Minimize Domains; Minimize Forms; Maximize On-line Processing; Keenan–Comrie Accessibility Hierarchy; complexity hierarchies

Chapter.  21062 words.  Illustrated.

Subjects: Grammar, Syntax and Morphology

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