Probing for the closest DP: a reply to Branan et al. 2022
Elise Newman
January 2023

In their 2022 paper "A-bar-probing for the closest DP", Branan and Erlewine argue for the existence of an A-bar probe that can only be satisfied if its goal is the closest DP. The motivation for such a probe comes from a series of relativization strategies in several languages which appear to only target the highest DP in the clause. In this reply, I argue that their data only motivate the existence of probes that attract the closest DP -- their data fail canonical diagnostics for A-bar movement, suggesting that we should eliminate A-bar from the description. As such, I suggest that the descriptive label "relative clause" applies to both A- and A-bar constructions, where independent diagnostics are needed to distinguish each case.
Format: [ pdf ]
Reference: lingbuzz/006895
(please use that when you cite this article)
Published in: To appear in Linguistic Inquiry
keywords: relative clauses, a-bar movement, a-movement, probes, syntax
previous versions: v1 [October 2022]
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