Introduction and Overview 1 Movement Transformations - nptel

Introduction and Overview 1 Movement Transformations - nptel

Introduction and Overview this chapter we discuss NP-movement, which plays a part in the derivation of passive sentences and raising structures. We ex...

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Introduction and Overview this chapter we discuss NP-movement, which plays a part in the derivation of passive sentences and raising structures. We examine the characteristics of NP movement and of the verbs that induce it. From our analysis it follows that each sentence is associated with two levels of syntactic representation: D­ structure and S-structure. The relation between these levels will be discussed in this chapter. In section 1 we give a general survey of movement transformations. In section 2 we concentrate on NP movement as instantiated in passive sen­ tences and in raising sentences. We discuss the arguments in favour of the assumption that a moved NP leaves a trace in its base position. We also discuss raising adjectives. Section 3 focuses on the verbs which induce NP­ raising. It will be argued that the case assigning properties of a verb depend on its argument structure. We discuss the distinction between two types of one-argument verbs: those with only an external argument ('intransitives') and those with only an internal argument ('unaccusatives'). In section 4 we examine the relation beween D-structure and S-structure and we discuss how the principles of grammar posited so far apply to these levels. In section 5 we consider the hypothesis that subject NPs are base-generated VP-intemally.

In

-

-

1

Movement Transformations

We have already touched upon the movement of constituents in interrogative and in passive sentences (d. chapters 2 and 3). In this section we give a general survey of the movement transformations posited so far.

1.1

<;.�:"



Passiviza·iion: Recapitulation

In chapter 3 we discussed the properties of passivization illustrated in (la):

hi This story is believed by the villagers. Ib The villagers believe this story.

Introduction to Government and Binding Theory

296

(la) contains the passive form of the verb

believe. Comparing

(la) with it�

active counterpart (lb), we see that the subject NP o f the passive sentence,

corresponds to the internal argument of the active verb. In chapter 3 we proposed that in both (la) and (lb) the NP this story is assigned the internal theta role by the verb. Internal theta roles are by definition assigned directly under government by the head. Hence, the NP this story in (la) ought to be assigned its theta role under government by the verb believe, exactly as in (lb). As it stands, believe obv iously does not govern the NP this story in (la). In order.to maintain the parallelism between (la) and (lb) and our hypo· thesis that internal theta roles are assigned directly by a governing head we deve10ped a movement anaJysis relating the patterns in (la) and (lb). We proposed that at some level of syntactic representation the NP this story IS the direct object of the verb believe:

this story,

2a

[IP e &. is [yp [V' believed [NP this story)) by the villagers]].

(2a) is called the D-structure of (la). It encodes the basic thematic relations in the sentence as determined by the argument structure of. the predicate, passive believed. In (la) the external theta role of believed is not assigned to an NP in the s ubject position, but it is assigned to an NP in a by-phrase. Because of the extended projection principle the subject position in (2a) is generated but is not filled by an argument NP. The empty subject position is indicated by the symbol e for 'empty'. In the D-structure (2a) the object NP this story is VP-internal and is assigned an internal theta role directly by the governing verb. In addition to the D-structure representation which reflects lexical proper­ ties, a sentence is associated with a second level of representation, S-structure. The S-structure of (la) is (2b): 2b

[IP This story; &. is [yp believed [eJJ by the villagers]].

t

I

NOMINATIVE

In (2b) the NP this story has been moved from the VP-internal position to the subject position of the sentence. This movement is called NP-movement. As a result of movement, the VP-internal D-structure position of this story is left vacant or empty: it is a gap represented provisionally bye. We turn to a discussion of such empty positions in section 2. The link between the gap

Transfonnations:

NP-movement

297

and the moved NP is indicated by coindexation. The coindexation encodes the derivational history of. the sentence. The word-order of (2a) is referred to as the underlying order. The S­ structure order in (2b) is called the derived order: it is an order which results from modifications of the D-structure. Similarly, the NP this story in (2b/la) is referred to as a derived subject: it is not a D-structure subject of the sentence (2a). The D-structure position of the NP, i.e. the object position, is called the base-position. We say that the NP this story is base-generated in the object position of the passive V believed. In our discussion in chapter 3 we derived the movement of the NP from the object position to the subject position from case theory. For some reason (to which we return in section 3) passive verbs do not assign structural case to their complements. If the NP this story were to stay in the object position, it would violate the case filter, as seen in (2c): 2c

"There is believed this story by the villagers.

