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Focus and reconstruction effects in wh-phrases
This dissertation investigates the semantics and LF-representation of wh-phrases by attending to two phenomena: the effect of Focus in wh-phrases and reconstructed readings ofwh-phrases.^ First, I exploit the semantics of Focus to show how certain peculiarities of Sluicing follow without the need for special LF-operations, contrary to Chung-Ladusaw-McCloskey (1995). I claim that remnant wh-phrases in a sluiced interrogative clause usually bear focal stress and I define a set of alternative semantic values for a focused wh-Determiner. From this, two consequences follow: the remnant wh-phrase has to contrast with its correlate in the antecedent clause--which derives the restriction on possible correlate phrases--and the denotation of the Sluicing clause and the denotation of the antecedent clause have to be identical in certain respects--which derives the inheritance of content and islands cases.^ Second, I turn to the question of whether reconstructed readings of how many phrases and which phrases derive from Syntactic Reconstruction (SynR) or from Semantic Reconstruction (SemR).^ I present two challenges for the SemR account of reconstructed scope readings of how many phrases. First, numerous examples are provided that show that Principle C Connectivity correlates with reconstructed scope readings, a fact which is predicted under the SynR approach and unexpected under the SemR view. Second, I investigate reconstructed scope readings of how many phrases in VP Phonological Reduction and argue that they cannot be derived within the SemR line without generating unwelcome results.^ Two lines have been pursued in the literature to capture functional readings of which phrases: the choice function approach (Reinhart (1993, 1997)), which involves SynR of the restrictor of the which-phrase, and the skolem function approach (Engdahl (1986)), which amounts to SemR. Again, it is shown that Principle C Connectivity correlates with the embedding needed for the variable to get bound, which supports the SynR approach. However, I present two problems for the current implementation of the choice function SynR line: local presupposition accommodation readings are wrongly excluded, and intensional readings cannot be derived from transparent which phrases. I propose a new architecture of choice functions that derives these new data. ^
"Focus and reconstruction effects in wh-phrases"
(January 1, 1998).
Electronic Doctoral Dissertations for UMass Amherst.