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Linguistic Inquiry

Summer 1998, Vol. 29, No. 3, Pages 347-366
(doi: 10.1162/002438998553789)
© 1998 Massachusetts Institute of Technology
Scrambling and Last Resort
Article PDF (131.38 KB)

Under the standard analysis (e.g., Fukui 1993, Saito 1985, 1992), scrambling in Japanese raises a serious problem for the last resort view of Move α, since it is considered to involve optional overt movement that has no driving force. In this article we propose a new analysis of scrambling that puts scrambling in conformity with the Last Resort principle. We argue that scrambled elements are base-generated in their surface non-θ-positions and undergo obligatory LF movement to the position where they receive θ-roles, which we consider to be formal features capable of driving movement. We show that our LF analysis of scrambling is both conceptually and empirically superior to the standard optional overt movement analysis.