Linguistics in Göttingen - A platform for empirical and theoretical linguistics

Winfried Lechner (Athens / ZAS Berlin)

A calculus for reconstruction and anti-reconstruction

In the first part of the talk, I will review arguments for the view that movement can be undone at two different points of the derivation, either in syntax or in the semantic component. While the resulting hybrid theory of reconstruction accounts for dissociations between quantifier scope and binding domains that prove recalcitrant for Copy Theory, it also leads to overgeneration (Romero 1998; Fox 1999). As a result, the system needs to be supplemented by two independently motivated assumptions regulating the distribution of higher type traces and the internal make up of copies. The condition on higher type traces will further be seen to have important, more general consequences for the representation of scope inversion.

In the second part, I present a calculus, that is a complete formal system operating on purely syntactic representations, which derives the basal scope and (anti-) reconstruction properties of canonical word orders in English and German, and scrambled word orders in German. The analyses to be developed represent the first algorithmic account of the central characteristics of scope, scope rigidity, reconstruction and anti-reconstruction.