LINGUIST List 5.332

Tue 22 Mar 1994

Calls: Tilburg Conference on Rightward Movement

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    Message 1: +0100

    Date: Tue, 22 Mar 1994 14:19:35 +0100
    From: <>
    Subject: +0100

    Dear readers,

    This is the second call for papers for the Tilburg Conference on Rightward Movement. There is a correction included: the postal code for Tilburg was inadvertently left out of both the first electronic posting and the printed posters we have recently mailed out. For those who have already mailed submissions this should not be a problem, the Dutch postal service is very effective and we are confident that all submissions will reach us. Nevertheless, future submissions should include the updated address. We apologize for any inconvenience.


    Tilburg Conference on Rightward Movement

    6-8 October 1994


    See description that follows.


    Tilburg University Tilburg The Netherlands

    Submission Requirements:

    Those interested in presenting a paper should send 11 copies of a two page abstract (10 anonymous; 1 camera-ready, with name(s), affiliation(s) and contact address (including email)) to:

    David LeBlanc Grammaticamodellen Tilburg University Postbus 90153 5000 LE Tilburg The Netherlands

    Abstracts with page text too condensed to be easily read will be rejected without review. No email submissions accepted.

    Submission Deadline:

    Abstracts must be received by 15 April 1994. Notification of acceptance will be made by mid-June.

    The organizing committee will provide lodging for all speakers during the conference. In addition, a contribution will be made towards speakers' travel expenses (we will approximately follow the GLOW tradition in this respect).


    email to:

    Tilburg Conference on Rightward Movement

    The 1994 Tilburg conference on rightward movement will address the issue of whether rightward movement exists at all, if it does what its properties are and under what conditions it operates, and if it does not, how apparent rightward movement phenomena can be accounted for in an alternative manner.

    Until recently, the existence of rightward movement rules was largely uncontroversial. Much of the groundwork was provided in Ross' 1967 dissertation. With later developments it became mandatory to subsume rightward movement under "move alpha." Baltin's work (1981, 1983) has been particularly important in this respect. Nevertheless, it is remarkable that one of the core properties of extraposition-like rules, viz. their upward boundedness (Ross' Right Roof Constraint) has resisted attempts to derive it from subjacency. The fact of the matter is that there is good evidence that extraposition operates successive cyclically via the right edges of at least NP, AP and PP. Upward boundedness appears to be a property of CP only.

    In light of the recent proposals to make move alpha subject to principles of economy (Chomsky 1991), it is interesting to note that extrapositions are, by and large, optional. To the extent that they are not fully optional, the main factors involved seem to be stylistic in nature. They create a strong discourse focus and are subject to considerations of heaviness. Such factors make rightward movements look so different that it has sometimes even been proposed that they constitute a separate type of rule and operate in a separate module of the grammar, e.g. the stylistic rules of Rochemont (1978).

    It has been known for many years that rightward movements have some properties that call into doubt the very notion that they could be movement rules. Particularly salient in this regard is the fact that extraposed phrases can have multiple antecedents, as in

    (1) In this country more patients take more doctors to court than any other place in the world.

    Interestingly, this property has never settled the issue of whether this can be movement. Nevertheless, several non-movement analyses have been proposed, including Gueron & May (1984) and Culicover & Rochemont (1990).

    In thinking about rightward movement, it is easy to be misled into thinking that extraposition phenomena are the only ones that are relevant. Other relevant processes can be found in the domain of putative head movements. Consider for example the fact that V-to-I movement is generally thought of as movement to the right in strict SOV languages such as Japanese and Turkish, and according to some also in mixed SOV languages like German. Furthermore, standard analyses of Verb (Projection) Raising in German and Dutch (Evers 1975) are based on a rightward adjunction rule.

    The attempts, since Stowell (1981), to derive word order from independent principles of grammar have been mainly directed toward head-complement order and, to a lesser extent, to the determination of fixed positions for specifiers and functional heads. The position of adjuncts, including most extraposition structures, has received considerably less attention. This line of research has recently culminated in Kayne's proposal (1993) that all languages are underlyingly SVO and that rightward movement cannot exist.

    Kayne's paper is highly programmatic and intended as such. The restrictiveness of the proposal per se makes necessary a bulk of leftward movements that were not previously thought to be operative. There is a serious danger here that the explosive growth of morphosyntactic triggers that results from the introduction of minimalism in Chomsky (1992) will end up being excessive in light of the additional movements necessitated by Kayne's proposal. For SOV languages, for example, extensive scrambling must be assumed, even though many of the considerations that militate against scrambling-as-movement (cf. the previous Tilburg conference) have not been dispelled.

    Extraposition structures raise many difficult questions for Kayne's idea. By and large, extraposed phrases end up being the only ones that remain in situ during a derivation. This does not square well with the special discourse properties often associated with extraposed constituents, but also leaves us short of a potential explanation for their island forming properties.

    The existence of other types of rightward dependencies is equally problematic under Kayne's proposal. To mention just one example, it appears that stranded prepositions move rightward in Dutch into a position more or less adjacent to, but not incorporated in, a verb cluster:

    (2) a. Hij heeft het toilet met een tandeborstel schoon moeten he has the john with a tooth brush clean had-to

    maken make

    b. *Hij heeft het toilet schoon met een tandeborstel moeten maken

    c. Hij heeft er het toilet mee schoon moeten maken he has there the john with clean had-to make

    d. Hij heeft er het toilet schoon mee moeten maken

    e. *Hij heeft er het toilet schoon moeten mee maken

    This short list of potentially problematic phenomena will have to suffice to give an impression of the range of topics we hope to address and of the problems we hope to help solve during the Tilburg conference.