In (2b), this story occupies the subject position, where it is assigned NOM­ INATIVE case by INFL. Our analysis implies that the case filter must apply at S-structure (2b). At the level of D-structure (2a) the NP this story is in its base-position where it cannot be assigned case. When discussing the syntactic structure of a sentence we shall from now on assume that there are two levels of syntactic representation: D-structure and S-structure. B.oth levels of representation encode syntactic properties of the sentence. D-structure encodes the predicate-argument relations and the thematic properties of the sentence. The S-structure representation accounts for the surface ordering of the constituents. We return to the relation between the two levels in section 4.

1.2

Questions

1.2.1

SURVEY

In thifsection �e briefly discuss the representation of the sentences in concentrating on the questions (3b)-(3f). 3a 3b 3c 3d

Lord Emsworth will invite Hercule Poirot. Will Lord Emsworth invite: liercule Poirot? Lord Emsworth will invitewHoin? Whom will Lord Emsworth invite?

(3),

Introduction to Government and Binding Theory

298

3e 3f

I I

wonder [whether Lord Emsworth will invite Hercule Poirot]. wonder [whom Lord Emsworth will invite].

(3a) is a declarative sentence. (3b) is a direct yes-no question (to be discussed (3c) is an echo question (to be discussed in 1.2.3), (3d) is a direct wh-question ·also referred to as a constituent question (to be discussed in 1.2.4). For completeness' sake (3e) and (3f) have been added. The bracketed strings in these examples are indirect questions: (3e) contains an indirect yes-no question; (3f) an indirect wh-question. Indirect questions will be discussed in chapter 7, where we return to a full discussion of questions. From (3a) we infer the argument structure of the verb invite: in 1.2.2),

4 invite:

verb !

2

(3a) the external argument of invite is realized by the NP Lord Emsworth and the internal argument is realized by the NP Hercule Poirot. The D­ structure of (3a) is given in tree diagram format in (5). The external argument of invite is syntactically represented by the NP in the subject position of the clause; the internal argument is syntactically represented by the direct object of the V, the NP dominated by V'.

In

Transformations: NP-movement 5

299

CP

I � �

C'

JP

C

NP

I'

� I

VP

[+ Tense]

V'

1\

V

Lord Emsworth

will

.NP

I�

invite

Hercule Poirot

The S-structure representation of example (3a) is given in (6). It does not differ substantially from its D-structure (5). Recall that S-structure is the level at which structural case is assigned: I assigns NOMINATIVE to the subject NP and the verb assigns ACCUSATIVE to the direct object NP.

300 6

Introduction to Government and Binding Theory CP

I �

C'

C

IP



NP

l'

IAvp [+ Tense]

I 1\ V'

V

NP

I�

will Lord Emsworth

invite

Hercule Poirot

A word of caution is in order at this point. We assume that ALL sentences have two levels of syntactic representation: D-structure and S-structure. In passive sentences such as (la) discussed above, the D-structure (2a) differs clearly from the S-structure (2b): a constituent has been moved. But, as indicated in (5) and (6), the difference between D-structure and S-structure may be minimal: in this example no movement has taken place and the two levels of representation will not differ in word-order.

1.2.2

YES-NO QUESTIONS

Questions such as (3b) are called yes-no questions for the obvious reason that one expects an answer such as 'Yes' or 'No'. Let us try to work out the syntactic representation of this question, bearing in mind that we need to consider both D-structure and S-structure.

Transformations: NP-movement

301

In chapter 2 we saw that sentences are projections of I which in turn are complements of C. Because they ar e always specified for tense we assume that modal auxiliaries like will are base generated in the position dominated by I, as illustrated in (5) and (6) above (cf. chapter 11). One potential problem for the representation of (3b) concerns the surface position of the modal auxiliary will, which in our example precedes the subject NP. We assume that the order exhibited in (3b) is not the underlying order of the sentence but a derived order, an order obtained as the result of moving an element. The D­ structure position of will in (3b) will be as in (7). Will is dominated by I, the position which it also occupies in (5): -

7

CP

I

C'



C

lP



NP

[+TenseJ

Lord Emsworth r

will

invite

Hercule Poirot

In our discussion in chapter 2 we proposed that the inverted order auxil­ iary - subject (cf. (3b) ) arises from the fact that the modal auxiliary has been moved out of the base-position, where it is dominated by I, to the vacant position dominated by C. Under this analysis, the S-structure of (3b) is as in (8).

