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Spec-head Licensing: The scope of the theory

Agouraki, Yoryia; (1993) Spec-head Licensing: The scope of the theory. Doctoral thesis (Ph.D), UCL (University College London). Green open access

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This dissertation is a study of Spec-head Licensing within the Principles and Parameters framework. I examine Spec-head Licensing in three configurations, namely Polarity Item Licensing, Focussing and the Clitic-Construction. The language providing most of the data is Modern Greek (MG). I also discuss English and Romance data. In chapter II, I examine Existential Polarity Items (EPI's). I argue that there is a cluster of properties that can be attributed to propositional operators, the operators modifying the proposition in the philosopher's sense of the term. Namely, propositional operators license EPI's and give rise to inner island effects. The claim is advanced for MG and English. It is further suggested that there are interpretational differences between EPI anyone and someone. In chapter III, I consider properties of foci. I claim that the Focus-Criterion is different from the Wh-Criterion. It is also argued that foci always have scope over Neg. Finally, I present some evidence against Quantifier Raising. It is suggested that scope ambiguity between quantifiers is an epiphenomenon bearing crucially on the Focus-Criterion. In chapter IV, I look at the Clitic-Construction (CLC), the construction involving a DP and a matching clitic. I argue that the position occupied by the object DP in MG CLC is both an A- and A'-position. Clitic Doubling is claimed generally to involve syntactic verb-focussing. Complex Inversion in French is analysed as subject CLC. The parametrization of CLC is addressed next. MG has only object CLC while French has only subject CLC. I suggest that the presence versus absence of object CLC correlates with the Class 1 / Class 2 distinction of languages (Koopman and Sportiche (1991)). In chapter V, I attempt some generalizations on the previous discussion. The following seem to be the basic properties of Spec-head mechanisms: licensing of extraction, licensing of A-properties and licensing of operators.

Type: Thesis (Doctoral)
Qualification: Ph.D
Title: Spec-head Licensing: The scope of the theory
Open access status: An open access version is available from UCL Discovery
Language: English
Additional information: Thesis digitised by ProQuest.
Keywords: Language, literature and linguistics; Spec-head Licensing
URI: https://discovery.ucl.ac.uk/id/eprint/10104466
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