Canonical government and the specifier parameter: An ECP account of weak crossover
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Current analyses of weak crossover (WCO) focus on properties of the antecedent-variable binding relation (bijection) or of the variables themselves (homogeneity), or on the structural relation between the trace and pronoun involved (c-command). All of these theories fail in a significant case, that in which both bound positions are canonically governed. Here, there is frequently no WCO effect. This paper pursues a government-theoretic account, analyzing the presence or absence of the WCO effect in terms of an ECP which incorporates canonical government. The grammar in focus is that of Palauan, whose basic order is VOS. A principled distinction among SVO, VOS, and other grammars is provided by a specifier parameter, which sets the specifier position in relation to that of other constituents of the phrase and determines how specifiers are governed. The distribution of WCO effects follows from the interaction of the specifier parameter and canonical government.
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