Lasnik (1999) has claimed that NegDPs in derived subject position cannot be interpreted in the embedded clause and do not undergo A-chain reconstruction. We show that with a well-defined set of predicates, including deontic modals and raising predicates, scope diminishment of NegDP is observed. We argue, nevertheless, that scope diminishment in these cases is not produced by A-chain reconstruction. We also show that A-chain reconstruction of the indefinite part is possible. We conclude that the claim that NegDP does not undergo reconstruction reduces to the observation that the negative ingredient cannot reconstruct, and we suggest why this should be so. If we are correct, the analysis removes an obstacle to the view that A-chains exhibit syntactic reconstruction.

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Author notes

Though all errors are our own, we have benefited from discussions with Alan Bale, Rajesh Bhatt, Jonathan Bobaljik, Noam Chomsky, Danny Fox, Kai von Fintel, Bob Frank, Jon Gajewski, Irene Heim, Larry Horn, Julia Horvath, Roni Katzir, Richard Kayne, Ezra Keshet, Richard Larson, Winnie Lechner, Anita Mittwoch, David Pesetsky, Omer Preminger, Raj Singh, Chris Tancredi, Gary Thoms, Raffaella Zanuttini, and Hedde Zeijlstra. We warmly thank our reviewers for carefully reading our paper and for their astute remarks and suggestions, from which we learned more about this topic.