# 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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