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Linguistic Inquiry

Winter 2011, Vol. 42, No. 1, Pages 1-44
(doi: 10.1162/LING_a_00027)
© 2011 Massachusetts Institute of Technology
Rescue by PF Deletion, Traces as (Non)interveners, and the That-Trace Effect
Article PDF (195.18 KB)

The article demonstrates that the rescue-by-PF-deletion account of the amelioration effect of island violations under ellipsis, originally noted by Ross (1969), can be extended to account for the that-trace effect, including the adverb amelioration effect, and the lack of intervention effects with certain null arguments that are otherwise found with their overt counterparts, as well as to deduce the generalizations that traces do not count as interveners for relativized minimality effects and that traces void islandhood. The fact that the rescue-by-PF-deletion analysis makes it possible to unify a number of previously unrelated phenomena should be taken as a strong argument in its favor. The current extension of the rescue-by-PF-deletion approach, on which the rescue can arise not only through the deletion process involved in ellipsis but also through regular copy deletion, also accounts for the different behavior of the Superiority Condition and the Wh-Island Condition with respect to the amelioration effect under ellipsis, a surprising difference given that both of these are generally subsumed under relativized minimality effects in current research.