Regarding the floating quantifiers' theory on external argument's movement.

These data raises two different problems:

a) The dogs ALL should have been petted.

b) *The dogs should have been ALL petted.

a) There seems to be no room for a possible landing site of the NP subject the dogs between [Spec, AgrP] and the head [Agr0] - or [Spec, IP] and [I0] if we don't take into account Split-IP hypothesis.

Where does all get stranded in a) in the syntax tree?

b) Why all cannot be stranded there? Theoretically, that position could be either be [Spec,VP] of the verb pet or [Spec,IP] of the participle inflection of (pet)-ted.

How does the theory account for the ungrammaticality of b)?

  • Ask the authors, not us.
    – jlawler
    Nov 1, 2013 at 22:05
  • What are talking about? Nov 2, 2013 at 0:39
  • Precisely my point.
    – jlawler
    Nov 2, 2013 at 2:57
  • 1
    @AntonMariaPrati Boskovic (2001, p4, example 5a) for example gives a construction parallel to your (b) as being grammatical.
    – P Elliott
    Nov 2, 2013 at 17:54
  • 1
    So, perhaps, the floated Q position is not predicted by Spec AgrP. Don't believe everything you read in a syntax book.
    – jlawler
    Nov 3, 2013 at 3:36


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