IRCS Technical Reports Series

Document Type

Thesis or dissertation

Date of this Version

April 1993


University of Pennsylvania Institute for Research in Cognitive Science Technical Report No. IRCS-93-06


In this thesis I explore the nature and properties of scrambling in Korean. Contrary to the widely accepted view that scrambling is truly optional, I propose that scrambling is a consequence of case-driven obligatory movement, a proposal consistent with the "last resort" condition on movement in [Chomsky 1991] and [Chomsky 1992]. I assume that scrambling is adjunction and defend this view in Ch. 5.

In Ch. 2 and Ch. 3 based on binding facts and scope reconstruction, I claim that scrambling is best analyzed as A-movement. Scrambling either creates a binding relation which does not obtain in the base order, or destroys a binding relation which obtains in the base order. A scrambled element undergoes optional reconstruction for scope interpretation. All these properites are consistent with those of standard A-movement.

In Ch. 4, I propose that scrambling is a consequence of case-driven movement. On the basis of case and word order possibilities in event nominal clauses, I first establish that in Korean nominative case is licensed by INFL, and accusative case by a complex category formed by the head raising of VERB-to-INFL. Under the VP-internal Subject Hypothesis, all the arguments have to move out of VP to be assigned case. As long as the case licensing conditions are met, arguments may be arranged in any order, and therefore, scrambling is a consequence of case driven movement.

The combination of the assumption that scrambling is adjunction with the proposal that scrambling is A-movement leads to the conclusion that adjoined positions are A-positions, contrary to the view in [Chomsky 1986] that adjoined positions are A'-positions. In Ch. 5, I defend the conclusion that adjoined positions are A-positions in Korean, on the basis of facts involving case assignment to adverbials, binding by a nominative adjunct NP in multiple nominative constructions, and absence of island effects in scrambling out of a scrambled clause.

In Ch. 6, I examine island effects and discourse constraints on scrambling. I argue that islandhood of various clause types is determined by the selectional properties of the clause, as argued by [Cinque 1990] for wh-movement. I also argue that the relevant discourse notion characterizing the scramblability of an element is "presuppositionality" as defined in [Diesing 1990], rather than specificity as various authors including [Moltmann 1990], [Mahajan 1990] and [Enc 1991] advocate.



Date Posted: 07 August 2006