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Rise of the auxiliaries: a case for auxiliary raising vs. Affix lowering

William Harwood (UGent)
(2014) THE LINGUISTIC REVIEW. 31(2). p.295-362
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Abstract
The syntax of auxiliaries has given rise to much discussion in the generative literature (Akmajian & Wasow 1975, Emonds 1978, Akmajian, Steele & Wasow 1979, Pollock 1989, Chomsky 1993, Lasnik 1995b, Roberts 1998, Bjorkman 2011, Rouveret 2012). This paper explores the distribution of non-finite auxiliaries in Standard English, in particular the issue as to whether such auxiliaries raise for inflectional purposes or remain in their base positions and have their inflections lowered onto them. It is shown that auxiliary distribution is not determined by auxiliary type (passive, copular, progressive etc.) as the lowering accounts predict, but by the morphological form that the auxiliary takes. In particular, the auxiliaries be/been and being exhibit significantly different distributional properties across ellipsis, fronting and existential constructions in English that are difficult to capture under an affix lowering model, and lend themselves more easily to an auxiliary raising account. I therefore offer a syntactic account of auxiliary inflections which employs the theoretical uniformity of an Agree-based approach, with the empirical advantages that an auxiliary raising analysis affords. The auxiliary raising system that will be proposed essentially harkens back to Chomsky’s (1993) and Lasnik’s (1995b) approach to the auxiliary system, though with the utilisation of Bošković’s (2007) notion of foot-driven movement.
Keywords
verb movement, head movement, auxiliaries, verbs, CONSTITUENT STRUCTURE, LOCATIVE INVERSION, UNIVERSAL GRAMMAR, QUANTIFIERS, MOVEMENT, ENGLISH, ELLIPSIS, SYNTAX, SELECTION, LANGUAGE

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Citation

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Chicago
Harwood, William. 2014. “Rise of the Auxiliaries: a Case for Auxiliary Raising Vs. Affix Lowering.” The Linguistic Review 31 (2): 295–362.
APA
Harwood, W. (2014). Rise of the auxiliaries: a case for auxiliary raising vs. Affix lowering. THE LINGUISTIC REVIEW, 31(2), 295–362.
Vancouver
1.
Harwood W. Rise of the auxiliaries: a case for auxiliary raising vs. Affix lowering. THE LINGUISTIC REVIEW. 2014;31(2):295–362.
MLA
Harwood, William. “Rise of the Auxiliaries: a Case for Auxiliary Raising Vs. Affix Lowering.” THE LINGUISTIC REVIEW 31.2 (2014): 295–362. Print.
@article{4151966,
  abstract     = {The syntax of auxiliaries has given rise to much discussion in the generative literature (Akmajian \& Wasow 1975, Emonds 1978, Akmajian, Steele \& Wasow 1979, Pollock 1989, Chomsky 1993, Lasnik 1995b, Roberts 1998, Bjorkman 2011, Rouveret 2012). This paper explores the distribution of non-finite auxiliaries in Standard English, in particular the issue as to whether such auxiliaries raise for inflectional purposes or remain in their base positions and have their inflections lowered onto them. It is shown that auxiliary distribution is not determined by auxiliary type (passive, copular, progressive etc.) as the lowering accounts predict, but by the morphological form that the auxiliary takes. In particular, the auxiliaries be/been and being exhibit significantly different distributional properties across ellipsis, fronting and existential constructions in English that are difficult to capture under an affix lowering model, and lend themselves more easily to an auxiliary raising account. I therefore offer a syntactic account of auxiliary inflections which employs the theoretical uniformity of an Agree-based approach, with the empirical advantages that an auxiliary raising analysis affords. The auxiliary raising system that will be proposed essentially harkens back to Chomsky{\textquoteright}s (1993) and Lasnik{\textquoteright}s (1995b) approach to the auxiliary system, though with the utilisation of Bos\unmatched{030c}kovic\unmatched{0301}{\textquoteright}s (2007) notion of foot-driven movement.},
  author       = {Harwood, William},
  issn         = {0167-6318},
  journal      = {THE LINGUISTIC REVIEW},
  keyword      = {verb movement,head movement,auxiliaries,verbs,CONSTITUENT STRUCTURE,LOCATIVE INVERSION,UNIVERSAL GRAMMAR,QUANTIFIERS,MOVEMENT,ENGLISH,ELLIPSIS,SYNTAX,SELECTION,LANGUAGE},
  language     = {eng},
  number       = {2},
  pages        = {295--362},
  title        = {Rise of the auxiliaries: a case for auxiliary raising vs. Affix lowering},
  url          = {http://dx.doi.org/10.1515/tlr-2014-0001},
  volume       = {31},
  year         = {2014},
}

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