Abstract

This article describes and analyzes possessor extraction (PE) in English, a restricted possibility in the colloquial language of some speakers. I argue that the complexities of this phenomenon reveal evidence for the Cyclic Linearization theory of Spell-Out (e.g., Fox and Pesetsky 2005), which constrains English PE by interacting with a (phase-level) requirement to keep the possessor and the possessive D adjacent at PF (e.g., Gavruseva and Thornton 2001). These factors prevent such PE from succeeding unless the possessum is stranded in a clause edge, among other restrictions. This analysis entails the nonphasehood of DP, clarifies the derivation of that’s-relatives, reveals some linearization constraints on stranding, and suggests that expletive there originates in vP.

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