A local encoding of grammatical dependencies and its implications

Title: A local encoding of grammatical dependencies and its implications for the
theory of movement
Abstract: In this paper we consider the impact of the theory of phrase structure for the
encoding of syntactic dependencies and in particular the way movement is
represented. We show that the conception of movement as copying plus deletion (the
so-called 'copy theory of movement') is incompatible with well-motivated conditions
on phrase structure.
The alternative we develop is a local encoding mediated by percolation of selectional
requirements comparable to the slash features of HPSG, although it is different in its
underlying principles and analytical details. The proposed local encoding of
movement is superior to the copy theory in at least three respects. (i) It explains why
movement must target a c-commanding position, (ii) it can account for surprising
restrictions on scope reconstruction, and (iii) it can capture patterns of
interaction between different types of movement. In the first two cases, the copy
theory falls short of the mark; in the third, the theory proposed here seems more
parsimonious. We begin by considering the theory of phrase structure.