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EALing 2008

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Freezing and the Delimitation of Movement
Luigi Rizzi (Univ. di Siena)

24 septembre 2008

Program: A comprehensive formal theory of movement must include:
1. Locality principles, determining the maximal structural space which movement can cover;
2. Delimiting principles, determining under what conditions movement can start and must stop.
In this talk, I will give a general overview of the issues, and then focus on delimiting principles, with special reference to the cases which force a movement chain to stop and pass the representation on to the interpretive systems. Argumental and Criterial (scope-discourse) positions are natural "delimiting" points for movement. I will look in some detail at the effects of a particular kind of delimiting principle, Criterial Freezing, terminating a chain as soon as a criterial position is reached. A system based on the criterial freezing idea will be illustrated, and will be used to offer a unitary explanation of several different cases in which movement fails: unmovability of wh-phrases from indirect questions, unmovability of subjects in various environments, etc. Various kinds of strategies that natural languages use for circumventing the freezing effects will be discussed and illustrated. In the last part of the talk I will look at the cleft construction, which seems to raise a significant challenge to the freezing approach, in that the clefted constituent can apparently continue to move (who is it _ that you met _?). I will show that some surprising properties of this kind of "extra movement" from clefts (e.g., in terms of selective sensitivity to weak islands) are naturally amenable to the freezing approach.
1/ September 24, 2008 at 10:30 am,
2/ September 25, 2008 at 6:30 pm.

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Luigi Rizzi Luigi Rizzi (Univ. di Siena)
Luigi Rizzi is professor at the Università di Siena.

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