UCL Working Papers in Linguistics 11 (1999)

A minimalist theory of A-movement and control


In this article, we point out some problems in the theory of A-movement and control within Principles and Parameters models, and specifically within the minimali st approach of Chomsky (1995). In order to overcome these problems, we motivate a departure from the standard transformational theory of A-movement. In particular, we argue that DPs are merged in the position where they surface, and from there they attract a predicate. On this basis, control can simply be construed as the special case in which the same DP attracts more than one predicate. Arbitrary control reduces to the attraction of a predicate by an operator in C. We show that the basic properties of control follow from an appropriate Scopal version of Chomsky's (1995) Last Resort and MLC and from Kayne's (1984) Connectedness, phrased as conditions on the attraction operation, or technically ATTRACT. Our approach has considerable advantages in standard cases of A-movement as well, deriving the distribution of reconstruction effects at LF and of blocking effects on phonosyntactic rules at PF.

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