Language Variability and Uniformity in Subject/Non-Subject Asymmetry: A Cross-linguistic Study of Superiority and Comp-trace Effects
山本, 将司稲田, 俊明
23 , 2016-03-04 , 長崎大学 多文化社会学部
This study explores Superiority, Comp-trace Effects and the related phenomena and shows that they can be explained uniformly by general principles/assumptions: (a) Economy of Derivations, in which UG selects as optimal the sentence which can be derived with the least cost, and (b) the property of
Comp C which is assumed to have Tense features as well as clause type features.
Contrary to previous assumptions, we point out that “Attract Closest”principle cannot account for Superiority Effects and the related facts, and argue that the relevant facts of Superiority and Comp-trace phenomena can be attributed to the consequences of subject vs. non-subject asymmetry.
Through the cross-linguistic investigation of Superiority and Comp-trace phenomena, we demonstrate that there is a significant implicational relation about the observance of Superiority and Comp-trace effects among typologically different languages, including English, German, Dutch, Bulgarian, Serbo-
Croatian, Russian, Spanish, and Icelandic. Furthermore, even though the universal principle regulates the behavior of these languages in terms of subject/non-subject asymmetry, the property of Comp and the T feature in subjects can be parametrically determined in a particular language.
In this article, we attempt to show that the seemingly complex linguistic phenomena involving multiple-wh-questions and the possibility of whextractions can be explained by simple underlying principles. Under the proposed analysis, what has been called Superiority effects and the other related facts concerning subject/non-subject asymmetry can be reduced to the consequences
of general principle of derivations and the property of Comp which has to be check with both clause-type and T-features.