The Morpho-Syntactic Significance of the Unextractability of English Possessive Pronouns
Colin Davis
October 2021

This paper examines a constraint on possessor extraction in English. Such extraction has been observed to be acceptable in the colloquial language of some speakers. However, this paper shows that extraction of possessive pronouns via topic/focus fronting is uniquely banned. I argue that this syntactic fact, as well as certain morphological facts about English possessors, are correctly predicted by the hypothesis that English possessive pronouns are portmanteau morphemes that correspond to a non-constituent unit in the underlying syntax. I also argue that this result reveals that phase spell-out simultaneously subjects entire phases to morpho-phonological evaluation, including phase edges.
Format: [ pdf ]
Reference: lingbuzz/006212
(please use that when you cite this article)
Published in: Draft, comments welcome
keywords: syntax, morphology, possession, extraction, portmanteau, phases, morphology, syntax
previous versions: v2 [September 2021]
v1 [September 2021]
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