Fragment answers and movement

A superlative argument

DOI: 10.1007/s11049-017-9369-9

Cite this article as:
Shen, Z. Nat Lang Linguist Theory (2017). doi:10.1007/s11049-017-9369-9


The nature of fragment answers has been under debate for the past 40 years. Most of the arguments have focused on the mobility and island-(in)sensitivity of the fragments. This paper offers a new empirical domain of investigation: interpretative differences between fragment answers and their full sentence counterparts. I present data regarding an interpretation of superlative expressions that is available only with overt movement but not covert movement, and show that fragment answers allow the reading while their full sentence counterparts do not. Thus I argue that in some cases fragment answers must involve movement in the narrow syntax. Approaches to fragment answers that exclusively involve PF movement of the fragments or in situ fragment answers are challenged.


Fragment answers Superlatives Movement 

Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media Dordrecht 2017

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Department of LinguisticsUniversity of ConnecticutStorrsUSA

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