Mobility as a feature: Evidence from Zulu*

  • Jochen Zeller
Keywords: syntactic movement, EPP-features, Zulu, dislocation, relative clauses

Abstract

This paper provides evidence for the view that syntactic movement of an element Y to a position X is not driven by features of the target X, but by features of the moving element Y. The data that constitute evidence for this type of analysis come from A-bar movement constructions (object left and right dislocation; object relativisation) in the Bantu language Zulu. As I show, only object-DPs that move out of the VP in Zulu are active Goals for Agree-relations and can trigger object agreement with the verb. The fact that the functional head responsible for object agreement must be able to identify a DP in its c-command domain as an active Goal entails that the “mobility” of this DP must be encoded as a property of the DP. Based on this conclusion, I also discuss two proposals about the nature of the feature that activates a DP for movement in Zulu and examine the conditions that determine how this feature is checked and deleted through movement.

Keywords: syntactic movement; EPP-features; Zulu; dislocation; relative clauses

Published
2016-04-14
Section
Articles

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eISSN: 2224-3380