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Derived constituent order in unbounded dependency constructions*

  • James P. Blevins (a1)

This paper proposes that unbounded dependency constructions in English instantiate a surface subject-predicate structure in which the predicate is typically discontinuous. Evidence is presented supporting this discontinuous analysis over the operatorvariable structure conventionally assigned to unbounded dependencies. A model of phrase structure that sanctions discontinuous representations is outlined, along with a feature-based strategy for generating the proposed structures within an extended phrase structure system. Extraction islands and other locality constraints are subsequently characterized with reference to the feature propagation paths that induce discontinuity.

Corresponding author
Centre for Linguistics, University of Western Australia, Nedlands, Western Australia 6009, Australia. E-mail:
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This paper substantially revises Blevins (1987) and chapter 7 of Blevins (1990). I am grateful to Emmon Bach, Roger Higgins, Edwin Williams, and Charles F. Hockett for helpful comments on previous drafts, and to Robert D. Borsley and several anonymous reviewers for numerous criticisms and suggestions that have led to improvements in the present version.

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