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11.3.6. Reconstruction
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Normally, w h-movement is semantically or functionally motivated, which is especially clear in the case of wh-questions and topicalization constructions: Wh-movement in question (465a) is needed to create the operator-variable configuration in (465a'), while topicalization in example (465b) results in a special information-structural configuration, such as the topic-comment structure in (465b'). The traces indicated by t in the primeless examples in (465) are traditionally motivated by the fact that the displaced elements wat'what' and dit boek'this book' also perform the syntactic function of direct object; they indicate the designated argument position that is assigned the thematic role of theme as well as accusative case by the transitive main verb kopen'to buy'.

Example 465
a. Wati heeft Peter ti gekocht?
  what  has  Peter  bought
  'What has Peter bought?'
a'. ?x (Peter has bought x)
b. Dit boeki heeft Peter ti gekocht.
  this book  has  Peter  bought
  'This book, Peter has bought.'
b'. [topicDit boek] [comment heeft Peter gekocht].

Of course, there are theories in which thematic roles and/or case are assigned in the surface position of the wh-phrase but there are empirical reasons for assuming that these elements are semantically interpreted in the position of their trace, a phenomenon that has become known as reconstruction; we refer the reader to Subsection IIB for the origin of this technical notion. This section will mainly illustrate reconstruction effects by means of the binding properties of wh-moved elements; see Barrs (2001) for a similar review for English, subsection I will therefore start by providing some theoretical background on binding. Given that reconstruction facts are easiest to demonstrate by means of topicalization, Subsection II will start with a discussion of this structure; reconstruction in questions and relative clauses is discussed in, respectively, III and IV. As the discussion of topicalization, w h-movement and relativization suffices to sketch a general picture of the issues involved, we will not discuss reconstruction in wh-exclamative and comparative (sub)deletion constructions (which have in fact not played a major role in the descriptive and theoretical literature on the phenomenon so far).

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[+]  I.  Binding

Most research on binding is based on the empirical observation that referential personal pronouns such as hem'him' and (complex) reflexive personal pronouns such as zichzelf'himself' are in complementary distribution; this is illustrated for Dutch in the primeless examples in (466), in which coreferentiality is indicated by italics. The primed examples show that referential non-pronominal noun phrases normally cannot be used if a referential or a reflexive personal pronoun is possible; these examples are excluded on the reading that Jan and de jongen refer to the same individual.

Example 466
a. Ik denk [dat Jan zichzelf/*hem bewondert].
  think   that  Jan  himself/*him  admires
  'I think that Jan admires himself.'
a'. * Ik denk [dat Jan de jongen bewondert].
  think   that  Jan  the boy  admires
b. Jan denkt [dat ik hem/*zichzelf bewonder].
  Jan thinks   that  him/himself  admire
  'Jan thinks that I admire him.'
b'. * Jan denkt [dat ik de jongen bewonder].
  Jan thinks   that  the boy  admire

Data like (466) are accounted for by binding theory, which has found its classic formulation in the so-called binding conditions proposed in Chomsky (1981), which we provide in a somewhat loose formulation as (467).

Example 467
Binding conditions
a. Reflexive and reciprocal personal pronouns are bound in their local domain.
b. Referential personal pronouns are free (= not bound) in their local domain.
c. Referential noun phrases like Jan or de jongen'the boy' are free.

These conditions are extensively discussed in Section N5.2.1.5, but we will repeat some core issues here that are needed for our present purposes. A noun phrase is said to be bound if it is coreferential with a c-commanding antecedent. The term c-command refers to an asymmetric syntactic relation between the constituents in a sentence, which can be made more precise by means of the hierarchy in (468), in which A > B indicates that A c-commands B and everything that is embedded in B.

Example 468
C-command hierarchy:
subject > direct object > indirect object-PP > PP-complement > adjunct

We can thus say that, under the intended coreferential readings, the direct objects in the (a)-examples in (466) are bound by the subject noun phrase Jan of the embedded clause, and that the embedded nominal direct objects in the (b)-examples are bound by the subject noun phrase Jan of the main clause; recall that A > B in (468) indicates that A c-commands B and everything that is embedded in B. Now consider again the three binding conditions in (467), which are normally referred to as conditions A, B and C. The fact that the primed examples in (466) are ungrammatical on the intended readings shows that c-command does not suffice to license binding: binding condition C expresses this by saying that a referential non-pronominal noun phrase cannot have a c-commanding antecedent at all. Binding conditions A and B further express that reflexive/reciprocal and referential personal pronouns differ with respect to the syntactic domain in which binding is possible, that is, in which they must/can have a c-commanding antecedent. If we assume for the moment that the relevant domain is the minimal clause in which we find the bound element, the data in (466a&b) follow: in (466a) the antecedent Jan is within the local domain of the pronoun, and binding conditions A and B predict that a reflexive pronoun can, but a referential pronoun cannot be bound by Jan; in (466b) the antecedent Jan is not within the local domain of the pronoun, and binding conditions A and B predict that a referential pronoun can, but a reflexive pronoun cannot be bound by Jan. This derives the complementary distribution of the referential and reflexive personal pronouns illustrated in (466a&b).
      The crucial thing for our discussion of reconstruction is that it is normally assumed that the c-command hierarchy in (468) is not a primitive notion, but derived from the hierarchical structural relations between the elements mentioned in it. It suffices for our present purpose to say that the subject of a clause c-commands the direct object of the same clause because the former is in a structurally higher position than the latter; in the overall structure of the clause given in (469), which is extensively discussed in Chapter 9, the subject occupies the specifier position of TP immediately following the C-position, while the object occupies some lower position within XP.

