All about alles: The syntax of wh-quantifier float in German
Doliana, Aaron Gianmaria Gabriel
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This thesis offers an in-depth investigation of “wh-quantifier float” of the quantifying particle ‘alles’ in German. 'Alles' (etymologically, ‘all’) appears in wh-questions like 'Wen alles hat die Mare eingeladen?' (‘Who-all did Mare invite?’). The thesis focuses on the syntactic distribution of 'alles'. 'Alles' enjoys a wide distribution in the clause. It can occur both ‘adjacent’ to its ‘associate’ wh-phrase, and ‘distant’ from it, in various positions of the clause. I address three questions: What determines the distribution of 'alles'? Are adjacent 'alles' and ‘distal alles’ the same category? What licenses distal 'alles'? I answer these questions by arguing for a stranding analysis of distal 'alles': 'alles' and its associate form a first-Merge constituent, which is optionally separated in the course of the derivation through a process that involves movement ([WH alles] ⇒ [WH. . . [[WH alles]. . . ]]). The conclusion is compatible with prior analyses that argued for or assumed (a) constituency, and (b) a movement dependency in overt syntax. The conclusion is at odds with adverbial analyses, which assume that distal 'alles' is an adverbial. I provide two main empirical arguments. First, I argue against the idea that distal 'alles' and adjacent 'alles' are separate lexical items, or have different lexical content. Second, I argue that the “Chain Link Generalization” is the most accurate generalization for the distribution of 'alles': Given a derivation involving 'alles' and a licit associate, 'alles' may appear in any position which hosts an Abar-chain link of the associate, and in no other position. I show that 'alles' has “no distribution of its own in the clause”. Rather, the distribution of 'alles' depends on the potential distribution of its associate and can be predicted by the associate’s category, the associate’s base-position, the derivation that the associate undergoes in a given sentence. Conceptually, I argue that a stranding analysis is favored by simplicity as most generalizations established in this dissertation are directly entailed by it.