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Floating Quantifiers and English VP-Structure

Janke, Vikki, Neeleman, A. (2005) Floating Quantifiers and English VP-Structure. Ms., University College London, . pp. 1-32. (Unpublished)

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Abstract

In this paper we argue that English allows both traditional left-branching VPs and right-branching VP-shell structures (as first proposed in Larson 1988a, 1990). The choice between these depends on case theory and economy. Case theory triggers VP-shell formation whenever the verb is merged with a DP-object after it has been merged with some other category. The reason is that VP-shell formation allows verb and object to surface in adjacent positions, which is a prerequisite for case checking in English. Economy has the effect that in all other circumstances, VP-shell formation is blocked. We show that this proposal correctly regulates word order in transitive and ditransitive VPs, as well as in VPs that contain a particle. However, the main independent evidence we present comes from object-oriented floating quantifiers, whose distribution is limited to VP-shell structures. In developing this argument, we will propose an analysis of floating quantifiers as anaphoric adverbials. We will also compare this analysis with alternatives according to which floating quantifiers are stranded by movement.

Item Type: Article
Uncontrolled keywords: Floating quantifiers, VP-shells, case checking, NP-raising.
Subjects: P Language and Literature > P Philology. Linguistics
Divisions: Faculties > Humanities > School of European Culture and Languages > English Language and Linguistics
Depositing User: Vikki Janke
Date Deposited: 20 Jul 2017 08:30 UTC
Last Modified: 29 May 2019 19:13 UTC
Resource URI: https://kar.kent.ac.uk/id/eprint/62330 (The current URI for this page, for reference purposes)
Janke, Vikki: https://orcid.org/0000-0003-1149-6999
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