That-trace effects are yet to be explained away: challenges for prosody-based accounts
Luis Miguel Toquero-PĂ©rez
November 2020

That-trace effects in English have been treated as violations of prosodic wellformedness conditions (Kandybowicz 2006a; Sato & Dobashi 20160): the C head and the trace cannot be parsed in the same prosodic phrase. Satisfying this condition allows for amelioration effects induced by sentitial adverbs and narrow focus on the embedded verb. However, I argue that a [C t] prosodic parse should never be predicted since it goes against the Lexical Category Conditon (Truckenbrodt 1999) or Prosodic Vacuity (Kandybowicz 2015): function words always require a (lexical) host in the Phonological Phrase they belong to. On the one hand, I provide a set of empirical arguments based on the phrasing of subject pronouns and relative clauses, and the availability of certain phonological processes. Besides, I question the application of the focus rules and their corresponding phrasing to get the desired amelioration. On the other, I question the assumption that traces are important for the system of prosodic phrasing. In fact, the system should not have access to traces at all assuming if occurs late at PF after Vocabulary Insertion.
Format: [ pdf ]
Reference: lingbuzz/005548
(please use that when you cite this article)
Published in: Nowhere! Comments welcomed
keywords: that-trace effects; syntax-prosody; prosodic vacuity; relative clauses; narrow focus, syntax, phonology
previous versions: v1 [November 2020]
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