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vP-fronting with and without remnant movement



In this paper, we consider two kinds of vP-fronting constructions in English and argue that they receive quite different analyses. First, we show that English vP-preposing does not have the properties that would be expected of a movement-derived dependency. Evidence for this conclusion is adduced from the licensing conditions on its occurrence, from the availability of morphological mismatches, and from reconstruction facts. By contrast, we show that English participle preposing is a well-behaved case of vP-movement, contrasting with vP-preposing with respect to reconstruction properties in particular. We propose that the differences between the two constructions follow from the interaction of two constraints: the excluded middle constraint (EMC), which rules out derivations involving spellout of linearly intermediate copies only, and the N-only constraint, which restricts movement to occurring where the trace position would license a nominal. The EMC rules out deriving vP-fronting by true movement and instead necessitates a base-generation analysis, while the N-only constraint ensures that participle preposing is only possible in limited circumstances.


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Author’s address: University of Glasgow, School of Critical Studies, 13 University Gardens, Glasgow G12 8QH, United
Author’s address: University of Konstanz, Universitätsstraße 10, 78464 Konstanz,


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For judgments and critical comments we would like to thank Laura Bailey, Tim Bazalgette, Alison Biggs, Jessica Brown, Liliane Haegeman, Will Harwood, Caroline Heycock, Elliott Lash, Troy Messick, Neil Myler, Ad Neeleman, Ian Roberts, Craig Sailor, Michelle Sheehan, Fiona Thomas, Hans van de Koot, David Willis, and audiences at CamCoS, LAGB, MIT, NYU, Rutgers, and UCLA, as well as editor Kersti Börjars and three anonymous reviewers.



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vP-fronting with and without remnant movement



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