I identify an empirical limitation in Chomsky’s (2013, 2015) labeling theory and propose a theoretical modification that solves that problem. Chomsky argues that a labeling indeterminacy blocks movement of wh-subjects from Spec,TP into Spec,CP. However, I give evidence that wh-subjects can move from Spec,TP to Spec,CP. To solve the labeling problem, I propose (a) that labeling applies to the transferred constituent (normally the phase head complement), rather than the full phase, and (b) that labeling can be delayed by one application of Transfer. This proposal preserves core aspects of labeling theory, without requiring a costly complementizer deletion operation for wh-subject extraction.
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December 15 2022
The Position of Wh-Subjects in Labeling Theory
In Special Collection: CogNet
Online ISSN: 1530-9150
Print ISSN: 0024-3892
© 2022 by the Massachusetts Institute of Technology
Massachusetts Institute of Technology
Linguistic Inquiry 1–16.
Andrew McInnerney; The Position of Wh-Subjects in Labeling Theory. Linguistic Inquiry 2022; doi: https://doi.org/10.1162/ling_a_00470
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