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Syntax: Binding principles, Islands, Tree drawing, Irish, and Binding Theory in Mandarin

Binding principles

Explain why the following sentences are ungrammatical. You do not have to draw trees, but you might find it helpful sometimes in order to figure out c-command relationships.
A complete answer will state which binding principle is violated, and how it is violated in the particular sentence.
(1) The large dog]i bit himi.
(2) Shei knew Melissai.
(3) Sami’s father]m believes in herselfi.
(4) Michaeli’s father]m loves himm.
(5) Melissai heard that Richard bought a cake for herselfi.
(6) Waffles thinks that Pancakesi saw himi in the mirror.
(7) Pancakesi saw himselfk in the mirror.

Part A:Identify the kind of island violated in each of the following sentences (or name the island constraint violated). I’ve provided a grammatical sentence for comparison.
(8) What did we eat pizza and?
(Compare: We ate pizza and breadsticks.)
(9) What will the students know why the DP had raised to?
(Compare: The students will know why the DP had raised to SpecTP.)
(10) What did we eat pizza after watching?
(Compare: We ate pizza after watching Squid Game.)
(11) What does that came out in 1999 amaze me?
(Compare: That the Matrix came out in 1999 amazes me.)
(12) What did I wonder where I put?
(Compare: I wondered where I put my wallet.)
(13) What did I remember the idea that theta roles are assigned by?
(Compare: I remembered the idea that theta roles are assigned by heads.)

Part B: Why is the grammaticality of the following sentence surprising? What constraint should this violate and why? Be precise.
(14) Whoi did you see a picture of ti?

Draw trees for the following sentences. Use separate pages as necessary.
(15) Who was swarmed by kittens in the kitchen?
(16) What kind of pizza are you going to order?
(17) When did the professor think she posted the exam?

Irish has different complementizer forms in questions and declarative sentences. In declarative sentences, it uses the complementizer go/gur, but when there is a question, this complementizer switches to the form a

(18) Ceapann tú go bhuailfidh an píobaire an t-amhrán think you that play.fuT the piper the song
“You think that the piper will play the song.”
(19) Caidé a
cheapann tú a
L bhuailfidh an píobaire?
What wH think you wH play.fuT the piper
What do you think the paper will play?”

Note the number of a complementizers in (19)! This provides evidence that wh-phrases stop off in the specifier of every CP on their way to the main clause CP. EXplain why, and be precise. You can make the assumption that the C a shows up when a wh-phrase shows up in its specifier.

Mandarin has an anaphor ziji that poses interesting problems for the Binding Theory as we’ve developed it so far in this course. Consider the following data (which is just one part of a larger puzzle surrounding ziji) and the answer the questions below.
(20) Zhangsani xihuan zijii

(21) Zhangsani xihuan zijik
Zhangsan likes self Zhangsan likes self
“Zhangsani likes himselfi.” “*Zhangsani likes himselfk.”

(22) Zhangsani shuo zijii hui lai.
Zhangsan say self will come
“*Zhangsani said that himselfi would come.”
(23) Zhangsani shuo zijii you mei you qian mei guanxi.
Zhangsan say self have not have money not matter
“*Zhangsani said that whether himselfi has money or not didn’t matter.”
(24) Zhangsani renwei Lisim hai-le zijii
Zhangsan think Lisi hurt-ASP self
“*Zhangsani thought that Lisim hurt himi.”

1. Briefly discuss what problem examples (22), (23), and (24) pose for the Binding Theory that we’ve developed so far. Be specific.
2. Propose a modification to the Binding Theory or a special rule for ziji that would account for these examples.

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