Introduction to Government and Binding Theory

302 8

CP

I

C'

r-----

C

IP

�I'

NP

A

I [+ Tense]

VP

I

V'

/\

V

Lord

Emsworth

ek

NP

invite

In (8) the gap resulting from moving willk is indicated by ek. The link between the position vacated by will and the moved element is again indicated b y coindexation. We discuss verb movement in chapter 11.

1.2.3

ECHO QUESTIONS

(3c) is .an echo question. It will be used as a reaction to a sentence such as (3a) by a speaker who w ishe s the interlocutor to repeat (part of) (3a). Echo questions are formed by simply substituting a question word (here whom) for a constituent. Interrogative constituents such as whom are called wh-con­ stituents. Whom realizes the internal argument of invite. The D-structure of (3 c) is as follows:

9

(cP hp Lord Emsworth will [yp invite Cm whom1]])?

Given that there is no reordering of constituents in echo questions the S­ structure of (3c) will be like its D-structure:

10

[cp (.p Lord Emsworth will [yp invite Cm whoml111?

Transformations: NP-movement 1 .2.4

303

WH-QUESTlONS

Finally we turn to (3d), a wh-question. Unlike echo questions, which are used in the rather specific circumstances discussed above, ordinary wh-questions are freely used when a speaker needs some information. The wh-constituent whom questions one constituent. To (3d) one might expect answers such as" Hercule Poirot', 'Lord Peter Wimsey', 'Bertie Wooster', 'his mother-in-law', etc. Let us again try to provide the D-structure and the S-structure representations of (3d). The first question that we need to address here is how the arguments of invite are realized. As was the case in the preceding examples, the external argument is realized by the NP Lord Emsworth. By analogy with (3c) we would like to say that the internal argument of invite is the NP whom. Two problems arise with respect to the internal argument NP. If internal theta roles are assigned directly under government, then, like (la), (3d) raises the question of how invite assigns a theta tole to whom, which it plainly does not govern. A second and related question concerns the form of whom. It is an ACCUSATIVE case. In chapter 3 we argued that ACCUSATIVE case is assigned at S-structure by a governing verb. The D-structure of (3d) is no different from the D-structure of the echo question (3c) discussed in 1 .2.3: 11

la lIP Lord Emsworth

will

[VI' invite [NP whom1)]] ?

At S-structure we assume that, as is the case in (3b), the modal will in (3d) is moved to the position dominated by C. As discussed in chapter 2, we further assume that whom is moved to the specifier position immediately dominated by CP, [Spec, CPl . The symbol e; indicates the position vacated by whom;. Coi�dexation establishes the link between e and the moved con­ stituent. Movement of question words is referred to as wh-movement.

Introduction to Government and Binding Theory

304 12

Cll

/1 �

Spec

C'

C

IP



NP

I'

/\

VP

I +TenseJ

I /\ I I V'

Whom; willk

Lord Emsworth

ek

V

NP

i n v i te

e;

The problems raised concerning the theta-marking and case-marking of

whom can now be solved. We will assume that the verb invite assigns its internal theta role to the VP-internal position ej and that it also assigns ACCUSATIVE to this position. In chapter 7 we return in detail to the prop­ erties of wh-movement.

1.3

Syntactic Representations

Throughout the discussion in this chapter we have been assuming that sen­ tences have two levels of syntactic representation: (i)

D-structure

This level encodes the lexical properties of the constituents of the sen­ tence. It represents the basic argument relations in the sentence. External arguments are base-generated in the subject position relative to their

Transformations: NP-movement

305

predicate;' internal arguments are governed by the predicate in their base-position. (ii)

S-structure

This level reflects the more superficial properties of the sentence: the actual ordering of the elements in the surface string, and their case forms.