Example 469

If c-command should indeed be defined in terms of structural representations, wh-movement affects the c-command relations between the clausal constituents: after wh-movement of the object into the specifier of CP, the object will c-command the subject in the specifier of TP. We therefore expect wh-movement to alter the binding possibilities, but the following subsections will show that this expectation is not borne out; the wh-moved phrase normally behaves as if it still occupies its original position.

[+]  II.  Topicalization

That wh-movement does not affect binding relations can be easily demonstrated by means of topicalization. We will start with a presentation of the core data, which shows that the binding possibilities are computed from the original position of the topicalized phrase. After this, we will briefly compare reconstruction effects with so-called connectivity effects found in contrastive left-dislocation constructions.

[+]  A.  The data

If the binding conditions were calculated from the landing site of wh-movement, topicalization of a reflexive pronominal direct object is expected to bleed binding. Example (470b) shows, however, that with respect to binding the topicalized reflexive pronoun zichzelf behaves as if it is still in the position indicated by its trace; coreferentiality is again indicated by italics.

Example 470
a. Jan bewondert zichzelf het meest.
  Jan  admires  himself the most
  'Jan admires himself the most.'
b. Zichzelfi bewondert Janti het meest.
  himself  admires  Jan  the most
  'Himself Jan admires the most.'

That topicalization does not bleed binding can also be illustrated by means of the examples in (471), in which a reciprocal possessive pronoun is embedded in a direct object; topicalization of this object does not affect the binding possibilities. Note in passing that, contrary to reciprocal and referential personal pronouns, reciprocal and referential possessive pronouns are not in complementary distribution given that elkaars can readily be replaced by hun'their'; we refer the reader to Section N5.2.2 for detailed discussion.

Example 471
a. Zij bewonderen [elkaars moeder] het meest.
  they  admire  each.otherʼs mother  the most
  'They admire each otherʼs mother the most.'
b. [ Elkaarsmoeder]i bewonderen zijti het meest.
  each.otherʼs mother  admire  they  the most
  'Each otherʼs mother they admire the most.'

Another case showing that topicalization does not bleed binding is illustrated by the examples in (472), which allow a bound-variable reading of the possessive pronoun zijn'his'; according to this reading every person x admires his own parents: ∀x (x:person) admire (x, x's parents). This reading only arises if the quantifier binds (hence: c-commands) a referential pronoun and we might therefore expect that topicalization in (472b) would make this reading impossible, but this expectation is not borne out.

Example 472
a. Iedereen bewondert zijn (eigen) ouders het meest.
  everyone  admires  his own parents  the most
  'Everyone admires his (own) parents the most.'
b. Zijn (eigen) oudersi bewondert iedereen ti het meest.
  his own parents  admires  everyone  the most
  'His (own) parents everyone admires the most.'

      If the binding conditions were calculated from the landing site of wh-movement, topicalization of a referential (pronominal) direct object is expected to enable it to function as the antecedent of the subject of its clause, but example (473b) shows that this is not the case: with respect to binding the objects hem and die jongen again behave as if they are still in the position indicated by their trace.

Example 473
a. * Jan bewondert hem/die jongen het meest.
  Jan  admires  him/that boy  the most
b. * Hemi/Die jongeni bewondert Janti het meest.
  him/that boy  admires  Jan  the most

A plausible hypothesis would of course be that example (473b) is unacceptable because the subject Jan is bound by the topicalized phrase and thus violates binding condition C. This hypothesis is, however, refuted by the fact that the matrix subject Jan in (474b) can be coreferential with the topicalized pronoun hem'him': the example is perhaps somewhat marked compared to example (466b) but this seems to be a more general property of long topicalization; see the discussion in Section 11.3.3, sub II. This again leads to the conclusion that wh-movement does not affect binding possibilities.

Example 474
a. Jan denkt [dat ik hem/*die jongen het meest bewonder].
  Jan thinks   that  him/that boy  the most  admire
  'Jan thinks that I admire him the most.'
b. (?) Hem/*Die jongen denkt Jan [dat ik ti het meest bewonder].
  him/that boy  thinks  Jan   that  the most  admire
  'Him Jan thinks that I admire the most.'

      Reconstruction is sometimes also illustrated in the literature by means of examples such as (475a), in which a bound nominal phrase is embedded in a complementive.

Example 475
a. Jan is [AP trots [PP op zichzelf/*hem/*die jongen]].
  Jan is  proud  of himself/him/that boy
b. [AP trots [PP op zichzelf/*hem/*die jongen]] is Jan niet.
  proud  of himself/him/that boy  is Jan not

Some linguists do not accept (475b) as a convincing example of reconstruction as they assume that the subject originates as the external argument of the AP: on the assumption that the moved phrase is a full small clause that contains an NP-trace of the subject Jan, this trace serves as an antecedent for the nominal phrase.

