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NP Movement

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					NP Movement

  Passives, Raising: When NPs are not
         in their theta positions.
Locality restriction on theta roles

• Leave
     agent
     i
     • Adrian left
     • Jo left her pencil
     • *it left (where it is an expletive)
• Must be in same clause
     • *[I want Bradleyi [that left]]
     • *Johni thinks [that left]
Locality Condition on Theta Roles


• Theta roles must be assigned within the
  clause same clause as the predicate that
  assigns them.
A Problem

• [Johni is likely [ to leave]].
• John is the subject of is likely.
• Is it theta marked by is likely????
  – NO! (cf. it is like that John left)
• It is theta marked by leave!!!
• But it isn’t in the same clause! Yikes!
is likely

  – [[That John will leave]j is likely ]
  – It is likely [that John will leave]j
     Proposition
          j

                                            No theta
                                           role on the
                                            subject of
  it is likely [CP that john will leave ]   ‘is likely’


                               
In the wrong place!

• John is likely to leave

• John is theta marked by leave, but appears
  in the subject position of is likely, in
  violation of the locality constraint.
• The NP [John] is displaced from its theta
  position.
    CP

    C’                                    John gets its theta role
C        TP                               in the specifier of the
Ø                                         lower TP, but moves to
               T’
                                          the specifier of the
         T          AP                    higher TP.
         is         A’
              A          CP
             likely      C’
                                               This is called Raising
                  C           TP
                  Ø
                      John          T’
                               to        VP

                                     leave
WHY???

• Well one thing we can observe, is the EPP
  holds. (the requirement that every sentence
  have a subject). The NP John moves to
  satisfy this requirement.
• This doesn’t account for examples like
  – *John is likely [that left].
Case Theory

• Case is a licenser. In order for the sentence
  to be grammatical, an NP must get case
  – Nominative case is assigned in the specifier of
    finite TP (note: FINITE)
  – Accusative case is assigned as the sister to the
    verb.
• These are the only two places you can get
  case
The Case Filter

• The case filter (a constraint that filters trees)
   – All NPs must be in case positions (spec,TP or
     sister to V)
                 CP

                 C’                            Finite: so can assign
            C         TP                       nominative case to John
             Ø
                           T’
moves to get
case in this          T         AP
position              is        A’
                           A         CP                   Non-Finite: NOT a
                       likely        C’                   case assigner
                               C          TP
                               Ø
                                   John         T’
                                          to         VP
            can’t get case here
                                                 leave
Raising vs. PRO

• John is likely to leave
• John is eager to leave
  – John gets a theta role from leave
  – John also gets a theta role from is eager!
    (agent)
  – Violation of Theta Criterion???
• John is eager [PRO to leave]
Summary of Raising
• Some NPs appear to be displaced from their
  theta assigners.
• This is caused by raising.
• Motivated by Case
     • non-finite Infl can’t assign case
     • NP moves to specifier of finite INFL
• Not all NP V [ ___ to leave] constructions
  are raising. Some involve PRO. it depends
  upon the theta properties of the main verb.
Passives

• Active
  [The linguist] kissed [the kitten]
    Agent                     theme

• Passive
  The kitten was kissed (by the linguist)
     Theme                       (agent)


     • Active has agent and patient.
     • Passive requires only a theme which is the subject
Passive Morphology

• The difference between passives and actives
  comes from the morphology. The addition
  of the passive morpheme seems to suppress
  the agent.

kiss                kiss+en (kissed)
  agent theme        theme
Passive Morphology

• The other thing the passive morphology
  does is suppress the verb’s ability to assign
  accusative case
       V’                   V’
  V         NP       V+en         NP
      Acc                   Acc
An Active

            CP                  assigned nom
        C     TP                case by finite T
        Ø
            NP T’
       agent
              T   VP
                   V’            assigned acc case
               V        NP       by verb
                        theme
     A passive

                      CP                       Moves to this
                    C   TP                     position
                    Ø
                             T’
                         T    VP
underlyingly empty due
to passive morpheme               V’            cannot be assigned
                         V+en           NP      accusative case
                                       theme
Passives: A summary

• The passive morpheme
     • Suppresses agent theta role
     • Suppresses V’s ability to assign accusative case
• The theme NP can’t get case from the
  passive verb, so it moves (to the specifier of
  TP, where it can get nominative case.)
NP Movement

• With both raising and passives, you are
  moving NPs, and in both situations you do
  this to get case on a caseless NP.
• This transformation is called “NP
  movement”
• The filter that forces NP movement is the
  case filter.

				
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posted:11/14/2010
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