Generalized Asymmetry
Zeljko Boskovic
November 2020

The paper argues for a Maximize Asymmetric Relations preference (MAR) as a general property of the language faculty. A number of mechanisms and phenomena are unified from this perspective, with their reason for existence traced back to MAR, in particular, the diachronic loss of specifiers, their avoidance in language acquisition, the LCA, the Phase Impenetrability Condition, the no-Spec-without-complement aspect of Bare Phrase Structure, the rarity of multiple Spec construction (as with, e.g. multiple wh-fronting), and the who left effect (where subject wh-movement cannot proceed through SpecTP). MAR is also shown to favor approaches where movement is moving-element driven over those where movement is target-driven, as well as Bare Phrase structure building over GB structure building.
Format: [ pdf ]
Reference: lingbuzz/004711
(please use that when you cite this article)
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keywords: specifiers, phase impenetrability condition, bare phrase structure, diachronic change, wh-movement, lca, syntax
previous versions: v2 [January 2020]
v1 [August 2019]
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