chapter  15
27 Pages

Reconsidering Reactivation: Janet Nicol

INTRODUCTION In order to correctly understand a sentence such as That's the man that

Susan admired, the noun phrase the man must be understood as the object of the verb admired. One way to represent this fact is to posit a place holder-a phonologically empty noun phrase-in the object position of this sentence, and a link between the empty noun phrase (NP) and its antecedent, the man. This is the standard analysis given to such cases in syntactic theory. A central tenet of Government-Binding (GB) theory (Chomsky, 1981), for example, is that the internal constituency of a phrase remains invariant under movement: the transitive verb admire is transitive in all its manifestations, including constructions in which the direct object appears to be located at a distance. This allows a maximally simple theory of complement structure. The verb admire is lexically specified as having an NP complement immediately to its right, and this complement must always be present in the syntactic representation in which the verb occurs.