Example 476
a. Jani is [APti trots [PP op zichzelf/*hem/*die jongen]].
  Jan is  proud  of himself/him/that boy
b. [APti trots [PP op zichzelf/*hem/*die jongen]]j is Janitj niet.
  proud  of himself/him/that boy  is Jan not

However, even if the representations in (476) are the correct ones, reconstruction is still needed because it is generally assumed that NP-traces are subject to binding condition A as well: like reflexive pronouns, they must be bound by their antecedent (= the moved phrase) within their local domain.
      For VP-topicalization constructions like (477b) more or lesss the same holds: some linguists who assume that the subject is base-generated in the lexical projection of the verb do not accept it as a convincing example of reconstruction since they assume that the topicalized VP also contains the NP-trace of the subject Jan, which can serve as an antecedent. But even if this is true, reconstruction is still needed given that NP-traces are generally assumed to be subject to binding condition A as well.

Example 477
a. Jani heeft [VPti zichzelf/*hem/*die jongen beschreven].
  Jan  has  himself/him/that boy  described
  'Jan has described himself/him/that boy.'
b. [VPti zichzelf/*hem/*die jongen beschreven]j heeft Janitj.
  himself/him/that boy  described  has  Jan

If NP-traces must indeed be bound, VP-topicalization constructions of the type in (478) also provide evidence in favor of reconstruction. Under the standard assumption that the clause-initial position can be filled by phrases only (and not by heads), the theme argument must have been extracted from the VP by NP-movement (nominal argument shift of the type discussed in Section 13.2) before the VP is topicalized. The VP thus contains a trace of the theme argument and reconstruction is needed in order for the trace to be bound by the moved noun phrase mijn huis'my house'; see Section 11.3.3, sub VIC, for more discussion.

Example 478
a. Ze hebben mijn huis nog niet geschilderd.
perfect tense
  they  have  my house  yet  not  painted
  'They havenʼt painted my house yet.'
a'. [VPti Geschilderd]j hebben ze mijn huisitj nog niet.
  painted  have  they  my house  yet  not
  'They havenʼt painted my house yet.'
b. Mijn huis wordt volgend jaar geschilderd.
passive
  my house  is  next year  painted
  'My house will be painted next year.'
b'. [VPti Geschilderd]j wordt mijn huisi volgend jaar tj.
  painted  is   my house next year
  'My house will be painted next year.'

      The examples so far all involve topicalization of arguments, complementives, and VP, and we have seen that such cases exhibit reconstruction effects: binding possibilities are computed from the base position of the moved phrase. This does not seem to hold for adjuncts, however, as is clear from the contrast between the two examples in (479); if the adverbial clause in (479b) were interpreted in the same position as the adverbial clause in (479a), we would wrongly expect coreference between Jan and hij to be blocked by binding condition C in both cases. This contrast has given rise to the idea that examples such as (479b) are actually not derived by wh-movement, but involve base-generation of the adjunct in clause-initial position; that this is possible is then attributed to the fact that adjuncts are not selected by the verb and can consequently be generated externally to the lexical projection of the verb.

Example 479
a. * Hij ging naar de film [omdat Jan moe was].
  he  went  to the movie  because  Jan  tired  was
b. [Omdat Jan moe was], ging hij naar de film.
  because  Jan  tired  was  went  he  to the movie
  'Because Jan was tired, he went to the movie.'

Note in passing that the lack of reconstruction cannot be demonstrated on the basis of binding condition B, as referential pronouns embedded in adverbial clause can always be coreferential with the subject of a matrix clause; this is shown in (480).

Example 480
a. Jan ging niet naar de film [omdat hij moe was].
  Jan  went  not  to the movie  because  he  tired  was
  'Jan didnʼt go to the movie because he was tired.'
b. [Omdat hij moe was], ging Jan niet naar de film.
  because he tired was  went  Jan  not  to the movie
  'Because he was tired, Jan didnʼt go to the movie.'

      A similar lack of reconstruction can be observed in the examples in (481); cf. Van Riemsdijk & Williams (1981). In this case an argument is topicalized but the contrast between the two examples shows that the reconstruction effect is lacking: contrary to what would be expected if the topicalized phrase were interpreted in the position of its trace, the referential noun phrase Jan embedded in the relative clause can be coreferential with the pronoun hij in (481b). It is of course not possible to appeal to an argument-adjunct asymmetry in this case, but it has been suggested that the (optional) relative clause is an adjunct that can be generated after the object has undergone wh-movement; see Barss (2001) and Sportiche (2006) for details.

Example 481
a. * Hij wil [het boek [dat Jan gekocht heeft]] aan Marie geven.
  he  wants   the book   that Jan  bought  has  to Marie  give
b. [Het boek [dat Jan gekocht heeft]]i wil hijti aan Marie geven.
  the book  that  Jan bought  has ` wants  he  to Marie  give
  'The book that Jan has bought, he wants to give to Marie.'

The examples in (482) show again that the lack of reconstruction cannot be demonstrated on the basis of binding condition B, as referential pronouns embedded in a relative clause can be coreferential with the subject of a matrix clause.

