Skeptical Linguistic Essays

By Paul M. Postal | Go to book overview

7
Junk Syntax 1
A Supposed Account of Strong Crossover Effects

1. Background
The strong crossover phenomenon, apparently first treated in Postal (1971), designates binding failures like those in (1): 1
1.
a. ↶Who1 did Frank convince her1 that you would hire t1?
b. ↶the principle1 which1 I inferred from it1 that no other principle entailed t1
c. ↶What1 Jane compared it1 to a model of t1 was the Eiffel Tower.
d. ↶[Generalissimo Garcia]1, no one could persuade him1 that you were related to t1.
e. ↶It doesn't matter [who]1 they claim she1 believes you should invite t1.
Following Wasow (1972, 1979), I refer to the asymmetric relation between antecedent and pronominal form, reflexive or not, as anaphoric linkage. Binding is thus a subtype of this. First noticed in 1968, examples like (1) manifested previously unknown restrictions on anaphoric linkages between extracted elements and pronouns. My original research subsumed these facts under the rubric 'crossover phenomena', a term taken to cover considerably more data, much of which subsequent work indicates is distinct from (1). Specifically, Postal (1971) failed to distinguish what Wasow (1972) I think properly differentiated as strong versus weak crossover binding violations, the former represented by (1), the latter by, for example, (2):
2.
a. ↶Who1 did all of his1 associates detest t1?
b. ↶the proposal which1 your rejection of it1 led me to abandon t1
c. ↶[Whatever starlet]1 they convinced her1 employer that you had interviewed t1, …

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