Composite A/A'-movement: Evidence from English tough-movement
Nicholas Longenbaugh
August 2017

On the basis of phrasal movement operations in Dinka, van Urk (2015) argues for a featural view of the A/A′-distinction, whereby the behavior of a given movement operation derives from the properties of the triggering features (φ and A′, respectively), rather than from the position movement targets. One direct consequence is that if both A- and A′-features trigger a movement operation in unison, it should show mixed A/A′-behavior. This prediction is borne out in Dinka, where C hosts both φ- and A′-features and triggers movement with both A- and A′-properties. In this article, I extend this result to English. First, I show that the distribution of φ and A′ features in English is such that v, but not English C, is a potential composite movement trigger. This limited possibility for composite movement, I then argue, suggests a novel solution to the longstanding puzzle of English tough-movement (TM). TM famously shows mixed A/A′-behavior that has long posed a challenge in the context of the traditional A/A′-dichotomy – it is long-distance and can cross over c-commanding DPs, yet it targets a case position and triggers φ-Agreement – and moreover behaves as if Spec(CP) is an inaccessible landing site – it is fully acceptable across control infinitives, which lack a phasal CP (Wurmbrand 2014), but degraded past finite CPs, which do not. Treating TM as a successive cyclic composite movement operation from Spec(vP)-to-Spec(vP) solves these and several other novel and well-known puzzles of TM.
Format: [ pdf ]
Reference: lingbuzz/003604
(please use that when you cite this article)
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keywords: tough movement, a/a'-distinction, composite movement, dinka, reconstruction, syntax
previous versions: v1 [August 2017]
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