Probing for the closest DP: A reply to Branan et al. 2022

Elise Newman

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

Abstract / Description of output

In their 2022 paper "A-bar-probing for the closest DP", Branan and Erlewine argue for the existence of an A-bar probe that can only be satisfied if its goal is the closest DP. The motivation for such a probe comes from a series of relativization strategies in several languages which appear to only target the highest DP in the clause. In this reply, I argue that their data only motivate the existence of probes that attract the closest DP -- their data fail canonical diagnostics for A-bar movement, suggesting that we should eliminate A-bar from the description. As such, I suggest that the descriptive label "relative clause" applies to both A- and A-bar constructions, where independent diagnostics are needed to distinguish each case.
Original languageEnglish
JournalLinguistic Inquiry
Early online date23 Jan 2023
Publication statusE-pub ahead of print - 23 Jan 2023

Keywords / Materials (for Non-textual outputs)

  • relative clauses
  • movement
  • probes
  • syntax


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