P'urhepecha hyperraising to object: An argument for purely altruistic movement

Erik Zyman


Classical syntactic theory was designed to ensure that raising would be able to proceed out of infinitival clauses, but not out of finite clauses. However, it has since become clear that a number of languages in fact allow raising out of finite clauses (hyperraising). This paper argues that the Mexican isolate P'urhepecha—more specifically, the variety spoken on the island of Janitzio on Lake Pátzcuaro—allows hyperraising to object (cf. Bruening 2002, Tanaka 2002, Halpert & Zeller 2015, Deal 2016), and develops an analysis of this phenomenon on which it involves two steps of purely altruistic (target-driven) movement—i.e., movement driven exclusively by a featural requirement of an attracting head. Alternative analyses of the phenomenon based on Greed (Chomsky 1995, Bošković 2007, a.o.) or Labeling (Chomsky 2013, 2015, a.o.) are considered and shown to face serious problems. P'urhepecha hyperraising to object, then, sheds light on the driving force for movement: it provides an argument for Enlightened Self-Interest (Lasnik 1995, 2003, a.o.), the hypothesis that movement may be driven by a feature either of the moving element or (as here) of an attracting head. The phenomenon also narrows down the space of possibilities for understanding the A/Ā-distinction.


hyperraising to object; A/Ā-distinction; movement triggers; Greed; Enlightened Self-Interest; altruistic movement; Labeling; EPP subfeatures; P'urhepecha

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DOI: https://doi.org/10.3765/plsa.v2i0.4055

Copyright (c) 2017 Erik Zyman

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