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Subjacency and S-structure movement of wh-in-situ


This paper argues that wh-in-situ in Japanese in fact involves S-structure movement of an invisible entity and therefore that the Subjacency effects discovered and used as evidence for LF Subjacency by Nishigauchi (1986, 1990) and Pesetsky (1987) are due to this S-structure movement. This conclusion is forced on us by the facts that (1) in multiple questions where one of the wh-phrases is inside an island and the other is outside of it, there are no Subjacency effects, contrary to the expectation of the LF Subjacency hypothesis, and that (2) an indirect question constitutes a wh-island for overt movement even though the visible part of the wh-phrase is still in-situ at S-structure.

The research reported here was partially supported by a Fullbright fellowship.

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I would like to express thanks to Noam Chomsky and David Pesetsky for extensive discussions, suggestions, and comments, to Lisa Cheng, Irene Heim, Hiroaki Tada, and Ken Wexler for discussions, and Tohru Noguchi, Mamoru Saito, and Hiroyuki Ura for comments. Comments by two JEAL reviewers on an earlier version contributed to improvement at various points. I am also grateful to Jun Abe, Tom Green, Jim Huang, Doug Jones, Hisatsugu Kitahara, Miyori Kubo, Toshifusa Oka, Chris Tancredi, Saeko Urushibara, and Sigal Uziel for discussions and/or judgments. I have also benefited from the audience at the GB syntax workshop at the 1991 LSA Linguistic Institute at UC Santa Cruz and a presentation at the Japanese workshop at MIT in 1991, where portions of this work were presented. The usual disclaimers apply.

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Watanabe, A. Subjacency and S-structure movement of wh-in-situ. J East Asian Linguis 1, 255–291 (1992). https://doi.org/10.1007/BF00130554

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  • Visible Part
  • Theoretical Language
  • Multiple Question
  • Overt Movement
  • Indirect Question