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Linguistic Inquiry

Fall 2011, Vol. 42, No. 4, Pages 595-629
(doi: 10.1162/LING_a_00062)
© 2011 Massachusetts Institute of Technology
Negative DPs, A-Movement, and Scope Diminishment
Article PDF (143.71 KB)

Lasnik (1999) has claimed that NegDPs in derived subject position cannot be interpreted in the embedded clause and do not undergo A-chain reconstruction. We show that with a well-defined set of predicates, including deontic modals and raising predicates, scope diminishment of NegDP is observed. We argue, nevertheless, that scope diminishment in these cases is not produced by A-chain reconstruction. We also show that A-chain reconstruction of the indefinite part is possible. We conclude that the claim that NegDP does not undergo reconstruction reduces to the observation that the negative ingredient cannot reconstruct, and we suggest why this should be so. If we are correct, the analysis removes an obstacle to the view that A-chains exhibit syntactic reconstruction.