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Ways of Structure Building$
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Myriam Uribe-Etxebarria and Vidal Valmala

Print publication date: 2012

Print ISBN-13: 9780199644933

Published to Oxford Scholarship Online: September 2012

DOI: 10.1093/acprof:oso/9780199644933.001.0001

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Feature‐Splitting Internal Merge: The Case of Tough‐constructions *

Feature‐Splitting Internal Merge: The Case of Tough‐constructions *

(p.366) 15 Feature‐Splitting Internal Merge: The Case of Tough‐constructions*
Ways of Structure Building

Miki Obata

Samuel David Epstein

Oxford University Press

This chapter seeks to shed new light on the formal properties of Merge. Chomsky's (2007, 2008) feature-inheritance system makes it possible that two heads such as T and C simultaneously attract a single element. Obata and Epstein (2008, 2011) propose a new kind of structure building operation called Feature-Splitting Internal Merge (FSIM): which splits a single element into two syntactic objects. FSIM gives a new derivational, agreement-based, phi-featural account of improper movement phenomena, some of which converge. The FSIM hypothesis is applied to other types of structure building with the proposal that as there are three kinds of T/C there are also three kinds of v/V (including one licensing null-Case). One consequence is that tough-constructions are, in fact, derivable by a kind of “proper” (i.e. convergent) improper movement derivation. In addition, the analysis implies that Case on a tough-subject is revised" in the course of the derivation.

Keywords:   feature-splitting internal merge, feature-inheritance, improper movement, tough-constructions, null case objects, multiple case assignment

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