pISSN: 1598-3293

영어영문학연구, Vol.62 no.3 (2020)

DOI : 10.18853/jjell.2020.62.3.010

On the Two Types of Expletive It in English

Lee, Chang-Su

(U1 University)

As noted by Napoli (1988), there are two kinds of expletive it, namely the extraposition it (EXT-it) and the raising it (R-it). The expletive construction accompanying EXT-it and the one with R-it behave differently with respect to some syntactic phenomena. They are the extraction of a wh-phrase from the clausal argument, controlling the PRO subject in an adjunct infinitival clause, the possibility of serving as a small clause complement, and the mobility of the clausal argument to subject position. To provide a reasonable analysis for the two expletive constructions in question, this paper proposes that in the expletive construction accompanying EXT-it the expletive is merged in the specifier of the clausal argument and then moves to the matrix [Spec, TP], whereas the expletive is merged directly in the matrix [Spec, TP] in the expletive construction with R-it. The syntactic differences between the two expletive constructions in question are successfully accounted for under this paper’s proposal with minor adoption of some relevant syntactic mechanisms. The cannonical expletive construction accompanying EXT-it may be led by R-it when the clausal argument is introduced by a wh-phrase, but this problematic case is explained under the assumption that the EPP feature of C must be checked off by a lexical item bearing the same value with respect to [±wh] feature.
  허사 구문; 외치; 상승; 절 논항; 자질 공유;expletive construction; extraposition; raising; clausal argument; feature sharing

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