Towards an Etiology of Adjunct Islands


  • Kyle Johnson University of Massachusetts at Amherst



Focus, Islands, Wh-movement, Phrase Structure


This paper examines the connection between certain island phenomena for long distance movement, and matching island conditions on focus projection. Based on a description of focus projection that Lisa Selkirk and Michael Rochemont formulate, I take the basic pattern to be that pitch accent on a word may license focus marking on a phrase only if the pitch accented word is not separated from the focus marked phrase by a phrase in Specifier position or in adjunct position. Long distance movement operations are similarly incapable of moving a phrase out of a phrase in Specifier or adjunct position. Using Chomsky's notion of "phase," I argue that this is because Specifiers and adjuncts are phonological phases, and make proposals about what movement and focus projection is that thereby derives this effect. I then propose an interpretation of Chomsky's Bare Phrase Structure that derives the phaseness of these phrases.