A Cross-linguistic Analysis of Hyper-ECM constructions

  • F Ademola-Adeoye


According to standard Minimalist analysis, in an exceptional case marking (ECM) construction such as ‘John believes her to be smart’ the embedded subject Noun Phrase/ Determiner Phrase (NP/DP) ‘her’ moves out of the infinitival compliment because the embedded clause is considered to be defective and nominative case is not available. Instead, the embedded subject receives accusative case1 from the verb in the matrix clause. In this paper, I show that contrary to the assumption that only embedded infinitives allow long A-movement (movement of a DP from an embedded finite clause to an argument position in the main clause), empirical data from languages like Greek, Romanian, Korean and Japanese show that A-movement of finite complement clauses (Hyper-Raising, Hyper-ECM, etc.) is indeed possible in many languages. I also propose a unified analysis of long A-movement constructions which explains what is essentially the same phenomenon in terms of the same theoretical assumption, rather than through different and unrelated theories as found in existing literature.

Keywords: Exceptional Case Marking, A-movement, Defective Clauses, Tense and phi-features (φ-features2)


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eISSN: 0075-7640
print ISSN: 0075-7640