Example 482
a. Jan wil [het boek [dat hij gekocht heeft]] aan Marie geven.
  Jan wants   the book   that  he  bought  has  to Marie  give
  'Jan wants to give the book that he has bought to Marie.'
b. [Het boek [dat hij gekocht heeft]]i wil Janti aan Marie geven.
  the book   that  he  bought  has  wants  Jan  to Marie  give
  'The book that he has bought, Jan wants to give to Marie.'

The discussion of the data in this subsection has shown that a reconstruction effect obligatorily occurs if some argument, complementive or verbal projection is topicalized. Reconstruction effects are absent if an adverbial clause occupies the clause-initial position or if the topicalized phrase is modified by a relative clause.

[+]  B.  Reconstruction versus connectivity effects

Because wh-movement has a clear semantic import, the standard (but not uncontroversial) assumption is that it precedes the semantic interpretation of the clause. The fact that for the purpose of the binding theory formulated in (467) topicalized phrases behave as if they still occupy the position indicated by their traces has led to theories according to which wh-movement is at least partly undone before the semantic interpretation of the syntactic representation takes place; the technical term for this is Reconstruction. A more recent approach, which makes reconstruction superfluous, is Chomsky's (1995:ch.3) copy theory of movement, according to which movement is a copy-and-paste operation that leaves a phonetically empty copy (a copy that is not pronounced in the actual utterance) of the moved constituent in its original position. For convenience, we will follow general practice by maintaining the notion of reconstruction as a purely descriptive term. The core finding that all theories try to explain is that binding of nominal arguments should be formulated in terms of A-positions, that is, argument positions to which thematic roles, agreement features and/or case are assigned; movement into A'-positions (positions such as the clause-initial position that may also be occupied by non-arguments) does not affect the binding possibilities. We refer the reader to Barrs (2001), Sportiche (2006) and Salzmann (2006) for critical reviews and discussions of the various theoretical implementations of this insight.
      The standard view seems to be that reconstruction effects are syntactic in nature, but there are grounds for doubting that these effects are part of syntax proper. In order to show this we have to make a brief digression on contrastive and hanging-topic left-dislocation; see Section 14.2 for a more extensive discussion. Left dislocation is characterized by the fact that there is some phrase preceding the clause-initial position, which is associated with a resumptive element elsewhere in the clause. The two types of left-dislocation constructions differ in the form and position of the resumptive element: hanging-topic left-dislocation constructions have a resumptive pronoun in the form of a referential pronoun such as hem'him, which is' located in the middle field of the clause, as in (483a); contrastive left-dislocation constructionshave a resumptive pronoun in the form of a demonstrative pronoun such as die'that, which is' located in clause-initial position, as in (483b). Observe that we indicate the relation between the left-dislocated phrase and the resumptive pronoun by means of indices (just like the relation between a moved phrase and its trace).

Example 483
a. Jani, ik heb hemi niet gezien.
hanging-topic LD
  Jan  have  him  not  seen
  'Jan I havenʼt seen him.'
b. Jani, diei heb ik ti niet gezien.
contrastive LD
  Jan  dem  have  not  seen
  'Jan I havenʼt seen him.'

At first sight, the examples in (484) seem to show that left dislocation differs from topicalization in that it does affect the binding possibilities. Van Riemsdijk & Zwarts (1997) and Vat (1997) suggest, however, that the unacceptability of the examples in (484) is due to the fact that resumptive pronouns are referential pronouns which are subject to binding condition B of the binding theory by themselves. In order to satisfy the binding conditions on the reflexive zichzelf'himself' the resumptive pronouns hem'him' and die'that' must take the subject Jan as a local antecedent, which results in a violation of binding condition B. Observe that the binding conditions for the resumptive pronoun die in (484b) should be computed from its original object position indicated by its trace in object position.

Example 484
a. * Zichzelfi, Jan bewondert hemi het meest.
hanging-topic LD
  himself  Jan  admires  him  the most
  Intended meaning: 'Jan admires himself the most.'
b. * Zichzelfi, diei bewondert Janti het meest.
contrastive LD
  himself  dem  admires  Jan  the most
  Intended meaning: 'Jan admires himself the most.'

Violations of binding condition B induced by the resumptive pronouns themselves can be avoided if the reflexive/reciprocal pronoun is more deeply embedded in the topicalized phrase, as in the examples in (471). Their left-dislocation counterparts in (485) show that the two types of left dislocation exhibit different behavior in such cases; while the hanging-topic construction is rated as ungrammatical in Van Riemsdijk & Zwarts (1997) and Vat (1997), the contrastive left-dislocation construction is fully acceptable. The fact that the left-dislocated phrase can be interpreted in the position of the trace of the wh-moved demonstrative die has become known as the connectivity effect.

Example 485
a. * [Elkaarsmoeder]i, zij bewonderen haari het meest.
hanging topic LD
  each.otherʼs mother  they  admire  her  the most
  'Each otherʼs mother they admire the most.'
b. [Elkaarsmoeder]i, diei bewonderen zijti het meest.
contrastive LD
  each.otherʼs mother  dem  admire  they  the most
  'Each otherʼs mother they admire the most.'

