Issues at the Syntax Semantics Interface

Phrases (QPs) is via the rule of Quantifier Raising (QR). QR has a special
status in syntactic and semantic theory because of two special characteristics: It operates covertly and it is clause bound. The former means that the
effects of QR are only detectable in interpretations (different meanings for
the same surface structure). The latter means that any given QP can only
take scope within the clause in which it is generated. In other words, QR always targets one position, namely an adjoined position to IP/TP. We have
however discussed examples like the following which challenge the clause
boundedness of QR:
(1) (At least) one/a judge recommended that we free every prisoner
In this example a scope reading as in (2) is possible:
(2) every prisoner > (At least) One/a judge
Meaning that for every prisoner a potentially different judge recommended that they be freed. With this in mind consider the following questions:
1. What is the significance of these sentences for the operation of QR
and its locality constraints? (HINT: consider the fact that there are
other movement processes, such as wh-movement that are indeed unbounded. Think of the mechanisms involved there. What are the
predictions?)
2. Are long distance inverse-scope readings available with all types of
QPs? (Think of the types of QPs that we discussed them).
3. How would the feature-based theory of scope account for such data
within a phase based approach to structure building?

 

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