Against intervention accounts of experiencer intervention in English tough-movement. Evidence from extraction of the tough-adjective
Martin Salzmann
August 2020

Recent work on English tough-movement (TM) has shown that the presence of an ex- periencer PP can lead to ungrammaticality (Hartmann 2011; Longenbaugh 2016, 2017; Keine & Poole 2017). There is disagreement though, what the ungrammaticality is due to. I will contribute to this debate by discussing empirical data whose importance has been overlooked, viz., extraction of the tough-predicate, optionally pied-piping the PP-experiencer. This shows that the configuration that is assumed to be blocked in-situ can arise after all. The facts thus argue against accounts in terms of syntactic or semantic intervention and create a new puzzle in that the presence of the experiencer seems to be limited to contexts where the adjective is extracted. I will show that the pattern can be made sense of by assuming (i) that certain null operator infinitives like in TM cannot be extraposed (Bruening 2014) and (ii) that the infinitival clause is merged as an external argument (Longenbaugh 2016). The tough-adjective thus first combines with the experiencer-PP. AP-movement is thus possible without pied-piping the infinitival subject. Without AP-movement, the infinitival clause would have to undergo extraposition to occur after adjective and experiencer PP. The restriction on experiencers in TM thus has nothing to do with inter-vention, but rather reduces to a constraint on extraposition and the structural relationship between the adjective and its arguments.
Format: [ pdf ]
Reference: lingbuzz/005395
(please use that when you cite this article)
Published in: To appear in Proceedings of the Annual Meeting of the Chicago Linguistic Society (CLS) 56
keywords: tough-movement, predication, intervention effects, movement paradox, english, argument structure, syntax
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