Connectivity effects also arise in the left-dislocation counterparts of the topicalization construction in (472b) with a bound variable reading. Van Riemsdijk & Zwarts (1997) and Vat (1997) show that there is again a contrast between hanging-topic and contrastive left-dislocation.

Example 486
a. * [Zijn (eigen) ouders]i, iedereen bewondert zei het meest.
hanging-topic LD
  his own parents  everyone admires  them  the most
b. [Zijn (eigen) ouders]i, diei bewondert iedereenti het meest.
contrastive LD
  his own parents  dem  admires  everyone  the most

For completeness' sake, consider the contrastive left-dislocation constructions in (487), which show again that the acceptability judgments on the contrastive left-dislocation constructions are more or lesss the same as in the corresponding topicalization constructions in (473b) and (474b).

Example 487
a. * Hemi/Die jongeni, diei bewondert Janti het meest.
  him/that boy  dem  admires  Jan  the most
b. (?) Hemi/*Die jongeni, diei denkt Jan [dat ik ti het meest bewonder].
  him/that boy  dem  thinks  Jan   that  the most   admire
  'Him, Jan thinks that I admire the most.'

      The discussion above has shown that contrastive left-dislocation constructions exhibit connectivity effects which closely resemble the reconstruction effects found in topicalization constructions. Given this similarity, it is temping to provide a single theoretical account of the two types of effect. This might lead to the conclusion that there is some kind of matching effect in the sense that the demonstrative pronoun die simply takes over certain semantic properties of the left-dislocated phrase and transmits these to the position of its trace; however, this would go against the current idea that reconstruction effects follow from the copy theory of movement: the claim that movement is a copy-and-paste operation that leaves an actual copy of the moved constituent in its original position.
      Alternatively, one might attempt to show that left-dislocated phrases are base-generated within the clause they are attached to and find their surface position by (a series of movements including) wh-movement. If such an analysis is feasible, we could maintain that reconstruction effects result from the copy-and-paste operation proposed by the copy theory of movement; see Grohmann (2003:ch.4) and De Vries (2009) for detailed proposals. This would immediately account for the differences in connectivity effects established in this subsection between hanging-topic and contrastive left-dislocation constructions: hanging-topic constructions have a resumptive pronoun in the middle field of the clause, and we can therefore safely conclude that they do not involve wh-movement, and we consequently expect connectivity effects to be absent. There are, however, two potential problems for this approach. First there does not seem to be independent evidence for assuming that left-dislocated phrases have ever occupied a clause-internal position. Second, this approach should provide a reasonable account for the fact that left-dislocated phrases may strand prepositions, while topicalized phrases (and wh-moved phrases in general) are normally not able to do that; see the contrast between the (a)- and (b)-examples in (488).

Example 488
a. *? Dat boek heb ik lang naar gezocht.
topicalization
  that book  have  long  for  looked
a'. * Wat heb je lang naar gezocht?
question formation
  what  have  you  long  for  looked
b. Dat boek, daar heb ik lang naar gezocht.
contrastive LD
  that book  that have I long for looked
  'that book, I have looked for it a long time.'

We will return to the question as to whether reconstruction and connectivity effects can be given a (more or lesss) unified treatment in the discussion of relativization in Subsection IV below.

[+]  III.  Wh-movement

Section 11.3.1.1, sub II, discussed the hypothesis that the obligatoriness of wh-movement in wh-questions follows from the fact that it is instrumental in deriving an operator-variable chain in the sense of predicate calculus. It has also shown that this hypothesis runs into problems with examples like (489a&b), in which the moved wh-phrase is complex: the resulting syntactic representations cannot be directly translated into the desired semantic representations in the primed examples, as only a subpart of the wh-moved phrase corresponds to the question operator plus restrictor: the possessive pronoun wiens'whose' translates into ?x [x: person]. The phenomenon of pied piping thus makes it impossible to assume a one-to-one relationship between the surface form of a sentence and its semantic representation by simply stating that wh-movement creates an operator-variable chain. Question formation thus provides us with an independent motivation for some form of reconstruction; it is needed to arrive at the proper semantic representations for sentences like (489a&b).

Example 489
a. [Wiens boek]i heeft Peter ti gelezen?
  whose book  has  Peter  read
  'Whose book has Peter read?'
a'. ?x [x: person] (Peter has read x's book)
b. [Wiens vaders boek]i heeft Peter ti gelezen?
  whose fatherʼs book  has  Peter  read
  'Whose fatherʼs book has Peter read?'
b'. ?x [x: person] (Peter has read x's father's book)

It is, however, less easy to convincingly demonstrate reconstruction effects for wh-movement than for topicalization, as the predictions of the binding theory can only be checked for bound elements embedded in some noun phrase because interrogative pronouns are never reflexive/reciprocal themselves. Furthermore, examples like (490) are often quoted to support reconstruction, but they are completely unsuitable for this purpose; it has been argued that the picture noun foto may have an implied agentive PRO-argument which is obligatorily construed as coreferential with the subject Jan; see N2.2.5.2 for detailed discussion. If so, the reflexive is locally bound within the noun phrase by PRO in both examples.

