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Linguistic Inquiry

Spring 1999, Vol. 30, No. 2, Pages 197-217
(doi: 10.1162/002438999554039)
© 1999 Massachusetts Institute of Technology
On Feature Strength: Three Minimalist Approaches to Overt Movement
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Procrastinate (Chomsky 1993) favors covert movement; therefore, when movement is overt, it must have been forced to operate “early” by some special requirement, one that Chomsky codes into “strong features.” I compare Chomsky's three successive theories of strong features and argue that two ellipsis phenomena, pseudogapping and sluicing, provide evidence bearing on the nature of strong features. I argue that movement or ellipsis can rescue a derivation with a strong feature, and I conclude that PF crash is relevant either directly, as in Chomsky 1993, or indirectly, as in the theory presented in Chomsky 1995a augmented by the multiple-chain theory of pied-piping (especially as interpreted by Ochi (1998)).