Ā-probing for the closest DP
Kenyon Branan, Michael Yoshitaka Erlewine
May 2020
 

We consider the typology of attested Ā-extraction asymmetries between core argument DPs and its consequences for the nature of probing. In particular, we question whether an Ā-probe can be required to specifically target the closest accessible DP. Such an Ā-probe specification is part of the influential Aldridge 2004, 2008 analysis of syntactically ergative extraction restrictions, but has not been widely adopted outside of work on ergative languages. In a non-ergative language, we expect the availability of such a probe to result in a subject-only Ā-extraction restriction. We reassess the evidence from asymmetries in relativization, especially Keenan and Comrie 1977, and provide new, stronger evidence for the existence of Ā-extraction limited to the closest DP argument, in non-ergative languages. We conclude that Ā-probes indeed can be specified to target the closest accessible DP and discuss analytical choices for their implementation.
Format: [ pdf ]
Reference: lingbuzz/005211
(please use that when you cite this article)
Published in: submitted
keywords: extraction asymmetry, relativization, subjects, syntactic ergativity, probing, syntax
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