Aaron Doliana · [S-Lab] WH-quantifier float in German diagnoses A'-traces and successive cyclicity in vP (NELS practice talk)
The existence of floated quantifier sentences, like German (1-2), raise a number of questions.
1. Wen hast du alles Schachmatt gesetzt? who have you all check.mate put "Who all did you checkmate?" 2. Wen1 hat die Maria gesagt, who has the Maria said [CP dass du e1 alles Schachmatt gesetzt hast]? that you all check.mate put have "Who all did Maria say that you checkmated?"
For instance: (i) What is the (seemingly long-distance) syntactic relation between the quantifier, 'alles', and its associate wh-phrase, 'wen'? (ii) What is the relation between sentences with floated quantifiers and adjacent quantifiers, like German (1) and (3)?
3. Wen alles hast du Schachmatt gesetzt? who all have you check.mate put "Who all did you checkmate?"
I provide evidence that German alles-floats should be analyzed as originating from a single First-Merge (or D-Structure) constituent with the associate wh-phrase. Consequently, (1) and (3) have the same derivation up to the point in which the float is derived by an additional transformation, such that the floated quantifier and its associate are related through movement (stranding) as well as (potentially) any relation that can apply to elements of the same minimal XP (eg selection). I provide an overview of what we expect to see from this conclusion, and focus on one distributional piece of evidence, as well as one piece of evidence based on interpretation. Theoretical consequences of the evidence supporting this conclusion are discussed, focusing on the fact that alles-floats diagnose successive-cyclic movement through vP, as well as the A'-traces of its associate more broadly: 'alles' thus makes visible the derivational history of its associate.