Sentential subject constraint

From Glottopedia
Jump to: navigation, search
CAT This article needs proper categorization. You can help Glottopedia by categorizing it
Please do not remove this block until the problem is fixed.

Sentential Subject Constraint is one of the constraints on movement proposed by Ross (1967). It states that

No element dominated by an S may be moved out of that S if that S is dominated by an NP which itself is immediately dominated by S,

and is meant to capture the fact that categories cannot be moved out of a sentential subject.

Example

consider (i) and (ii), both containing a sentential subject (the for-clause and the that-clause respectively).

(i)  [for Haarhuis to beat Becker] is easy
(ii) [that Haarhuis beat Becker] pleased us

The Sentential Subject Constraint now correctly predicts that wh-movement of Becker out of the sentential subject leads to ungrammaticality:

(i')  *	Who is [for Haarhuis to beat t] easy?
(ii') *	Who did [that Haarhuis beat t] please us?

The Sentential Subject Constraint falls under the Subject condition of Huang's (1982) Condition on Extraction Domain.

Links

Utrecht Lexicon of Linguistics

References

  • Huang, James 1982. Move wh in a language without wh-movement, Linguistic review, 369-416
  • Ross, J.R. 1967. Constraints on variables in syntax, doctoral dissertation, MIT (published as 'Infinite syntax!' Ablex, Norwood (1986)).