On the notion “head”: Evidence from free relatives and interrogatives

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This paper addresses the issue of “COMP Accessibility” in free relative constructions, initially raised by Groos and van Riemsdijk in a 1979 paper, and proposes a refinement of it in terms of the notion “Pseudo Head” (PH). The proposed theoretical refinement is motivated through a detailed discussion of a hitherto unanalyzed type of free relative construction found in Rumanian (and referred to in the text as the CEL-DFR construction), with respect to which earlier COMP Accessibility proposals make incorrect predictions. The usefulness of the notion PH is further demonstrated with respect to constructions other than free relatives; in particular, it is argued that this notion plays a role in deciding the distribution of interrogative complement clauses within the framework of the strict version of X-bar theory proposed in Chomsky (1986, forthcoming).

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)35-64
Number of pages30
JournalTheoretical Linguistics
Issue number1
StatePublished - 1987


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