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Title:Wh-Islands: A View from Correspondence Theory
Authors:Ralf Vogel
Comment:To appear in: Modeling Ungrammaticality in Optimality Theory, edited by Curt Rice, Equinox Publishings.
Abstract:This paper discusses a family of restrictions on syntactic extraction, so-called wh-islands. The analysis will be based on the OT syntax model developed in Vogel (2004a,b) which focuses on the correspondence between semantic, syntactic and phonological representations, in the spirit of work by Jackendoff (1997), Williams (2003) and Culicover & Jackendoff (2005). I will argue that the wh-island restriction results from the impossibility to establish a perfect semantics-syntax mapping in the relevant structures. The resulting constraint violations add up to yield the wh-island effect. Exceptions to the wh-island restrictions in English are argued to be prosodically licensed.

Section 2 introduces the model I am using, and presents examples of some accounts of ineffability which I developed elsewhere. That section also introduces the basics of my treatment of wh-movement. Section 3 develops the account of wh-islands. Section 4 discusses the exceptions to the wh-island restriction that we see in English, and extends my account to handle these cases. The OT implementation of this account is presented in Section 5.
Type:Paper/tech report
Article:Version 1