Title page for ETD etd-11082004-201124

Type of Document Master's Thesis
Author Alfandre, Danielle Rachel
Author's Email Address dalfan1@lsu.edu
URN etd-11082004-201124
Title The Topography of Syntactic Islands
Degree Master of Arts (M.A.)
Department Linguistics (Interdepartmental Program)
Advisory Committee
Advisor Name Title
Michael Hegarty Committee Chair
Hugh Buckingham Committee Member
Janna Oetting Committee Member
  • syntax
  • islands
  • adjuncts
  • coherence
Date of Defense 2004-11-01
Availability unrestricted
The Adjunct Island Constraint proposed by Ross (1967) together with Chomsky’s Barriers (1986) are not sufficient to account for the ungrammaticality of wh-extraction out of adjunct clauses, nor do they address the instances of grammatical extraction out of such constructions. Extraction out of Adjunct Islands is now completely predictable using a combination of Chomsky’s Minimalist Program (1995) and Kehler’s Coherence Theory (2002). The combination of these two theories gives an account of both the grammatical and ungrammatical instances of wh- extraction out of adjuncts.

The principles of the Minimalist Program together with evidence from Old English adverbial clauses determines the necessary structure for grammatical extraction, while an extension of the Coherence Theory mandates the required semantic relation between the matrix and adjunct clauses. This thesis proves that the possibility of wh-extraction out of adjunct islands is dependent upon the seamless integration of syntax and semantics.

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