I'd like to ask those of you who speak English as a first language whether indirect objects induce CED effects (cf. Huang).
- Of which boy did John send [a letter] [to every friend _]?
- Of which paper did John persuade [every author _] [PRO to make sure that every citation is properly put]?
I know the sentences above allow subextraction fairly well. But what about the following ones?
- Of which boy did John write [every friend _] [a letter]?
- Of which paper did John promise [every author _] [PRO to provide a research fund]?
Any significant differences on acceptability compared to the previous ones?
Thank you in advance.
P.S. I just assumed the constituent [every author of which paper] in (4) has a similar status to indirect objects, but be it or not doesn't much matter here.
EDIT: For clarification, Huang (1982) proposed the Condition on Extraction Domain (CED), which states extraction out of a non-complement induces island effects, and subsumed two well-known island constraints under it: namely, the Subject Condition and the Adjunct Condition. Thus, whereas the CED permits (5), it renders (6) and (7) ungrammatical.
- Who(m) did Mary meet [a friend of _]?
- *Of which car did [the driver _] cause a scandal? (From Chomsky 2008)
- *Who did Mary cry [after John hit _]? (From Huang 1982)
I believe it is empirically quite well established that the contrast shown above holds across a wide range of English speakers. What I wanted to know was whether indirect objects in (3) and (4) also show CED effects. If the wording of the sample sentences makes it confusing to judge, I'd rather give you more abstract structure below:
- [Subj ...] V [IO ... wh ...] [DO ...]
Question: Is it possible to extract wh from IO in such a structure?
Plus, as for grammaticality, I'd like to make sure that it is a different notion from usability, conciseness, etc. It is a common practice in linguistics to deal with borderline cases, which may have no places in everyday usage. For instance, consider:
- ?Who(m) do you wonder [whether John met _]?
- *Who do you wonder [whether _ met Bill]?
Though both (9) and (10) are not perfectly acceptable, and are not apt for your essays, emails, etc. etc. but still they differ sharply; while the former is just a case of weak violation of the Wh-Island Condition, the latter is a case of both Wh-island and ECP violation.
I hope this may illustrate what I intended by "acceptability," "grammaticality," etc.