Example 490
a. Jan heeft [een PRO foto van zichzelf] genomen
  Jan  has   a  picture of himself  taken
b. [Welke PRO foto van zichzelf]i heeft Janti genomen?
  which picture of himself  has  Jan  taken

In order to construct convincing cases of reconstruction based on binding condition A, one must make sure that there is no implied PRO-argument that can be construed as coreferential with the antecedent of the reflexive/reciprocal pronoun. On the default interpretation of the examples in (491) that Jan did not spread rumors about himself, (491b) may be a case in point.

Example 491
a. Jan vond [dit gerucht over zichzelf] het leukst.
  Jan  considered  this rumor about himself  the funniest
  'Jan considered this rumor about himself the funniest one.'
b. [Welk gerucht over zichzelf]i vond Janti het leukst?
  which rumor about himself  considered  Jan  the funniest
  'Which rumor about himself considered Jan the funniest one?'

The bound variable reading of pronouns, which requires a c-commanding quantifier to be present, also indicates that reconstruction does apply. Without reconstruction example (492b) would be wrongly predicted not to allow this reading.

Example 492
a. Iedereen vond de foto van zijn (eigen) moeder het mooist.
  everyone  considered  the picture  of his own mother  the most.beautiful
  'Everyone liked the picture of his (own) mother best.'
b. De foto van zijn (eigen) moeder vond iedereen het mooist.
  the picture  of his own mother  considered  everyone  the most.beautiful
  'Everyone liked the picture of his (own) mother best.'

      Arguments based on binding condition B are somewhat delicate because referential personal pronouns embedded within a noun phrase can often be coreferential with the subject of their clause if they are phonetically reduced. This is illustrated by the examples in (493), both of which are accepted by many speakers if the pronoun is phonetically reduced but rejected if the pronoun is non-reduced. The crucial point is, however, that topicalization does not seem to affect the acceptability judgments.

Example 493
a. Jan vond [dit gerucht over ʼm/*hem] het leukst.
  Jan  considered  this rumor about him/him  the funniest
  'Jan considered this rumor about him the funniest one?'
b. [Welk gerucht over ʼm/*hem]i vond Janti het leukst?
  which rumor about him/hem  considered  Jan  the funniest
  'Which rumor about him considered Jan the funniest one?'

The examples in (494) do provide straightforward evidence for reconstruction based on binding condition C; they are both unacceptable if the noun phrase die popster is construed as coreferential with Jan.

Example 494
a. * Jan vond [dit gerucht over die popster] het leukst.
  Jan  considered  this rumor about that pop.star  the funniest
  'Jan considered this rumor about that pop star the funniest one.'
b. * [Welk gerucht over die popster]i vond Janti het leukst?
  which rumor about that pop-star  considered  Jan  the funniest
  'Which rumor about that pop star considered Jan the funniest one?'

Note that, as in the case of topicalization, reconstruction need not apply for noun phrases embedded in relative clauses; while Jan cannot be construed as coreferential with the subject pronoun hij in (495a), this is possible in (495b).

Example 495
a. * Hij wil [het boek [dat Jan gekocht heeft]] aan Marie geven.
  he  want   the book   that Jan  bought  has  to Marie  given
  'He wants to give the book that Jan has bought to Marie.'
b. [Welk boek [dat Jan gekocht heeft]]i wil hij ·ti aan Marie geven?
  which book   that  Jan  bought  has  wants  he  to Marie  give
  'Which book that Jan has bought does he want to give to Marie?'

Despite the difficulty in constructing relevant examples, the arguments based on the bound variable reading of pronouns and binding condition C show conclusively that wh-questions exhibit similar reconstruction effects as topicalization constructions.

[+]  IV.  Relativization

Reconstruction effects are even more difficult to establish in relative constructions than in wh-questions. We will see, however, that there is an additional twist to the discussion given that we find similar connectivity effects as discussed in Subsection IIB for contrastive left-dislocation constructions; this may shed more light on the question as to whether reconstruction and connectivity effects can be given a (more or lesss) unified account.

[+]  A.  Reconstruction effects

As with wh-questions, reconstruction for binding condition A is again difficult to establish because the reflexive/reciprocal pronoun must be embedded within a larger phrase: relative pronouns are never reflexive/reciprocal themselves. Moreover, because the relative pronoun is typically a possessive pronoun such as wiens'whose' in complex noun phrases, we expect that it will normally be construed as the antecedent of a reflexive/reciprocal pronoun within the wh-moved phrase; cf. Section N5.2.1.5. The impossibility of construing the subject as the antecedent of zichzelf in examples such as (496), in which the intended binding is again indicated by italics, therefore does not tell us anything about reconstruction.

Example 496
a. de mani [[wiensi boek over zichzelf]j hij wil tj lezen]
  the man    whose book about himself  he  wants  read
  'the man whose book about himself he wants to read'
b. * de mani [[wiensi boek over zichzelf]j hij wil tj lezen]
  the man    whose book about himself  he  wants  read

Examples such as (497b) with a bound variable reading do seem to provide evidence for reconstruction, although some speakers may find it hard to give a judgment on this example due to its complexity.

