Floating Quantifiers are Autonomous Phrases: A Movement Account
Eman Al-Khalaf
October 2018

Q-float is a phenomenon in which a quantifier is separated from the noun it associates with (The cookies were all eaten up). The phenomenon has received two major analyses: stranding and adjunction. The stranding analysis argues that the associate moves leftward out of a complex constituent that contains both it and the floating quantifier. The adjunction analysis considers floating quantifiers to be adverbial VP adjuncts. This paper investigates Q-float in Arabic and shows that neither of the existing accounts perfectly captures the facts. Building on a recent analysis of split topics in German (Ott 2015), the paper argues that a floating quantifier and its associate are merged in the same syntactic position as a set of autonomous phrases; the associate moves out of the set to allow the set to be labeled and integrated in the structure (e.g., Chomsky 2013). It will be shown that the account proposed captures many of the peculiarities of Q-float, among which are apparently two conflicting facts: the locality restrictions on floating quantifiers and, in many cases, the impossibility for the floating quantifier and the associate to have formed a continuous constituent at any stage of the derivation. The facts and analysis presented contribute to the debate on whether floating quantifiers mark the positions of lower copies of displaced NPs (NP traces in pre-minimalist terms).
Format: [ pdf ]
Reference: lingbuzz/004145
(please use that when you cite this article)
Published in: submitted
keywords: quantifier float, movement, symmetric merge, labeling, construct state, arabic
previous versions: v2 [July 2018]
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