Sideward Movement of Subjects in the Past Participle Clauses: A Minimalist Approach

Document Type : Research Paper


Assistant Professor of General Linguistics, Terhan University


Once DS is abandoned in the Minimalist framework and structure building is carried out by merge, multiple root syntactic objects in a single derivational step are not only allowed in principle, but must indeed be employed in some derivations in order for the extension condition to be satisfied. The crucial aspect of this theoretical model is that it permits instances of sideward movement, whereby a given constituent moves from a syntactic object K to an independent syntactic object L. Following Hornstein and Nunes (2014), the present study examines the sideward movement of the subject in the Persian past participle clauses assuming that these non-finite adverbial adjuncts hang below the vP of main clauses. As in these structures the subjects of the adjunct clauses are understood as being the same as the subjects of the matrix clauses, it will be argued that the head T in this language has a strong EPP feature that triggers movement of an overt or covert subject into its Specifier. Based on these assumptions, a DP has to move sideways from the subject position of the participle clause to merge with the main vP allowing the external theta-role of the matrix verb to be discharged. In the next step, the same DP moves upward to the Specifier of TP to satisfy the EPP feature of the main clause. Sideward movement also provides an escape hatch for the subject to have its case checked. Were this constituent not to move, the derivation would crash at LF as it could not get its uninterpretable case feature checked within the adjunct clause.


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Volume 7, Issue 1
September 2016
Pages 1-20
  • Receive Date: 01 June 2015
  • Revise Date: 01 September 2015
  • Accept Date: 13 September 2015
  • First Publish Date: 21 May 2016