English is I-lowering language, but on split IP hypothesis([AgrP [TP [VP]]]), verbs move to the head of TP: V-raising.

/John often kissed Mary./ On unsplit IP(IP[VP]), [+tense] which the head of IP has moves to the head of VP for realization; I-lowering. Whereas on split IP(AgrP[TP[VP]]), [+tense] which the head of TP has is realized by verbs moving to the head of TP; V-raising.

Why, on IP split hypothesis, does V-raising occur in I-lowering language?

And in a sentence which has adverbs like above, after V-raising occurred, the verb is before the adverb; *John kissed often Mary. How is the word order correct before spell-out? I would like to know the movement of subjects and verbs. If you know how is the nominative Case assigned, I'd like to know.

  • 1
    Welcome to Linguistics SE! It might be helpful, I think, if you specify your sources -- which work does this and which the other. I did some cosmetic editing to your post, if you don't mind. Oct 29 '15 at 12:24
  • @AlexB. It actually won't, as Core Syntax does not discuss Split-Infl at all.
    – Ink
    Oct 30 '15 at 9:28
  • I want to know why Infl(+tense) lowers to verbs on unsplit IP, whereas verbs raises to [+tense] on split IP. Or does [+tense] lower to verbs on split IP?
    – nikita
    Oct 30 '15 at 12:05

At first, this represents how generative syntax was done in the late 80s-early nineties. Many of those ideas were abandoned a long time ago.

Secondly, you grossly misrepresented it. There were two options, V-raising or I-lowering (other variants: Agr-I, AGR-I, Agr-T etc.). French was considered a V-raising language (i.e. with overt verb raising): V moves to Agr, and then it all moves to T. English, on the other hand, was a I (Agr-T) lowering language, which means T lowers to Agr and then T-Agr lowers to V.

What was problematic about I-lowering (and lowering in general) is that it created an improper chain, with an unbound trace. Two theories were proposed back then, Chomsky 1991 in favor of LF V-raising or Bobaljik 1995 in favor of I-lowering at PF.

In MP (in Adger's interpretation), all of the problems above are elegantly solved with the help of strong/weak EPP, strong/weak tense value on v, feature checking and phi-features - see chapter 6 in Adger 2003.

  • I understand the reason why I-lowering has the problem. However, as far as I looked Adger (2003), I couldn't find how verbs inflect in such sentence below.
    – nikita
    Oct 31 '15 at 13:44
  • John often kissed Mary.
    – nikita
    Oct 31 '15 at 13:45
  • *John kissed often Mary.
    – nikita
    Oct 31 '15 at 13:45
  • @nikita, "how verbs inflect" - do you mean how the verb gets the past tense marker?
    – Alex B.
    Oct 31 '15 at 16:48
  • Yes. the verbs in finite sentences have to be inflected before spell-out, right?
    – nikita
    Oct 31 '15 at 17:52

Your Answer

By clicking “Post Your Answer”, you agree to our terms of service, privacy policy and cookie policy

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged or ask your own question.