EPP effects in the prepositional domain and beyond
Daniel Greeson
July 2024
 

This paper presents novel data from English, Romance and Dravidian to support a broad cross-linguistic generalization regarding optionally covert prepositions (or ‘preposition drop’): spellout of an (otherwise optional) preposition or case ending (K) is obligatory if KP is nonadjacent to the head that selects for it, regardless of whether KP itself remains in situ. While adjacency effects on the distribution of null heads are not new (see e.g. considerable literature on ECP effects), I highlight a number of subtle asymmetries between obligatory spellout of K and obligatory spellout of C, and additionally show that the adjacency generalization interacts in interesting ways with selection, movement, and phasehood, and different types of inflectional morphology. Zooming in on the domain of locative prepositions, I argue that the puzzle of where covert K is licensed can be fully accounted for via a conspiracy of (i) the I(ntonational) P(hrase) E(dge) G(eneralization) (An 2007) and Richards (2016)’s notion of Selectional Contiguity. A welcome consequence of extending the IPEG to the PP domain is the possibility of a unified analysis of obligatory overtness across domains without referring to phonological content in the narrow syntax. The IPEG has previously been used in a similar manner to account for the EPP (McFadden and Sundaresan 2018), restrictions on (c)overt complementizers (An 2007, Kandybowicz 2006, McFadden and Sundaresan 2018), and here I show it can also be used to explain restrictions on covert K heads in the prepositional domain and potentially also within vP.
Format: [ pdf ]
Reference: lingbuzz/008244
(please use that when you cite this article)
Published in: Linguistic Variation (submitted)
keywords: syntax, syntax-phonology interface, prepositions, case, spellout, syntax
previous versions: v1 [December 2023]
Downloaded:369 times

 

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