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Linguistic Inquiry

Summer 2011, Vol. 42, No. 3, Pages 367-388
(doi: 10.1162/LING_a_00050)
© 2011 Massachusetts Institute of Technology
The Semantic Uniformity of Traces: Evidence from Ellipsis Parallelism
Article PDF (115.73 KB)
Abstract

This article presents an argument from ellipsis parallelism that traces of all types of movement receive a bound variable interpretation at LF. MaxElide, a constraint on ellipsis, is used to probe the size of parallelism domains and detect the semantic contribution of a variety of traces. The data examined reveal a detailed interaction between wh-movement from various positions, T-to-C movement, and movement of subjects. I offer an analysis based on the overlapping variable-binder relationships created by these movements. The theoretical conclusion is that Ā-, A-, and head movement all produce traces that feed interpretation. This conclusion argues directly against several proposals that deprive non-Ā movements of (certain) semantic effects—for example, proposals that head movement occurs at PF, or that A-movement does not leave traces.