Example 497
a. Iedereen zal [Maries advies over zijn kinderen] volgen.
  everyone  will   Marieʼs advice about his children  follow
  'Everyone will follow Marieʼs advice about his children.'
b. de vrouwi [wiensi advies over zijn kinderen]j iedereentj wil volgen
  the woman    whose advice about his children  everyone  wants  follow
  'the woman whose advice about his children everyone will follow'

Reconstruction for binding condition B is again difficult to establish because referential pronouns embedded within a noun phrase containing a possessive pronoun can normally be coreferential with noun phrases external to that noun phrase. Moreover, the acceptability of (498b) does not tell us anything about reconstruction because referential pronouns do not require a c-commanding antecedent.

Example 498
a. Jan negeerde [Peters opmerking over hem].
  Jan  ignored   Peterʼs remark about him
b. de mani [[wiensi opmerking over hem]j Jantj negeerde]
  the man    whose remark about him  Jan  ignored
  'the man whose remarks about him Jan ignored'

For binding condition C it is possible to show that reconstruction effects do occur: the intended coreference relation is excluded in both examples in (499). The fact that referential noun phrases may normally have a non-c-commanding antecedent suggests that reconstruction must apply.

Example 499
a. * Jan negeerde [Peters opmerking over die jongen].
  Jan  ignored   Peterʼs remark about that boy
b. * de mani [[wiensi opmerking over die jongen]j Jantj negeerde]
  the man    whose remark about that boy  Jan  ignored

Despite the difficulty in constructing relevant examples, the arguments based on the bound variable reading of pronouns and binding condition C show conclusively that relative clauses exhibit similar reconstruction effects as wh-questions and topicalization constructions.

[+]  B.  Connectivity effects

The discussion in the previous subsection has shown that reconstruction within relative clauses is indeed obligatory. The research on relative clauses that has aroused most interest is, however, not concerned with reconstruction effects of the type discussed above but with connectivity effects of the kind we also found in contrastive left-dislocation constructions; cf, subsection IIB.
      The connectivity effect for binding condition A can be illustrated by means of example (500); on the default interpretation that the rumors are not spread by Jan himself, the reflexive pronoun zichzelf'himself' can only be properly bound by Jan if the antecedent of the relative pronoun dat'which' is interpreted in the position of the latter's trace.

Example 500
[[Het gerucht over zichzelf]i [dati Jan ti het leukst vond]] was dat hij opgegeten was door een leeuw.
  the rumor about himself  which  Jan  the funniest  considered  was  that  he  prt.-eaten  was by a lion
'The rumor about himself Jan liked best was that he had been eaten by a lion.'

Connectivity effects can also be illustrated by means of example (501) on its bound variable reading. Since this reading arises only if a quantifier binds (hence: c-commands) a referential pronoun, we have to assume that the antecedent of the relative pronoun die'which' is interpreted in the position of the latter's trace.

Example 501
[[De foto van zijn ouders]i [diei iedereenti koestert]] is die van hun huwelijk.
  the picture of his parents  which  everyone  cherishes  is  the.one  of their marriage
'The picture of his parents that everyone cherishes is the one of their marriage.'

      Establishing connectivity effects for binding condition B is again somewhat delicate because referential personal pronouns embedded within a noun phrase can often be coreferential with the subject of their clause if they are phonetically reduced. Example (493) has shown, however, that phonetically non-reduced pronouns do not easily allow this. The fact that we do not find the same contrast in the relative construction in (502) may go against the postulation of a connectivity effect, but we will leave this aside, as it is not clear whether we are really dealing with a syntactic restriction or with a restriction of some other type.

Example 502
[[Het gerucht over ʼm/hem]i [dati Janti het leukst vond]] was dat hij opgegeten was door een leeuw.
  the rumor about him/him  which  Jan  the funniest  considered  was  that  he  prt.-eaten  was by a lion
'The rumor about him that Jan liked best was that he had been eaten by a lion.'

An even more serious problem is that connectivity effects for binding condition C are not found in relative clauses: example (503) does readily allow an interpretation in which the noun phrase Jan and the subject pronoun of the relative clause are coreferential.

Example 503
[[Het gerucht over Jan]i [dati hijti het leukst vond]] was dat hij opgegeten was door een leeuw.
  the rumor about Jan  which  he   the funniest  considered  was  that  he  prt.-eaten  was by a lion
'The rumor about Jan that he liked best was that he had ben eaten by a lion.'

      The examples in this section lead to a somewhat ambivalent result: connectivity effects can be established for examples such as (500) and (501) involving binding condition A and the bound variable reading of pronouns, but not for examples like (503) involving binding condition C. This may lead to the conclusion that connectivity effects only occur in the case of local (clause- internal and NP-internal) syntactic dependencies. This may in fact be derived from the traditional view in generative grammar, currently embedded in Chomsky's (2008) phase theory, that there are no syntactic restrictions on non-local relationships. It should be noted, however, that such a conclusion may be problematic in view Salzmann's (2006: Section 2.2) observation that connectivity effects differ crucially from reconstruction effects in that the latter also occur with non-local restrictions.

