Mobility as a feature: Evidence from Zulu*
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
Authors who publish with this journal agree to the following terms:
- Authors retain copyright and grant the journal right of first publication with the work simultaneously licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution License that allows others to share the work with an acknowledgement of the work's authorship and initial publication in this journal.
- Authors are able to enter into separate, additional contractual arrangements for the non-exclusive distribution of the journal's published version of the work (e.g., post it to an institutional repository or publish it in a book), with an acknowledgement of its initial publication in this journal.
- Authors are permitted and encouraged to post their work online (e.g., in institutional repositories or on their website) prior to and during the submission process, as it can lead to productive exchanges, as well as earlier and greater citation of published work (See The Effect of Open Access).