The two levels of syntactic representation are related to each other by means of movement transformations: elements which originate in some position at D-structure may be moved elsewhere at S-structure. Schematically our grammar thus looks as follows: 13

D-structure

Movement

transformations

S-structure Section 4 considers . the relation between D-structure and S-structure in more detail. In the discussion above, we have distinguished three types of movement: (i) head-movement: the movement of auxiliaries from I to C; (ii) wh-movement: the movement of wh-constituents to the specifier of CP (or [Spec, CP)); and (ill) NP-movement: the movement associated with passive in which an NP is moved to an empty subject position.2 In this chapter we discuss NP-move­ ment in more detail. In chapter 7 we turn to wh-movement. Head-movement is discussed in chapters 1 1 and 12. Even at this preliminary stage of the discussion the reader can see that the thr��,types of movement have a lot in common. In each of the movements .

.

r I 2

See section 5 for an alternative analysis of the. NP in the canonical subject position, though. For different proposals concerning the levels of representation see for instance van Riemsdijk and Williams (1981), who posit a level between D-structure and S­ stt:ucture, Zubizarreta (1987),- who introduces a level of lexical structure; and Beody ( 1993b) and Koster (1987), who argue that only one level of representation is needed. Chomsky ( 1992) proposes a different approach to phrase structure.

306

Introduction to Government and Binding Theory

you take an element and move it somewhere else. In the literature this op­ eration is often referred to in general terms as 'move-a;', move alpha, that is 'move something'. The types of movements discussed can be differentiated on the basis of the element which is moved, and on the basis of the landing site, the position to which an element moves. Either we move a head of a pro­ jection to another head position: in (3 b) and in (3d) will, the head of lP, moves to C, the head of CP. Alternatively, a maximal projection is moved, as illustrated by NP-movement in (l a) and by wh-movement in (3d). Chomsky (1986b) argues that in fact movement must be restricted to just these types: either we move a head or we move a full phrase. We discuss landing sites of movement in the following chapters. ,

2

NP-movement

In this section we consider the mechanisms of NP-movement, concentrating mainly on the position v�cated by movement: the trace (2.2). NP-movement is triggered not only by passive verbs but also by so called ra is ing verbs (2. 1) and by raising adjectives (2.3). -

2. 1

Introduction: Passive and Raising

As a starting point let us consider the syntactic representations of passive sentences: 14a This story was believed by the villagers. 14b Poirot was believed to have destroyed the evidence.

We have already discussed (14a) . The D-structure of ( 14a) is given in (15a) and the S-structure in (lSb): ISa [IP e lr was [vp believed [NP this story] by the villagers]]}]. ISb [IP lNP This story;] [(' was [vp believed rei] by the villagers]]]. In (1 Sa) the NP this story is theta-marked directly by the verb believed. The subj ect position is empty since passive verbs do not assign an external theta role. In ( 1 5b) this story is moved to the subject position and case-marktd by the finite inflection.

Transformations: NP-movement

307

Let us consider (14b) which also contains passive believed. (14b) can be paraphrased by means of (16): It was believed [cp that Lr Poirot had destroyed the evidence]].

16

In (16) the subject position of the main clause is occupied by an expletive, it, which is not assigned a theta role. Passive believed takes a sentential com­ plement (the bracketed CP) as its internal argument. Inside the subordinate clause, the verb destroy assigns an internal theta role to the NP the evidence and the NP Poirot is the external argument which is assigned the AGENT role: 'Poirot is the person who is engaged in the activity of destroying.' Note specifically that the verb in the main clause, believed, does not have a thematic relation with Poirot, the subject of the subordinate clause. The thematic relations in ( 14b) are identical to those in (16). Believed takes as its internal argument a clausal . complement, here infinitival. Poirot, the surface subject of the main clause, has a thematic relation (AGENT) with the predicate destroy in the lower infinitival clause. Again, Poirot has no thematic relationship with believed. We conclude that in (14b) Poirot is a derived subject which is assigned the external theta role of the lower verb destroy. On this assumption, the D-structure of ( 14b) will be ( 1 7a), where Poirot is base-generated as the subject NP of the infinitival clause:

[IP e b· was [vp believed Lr Poirot to have destroyed the evidence]]]].

