Focus association by movement: Evidence from Tanglewood
Michael Yoshitaka Erlewine, Hadas Kotek
January 2017

We argue for the existence of covert focus movement in English focus association. Our evidence comes from Tanglewood configurations of the form in Kratzer 1991. We show that Tanglewood configurations are sensitive to syntactic islands, contrary to Kratzer’s claims and predictions. We propose that Tanglewood configurations always involve covert movement of the focused constituent—possibly with covert pied-piping (Drubig 1994; Krifka 1996, 2006; Tancredi 1997, 2004; Wagner 2006; Erlewine and Kotek 2014)—to bind a bound variable in the ellipsis site. This availability of covert pied-piping explains examples such as Kratzer’s which are apparently not island-sensitive. We show that covert focus movement is long-distance and not simply QR. Kratzer’s proposal that ellipsis enforces the identity of focus indices and many other previous approaches are shown to overgenerate Tanglewood readings.
Format: [ pdf ]
Reference: lingbuzz/003068
(please use that when you cite this article)
Published in: Linguistic Inquiry 49:3, pages 441–463, 2018
keywords: association with focus, covert focus movement, covert pied-piping, island-sensitivity, variable binding, only, semantics, syntax
previous versions: v1 [July 2016]
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