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THE SPECIFICITY/NON-SPECIFICITY DISTINCTION AND SCRAMBLING THEORY

Dae-Bin Kim

Ph.D. Dissertation, 1992

Abstract

The goal of this dissertation is to provide a uniform account of scrambling in natural languages within GB frameworks. This thesis argues that the account of scrambling should be based on empirical considerations associated with the specificity/non-specificity distinction and object positions in the theory of syntax. In the first chapter, it is suggested that specifics differs from non-specifics not only in their internal structures but also in their syntactic representations. Indefinite specifics, for example, pattern with Type B NPs that allow scrambling while indefinite non-specifics pattern with Type C NPs that allow split-scrambling. It is also observed that the constituent extracted from non-specifics is attached to accusative Case. Furthermore, non-specifics do not allow strong determiner, specific adverbials, relative clause, scrambling, or plural morpheme. In the second chapter, it is proposed that specific NPs are assigned overt Case in Specifier of $/mu$P while non-specific NPs are assigned abstract Case in Specifier of VP. The consequence is that specific NPs with overt accusative Case are forced to appear VP-external at S-structure. It is also argued that extraction is allowed to pass only through Specifier of $/mu$P. Otherwise, it violates either the ECP or Subjacency. In the final chapter, the consequences of the specificity/non-specificity distinction are exploited to account for the nature of scrambling. Scrambling is classified into 'subject crossing' and 'sentence internal.' It is suggested that 'subject crossing' scrambling is subject to reconstruction, which has the effect of pronominalizing an r-expression. The Binding condition applies after reconstruction. 'Sentence internal' scrambling, on the other hand, shows the binding relations and therefore no reconstruction effect. It is thus concluded that 'subject crossing' scrambling as an optional operation is derived from S-structure to Post S-structure, so it should not change the basic (S-structure) word order.

 
 
Department of Linguistics University of Wisconsin-Madison

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