An Argument for Zwart’s Merge. Quotation as a Challenge for Feature-Driven Phases.
Jan Wiślicki
January 2018

The present paper discusses the problem of deriving quotational expressions (QEs) – a relatively unexplored field in the generative tradition – in the context of phase theory. QEs are taken to be built within the Narrow Syntax. While this fact is empirically well-motivated, it turns out to be conceptually problematic for the feature-driven derivation proceeding by phases. Empirical data show that QEs represent a unique mixture of conflicting properties. On the one hand, they must be interpretable as both atomic and not. This extends to two readings of the embedding of enquotation, which are argued to follow from recursive and iterative interpretation. On the other hand, having no limits in length and scope, QEs are more challenging from other non-compositional chunks from the point of view of phases. I argue that these effects unearth an important conceptual contrast. While they pose certain problems for the Minimalist approach, they naturally follow from the account of Narrow Syntax proposed by Jan-Wouter Zwart. In this regard the gap in applicability of each account to the discussed phenomenon sheds new light on the role of features in phase theory.
Format: [ pdf ]
Reference: lingbuzz/003399
(please use that when you cite this article)
Published in: Accepted for publication in The Linguistic Review
keywords: quotation, quotes, enquotation, phases, zwart, top-down derivation, split merge, syntax
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