MGs do not struggle (as much as you think) with multiple wh-movement

πŸ•‘ 15 min • πŸ‘€ Thomas Graf • πŸ“† July 23, 2021 in Discussions • 🏷 Minimalist grammars, movement, multiple wh-movement, transductions, first-order logic

In February I had a nice chat with Bob Frank and Tim Hunter regarding their SCiL paper on comparing tree-construction methods across mildly context-sensitive formalisms. Among other things, this paper reiterates the received view that MGs cannot handle unbounded multiple wh-movement. That is certainly true for standard MGs as defined in Stabler (1997), but my argument was that this is due to what may now be considered an idiosyncrasy of the definition. We can relax that definition to allow for multiple wh-movement while preserving essential formal properties of MGs. However, friendly chats aren’t a good format for explaining this in detail, so I promised them an Outdex post with some math. Well, 5 months later, I finally make good on my promise.

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