1 7a

Believed directly theta-marks the lower IP. Poirot is the external argument of destroy, the predicate of the lower infinitival clause. Believed, being passive, fails to assjgn structural case. If the NP Poirot were left in the subject po­ sition of the lower clause at S-structure it would not be case-marked. This explains the ungrammaticality of (17b) and (17c): 1 7b " It was beliC'led this story. 17c " . "It was believed Poirot to have destroyed the evidence . •

c�,,:·



r

A way of enabling the NP Poirot to pass the case filter in (17a) is by moving it from the subject position of the lower clause to the subject position of the higher clause, leaving a coindexed gap: 1 7d

Lr Poirotj £r was [vp believed [IP ej to have destroyed the evidence]]]].

308

Introduction to Government and Binding Theory

Consider now ( 1 8). The relation between ( 1 8a) and ( 1 8b) parallel to the relation between ( 16) and (14b).

IS

exactly

18a It seems [that [Poirot has destroyed the evidence]]. 1 8b Poirot seems to have destroyed the evidence. ( 1 8a) shows that seem is like passive believe: it is a one-place predicate which takes a clausal complement. The subject position is not assigned a theta role and it is filled by the expletive it. We infer from ( 1 8a) that the thematic structure of seem is ( 18c):3 1 8c seem: V

In the complement clause, the NP Poirot in (18a) is the external argument of

destroy.

The thematic relations in (1 8b) are identical to those in ( 1 8a). Again seem has the argument structure in ( 1 8c). The NP Poirot is the external argument of destroy. At D-structure Poirot is the subject of destroy, and the subject position of seem, which receives no theta role, is empty. ( 1 9a) is parallel to (17a) the underlying structure of ( 14b). 19a [IP e seems [IP Poirot to have destroyed the evidence]] . Apart from its argument structure, seem shares another property with passive believe: it cannot assign structural case: 1 9b *It/*There seems Poirot to have destroyed the evidence. (19b) is ungrammatical for the same reason that (17b) is ungrammatical: the external argument of the verb destroy is caseless. In order to be able to be 3

To indicate that 1 is an internal argument it is not underlined. Recall that we adopted the convention that the external argument is underlined.

Transformations: NP-movement

309

theta-marked by destroy the NP must be visible, and in order to be visible Poirot needs to be case-marked. Movement to the subject position of the main clause brings rescue. ( 19c) is the S-structure representation of ( l Sb): Poirot is a derived subject. ( 1 9c) is again parallel to ( 1 7c). 19c

[IP Poirot; [I' -s [vp seem [IP e; to have destroyed the evidence])]).

(19c) is another example of NP-movement. Because the su bject of the lower clause is raised out of the clause and moved into a higher clause, this movement is sometimes referred to as NP-raising or raising. Verbs such as seem which induce raising are called raising verbs.4

2.2

Traces

We have now discussed three examples of NP-movement. The relevant · S­ structures are given in (20):

20a [IP This story; &' was [vp believed [eJ by the villagers])]. 20b [IP Poirot; [I' was [vp believed lIP [e;) to have destroyed the evidence)])]. 20c [IP Poirot; [I' -s [vp seem lIP [e;) to have destroyed the evidence)])]. In each of these examples we assume that there is a null element in the position vacated by the NP. Coindexation is used to indicate that the null element and the NP in the matrix subject position are linked. In chapter 3 we introduced the term chain to refer to this link and we shall return to this notion in 4.6. An empty category which encodes the base-position of a moved constituent is referred to as a trace land will be indicated from now on by t: , . . .

21a lIP This story; [I' was [vp believed 1:; by everyone])]. 21b lIP Poirot; lr was [vp believed lIP 1:; to have destroyed the evidence]))). 21c lIP Poirot; &' -s [vp seem lIP 1:; to have destroyed the evidence)])]. The moved element is called the antecedent of the trace. In the remainder of this section rwe go through the arguments for positing traces in syntactic representations. s 4

S

For an early discussion of raising, see Postal (1974). The reader will no doubt observe that the argumentation used in 2.2 is similar to that used to justify the presence of PRO in chapter 5, section 1. However, note that PRO does not result from movement. We return to a comparison of PRO and trace in section 4.6 and in chapter 8. ·