An Explanation of Extraction Asymmetries in Malagasy
Linguistic Variation Yearbook
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This paper investigates one aspect of cross-linguistic variation in extraction patterns. Data from Malagasy have posed a problem for ECP-based accounts of A-bar movement. This variation is shown to stem from fundamental differences in how arguments are licensed. In Malagasy, for example, objects are licensed in-situ and never escape vP. Since vP is a strong phase, objects can never be a target for A-bar movement. In languages such as English, however, objects must be licensed by some head external to the vP. Movement to the edge of vP in English allows for futher A-bar movement. Also discussed is how the proposed analysis applies to other languages with similar extraction patterns (e.g. Tagalog and Indonesian).