On the Left Edge in UG

Richard S. Kayne

    Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingChapter


    This chapter explores the debate concerning leftward versus rightward movements in the context of a proposal by James McCloskey concerning Irish. It is argued that, by bringing in considerations from Amharic and from certain English focus constructions, McCloskey's Irish data are compatible with a theory of universal grammar (UG) in which no rightward movement of any kind is countenanced. McCloskey suggested that the UG theory should countenance a class of rightward movements applying in the derivation of phonological form (PF) representations. As he notes, this might be compatible with the antisymmetry proposal by Kayne if that proposal were taken to hold only for "narrow" syntax. Whether McCloskey's suggestion would lead to a minor or to a major decrease in the restrictiveness of the characterization of UG is not easy to say.

    Original languageEnglish (US)
    Title of host publicationMovement and Silence
    PublisherOxford University Press
    ISBN (Electronic)9780199788330
    ISBN (Print)9780195179163
    StatePublished - Sep 1 2007


    • Irish language
    • James McCloskey
    • Leftward movements
    • Phonological form
    • Rightward movements
    • Sentences
    • Universal grammar

    ASJC Scopus subject areas

    • General Arts and Humanities


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