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Weak Crossover and the Direct Association Hypothesis

Prerna Nadathur


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Weak crossover has figured prominently in the debate over the existence of traces, as it has been claimed to provide evidence for their necessity in long-distance dependencies. This paper argues against this claim by providing a treatment of weak crossover that does away with the need for empty categories. This is achieved by use of the Direct Association Hypothesis (Pickering and Barry 1991), which proposes that filler-gap dependencies are characterized by a direct link between an extracted element and its subcategorizer. I show that the new treatment not only accounts for uncontroversial crossover data, but also fares better than the preceding LFG treatments on some key examples. Finally, I outline some consequences of the new proposal, as well as directions for further inquiry, and argue that direct association may provide a robust starting point for reexamining a number of phenomena involving filler-gap dependencies.

Link to pdf of paper

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