More on (the lack of) reconstruction in tough-constructions
Ethan Poole, Stefan Keine, Jon Ander Mendia
October 2017

This squib contributes to the debate about reconstruction in tough-constructions by presenting novel evidence that the tough-subject cannot reconstruct. We first consider an observation by Longenbaugh (2015), who notes that reconstruction appears to be possible with comparative quantifiers, calling into question the well-established generalization that the tough-subject cannot reconstruct. We argue that, despite appearances, comparative quantifiers do not provide evidence for reconstruction, and in fact offer new evidence against it. We then provide another argument against reconstruction in tough-constructions based on special syntactic positions that independently require reconstruction. The picture that emerges is thus remarkably cohesive in that a considerable range of disparate evidence converges on the anti-reconstruction property of tough-constructions. We then consider some of the theoretical consequences of this conclusion and argue that the available evidence supports the base-generation analysis of tough-constructions over movement accounts. Specifically, we present arguments against Fleisher's (2013) suggestion that anti-reconstruction also follows from Hicks' (2009) smuggling version of the movement account.
Format: [ pdf ]
Reference: lingbuzz/003702
(please use that when you cite this article)
Published in: submitted
keywords: tough-constructions, reconstruction, comparative quantifiers, smuggling, semantics, syntax
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