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Linguistic Inquiry

Fall 2006, Vol. 37, No. 4, Pages 607-624
(doi: 10.1162/ling.2006.37.4.607)
© 2006 Massachusetts Institute of Technology
On the “Undoing” Property of Scrambling: A Response to Bošković
Article PDF (153.92 KB)

Bošković (2004) argues that what defines scrambling in languages such as Japanese is its ‘‘undoing’’ property (Saito 1989). Bošković (2004) and Bošković and Takahashi (1998) argue that this ‘‘undoing’’ property shows the way for scrambling to count as a last-resort operation, instead of being purely optional as is widely believed. In this article, I give empirical evidence that ‘‘undoing’’ does not occur and that the reconstruction effect simply reflects a normal property of Ā-movements like wh-movement in English. I further show that the condition that governs optional scrambling is Fox’s (2000) Scope Economy.