Chain Reduction via Substitution: Evidence from Mayan
Gesoel Mendes, Rodrigo Ranero
January 2021

We argue that deletion is not the only way that chain links created by A’-movement can be affected at PF. Chain links can also be substituted by a morpheme. This substitution delivers a linearizable output (in a manner parallel to deletion), creating overt "traces" on the surface. We demonstrate the virtues of our proposal through the empirical lens of adjunct extraction in two Mayan languages of the K’ichean branch: K’iche’ and Kaqchikel. In these languages, extraction of low adjuncts triggers the appearance of a verbal enclitic wi. The distribution of the enclitic upon long distance extraction shows that it must be analyzed as a surface reflex of substitution of a chain link. Our proposal provides evidence that movement proceeds successive cyclically and has two theoretical consequences: (i) C must be a phase (contra den Dikken 2009; 2017), (ii) v cannot be a phase (in line with Keine 2017).
Format: [ pdf ]
Reference: lingbuzz/004790
(please use that when you cite this article)
Published in: Glossa: a journal of general linguistics 6(1): 10. 1–31. DOI:
keywords: cyclic movement, chain reduction, linearization, phases, mayan, k’ichean, syntax
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