[+]  C.  Summary and concluding remarks

In the theoretical literature of the last decade an ardent debate has been raging on the question as to whether the connectivity effects in relative clauses can be reduced to reconstruction. This debate finds its origin in Vergnaud (1974), where it was claimed that, descriptively speaking, the antecedent of the relative pronoun is base-generated within the relative clause, placed in initial position of the relative clause by means of wh-movement, and subsequently raised to its surface position in the main clause; for updated versions of this so-called promotion/raising analysis, we refer the reader to Kayne (1994), Bianchi (1999) and De Vries (2002). Despite its popularity, the promotion/raising analysis is not uncontroversial as it raises a large number of technical/theory-internal problems; cf. Boef (2013) for a recent review. For example, it is still not clear why the antecedent is able to strand prepositions under wh-movement, while this is normally impossible in run-of-the-mill cases of wh-movement like topicalization and question formation; see the contrast between the (a)- and (b)-examples in (504).

Example 504
a. *? Dat boek heb ik lang naar gezocht.
topicalization
  that boek  have  long  for  looked
a'. * Wat heb je lang naar gezocht?
question formation
  what  have  you  long  for  looked
b. [Dat boek waar ik lang naar gezocht heb] is terecht.
Relativization
  that book  where  I long  for  looked  have  is found
  'That book which I have been looking for a long time has been found.'

Furthermore, Salzmann (2006) points out that the differences between reconstruction and connectivity effects for binding conditions B and C discussed in this section are problematic for this analysis.

[+]  V.  Conclusion

This section has discussed reconstruction effects for constructions derived by wh-movement. It has been shown that these effects can be detected in topicalization constructions, wh-questions and relative clauses. The results are given in Table 2; the question marks indicate that for independent reasons, reconstruction effects for binding condition A/B could not be established for the construction in question.

Table 2: Reconstruction and connectivity effects in wh-movement constructions
  topicalization question formation relativization
binding condition A + ? ?
bound variable reading + + +
binding condition B + ? ?
binding condition C +

We also discussed connectivity effects in contrastive left-dislocation and relative clause constructions, which are quite similar in nature to the reconstruction effects found in wh-movement constructions. The findings from this section are given in Table 3; the question mark indicates that for independent reasons the presence of connectivity effects for binding condition B could not be established.

Table 3: Reconstruction and connectivity effects
  reconstruction effect connectivity effect
binding condition A + +
bound variable reading + +
binding condition B + ?
binding condition C +

The similarities between reconstruction and connectivity effects have given rise to a revival of Vergnaud's (1974) promotion/raising analysis of relative clause constructions, according to which the antecedent of the relative pronoun is base-generated within the relative clause, moved into clause-initial position by wh-movement and subsequently promoted/raised into its surface position in the main clause; we refer to Kayne (1994), Bianchi (1999), De Vries (2002) for discussion.
      An advantage of the promotion/raising analysis is that reconstruction and connectivity effects can both be derived from the copy theory of movement, according to which movement is a copy-and-paste operation that leaves a phonetically empty copy of the moved constituent in its original position; no additional theoretical machinery is needed. Salzmann (2006) objects to analyses of this sort by pointing out that they incorrectly predict that reconstruction and connectivity effects are identical: that this is not the case is clear from the fact that while reconstruction effects for binding condition C are pervasive, connectivity effects for binding condition C do not occur. We can add to this that the analysis wrongly predicts preposition stranding to be impossible, as run-of-the-mill cases of wh-movement like topicalization and question formation do not allow this.
      A potential problem for Salzmann's claim is that connectivity effects for binding condition C (as well as for binding condition B) do occur in the case of contrastive left-dislocation, as is clear from the examples in (505), which were already discussed in Subsection II. This suggests that even if we reject the promotion/raising analysis for relative clauses, we may still need an analysis based on wh-movement for contrastive left-dislocation (which would again leave us with the problem of preposition stranding mentioned above); see Grohmann (2003:ch.4), De Vries (2009). and Ott (2014) for proposals that meet this condition; we return to this issue in Section 14.2.

Example 505
a. * Jan bewondert die jongen het meest.
  Jan  admires  that boy  the most
a'. * Die jongeni, diei bewondert Janti het meest.
  that boy  that  admires  Jan  the most
b. * Jan denkt [dat ik die jongen het meest bewonder].
  Jan thinks   that  that boy  the most  admire
b'. * Die jongeni, diei denkt Jan [dat ik ti het meest bewonder].
  that boy  dem  thinks  Jan   that  the most  admire

      We have confined ourselves in this section to a discussion of reconstruction effects related to binding. Reconstruction effects are, however, also found in other domains; for a detailed discussion of these domains, we refer the reader to Sportiche (2006) and Salzmann (2006: Section 2.2).

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  • Chomsky, Noam2008On phasesFreidin, Robert, Otero, Carlos P. & Zubizarreta, Maria Luisa (eds.)Foundational Issues in Linguistic Theory. Essays in Honor of Jean-Roger VergnaudCambridge, MA/OxfordMIT Press133-166
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  • Grohmann, Kleanthes K2003Prolific Domains. On the Anti-Locality of Movement DependenciesAmsterdam/PhiladelphiaJohn Benjamins Publishing Company
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