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Linguistic Inquiry

Fall 2010, Vol. 41, No. 4, Pages 595-621
(doi: 10.1162/LING_a_00014)
© 2010 Massachusetts Institute of Technology
The Movement Derivation of Conditional Clauses
Article PDF (550.46 KB)
Abstract

By analogy with the movement analysis of temporal clauses, some authors have proposed that conditional clauses be derived by leftward operator movement (Bhatt and Pancheva 2002, 2006, Arsenijević 2009, Tomaszewicz 2009). This movement analysis of conditional clauses is shown to account for the incompatibility of main clause phenomena and conditional clauses in terms of intervention effects. The cartographic implementation of this analysis predicts that conditional clauses will be incompatible with speaker-oriented modal expressions and that conditional clauses will lack the low-construal reading found in temporal clauses (Bhatt and Pancheva 2002, 2006). Thus, the absence of low construal in conditional clauses, which was initially taken to be an obstacle for the movement account of conditional clauses (see Citko 2000), becomes an argument in its favor.