Chapter

Phase domains at PF: Root suppletion and its implications

Authors:
To read the full-text of this research, you can request a copy directly from the authors.

Abstract

This chapter investigates some implications of Spell-Out in a phase-based, realizational derivational system. It is argued that all operations on the PF branch within a phase, specifically Vocabulary Insertion and phonological rule application are predicted to have isomorphic domains of application. This has implications for the proposals on how to extend suppletion domains found in Embick (2010) and Bobaljik & Wurmbrand (2013). Ap- parent mismatches in suppletive vs. phonological domains are examined in a number of languages, including English, Yiddish, Turkish, Ojibwe, Malagasy, and German. The data are argued to support modifications to both (i) certain theoretical proposals held in the literature, and (ii) the syntactic location of triggers for suppletion generally assumed.

No full-text available

Request Full-text Paper PDF

To read the full-text of this research,
you can request a copy directly from the authors.

... To handle Armenian, PDbP can be tweaked to include strata via final vs. non-final phases (Lochbihler 2017), separation of phonological and morphosyntactic cycles (Embick 2014;d'Alessandro and Scheer 2015), and allowing inflection to trigger its own cycles (Bobaljik and Wurmbrand 2013;Shwayder 2015;Kilborne-Ceron et al. 2016). Doing so reduces the differences between PDbP vs. Stratal/Lexical Phonology (cf. ...
Article
Full-text available
It is often argued that words have complex internal structure in terms of their morphology, phonology, and semantics. On the surface, Armenian compounds present a bracketing paradox between their morphological and phonological structure. I argue that this bracketing paradox simultaneously references endocentricity, strata, and prosody. I use Armenian as a case study to argue for the use of cyclic approaches to bracketing paradoxes over the more common counter-cyclic approaches. I analyze the bracketing paradox using cyclic Head-Operations (Hoeksema 1985) and Prosodic Phonology (Nespor and Vogel 1986), specifically the Prosodic Stem (Downing 1999a). I argue that the interaction between the bracketing paradox and the rest of compound phonology requires the use of stratal levels and cyclicity. I argue that counter-cyclic approaches like Morphological Merger (Marantz 1988) or Morphological Rebracketing (Sproat 1985) are inadequate because they make incorrect predictions about Armenian phonology.
... In Yiddish, the [O] feature does have an effect on the spell-out of T m : the inflection on the fronted verb is always the infinitival suffix -(e)n (80). Interestingly, however, the fronted verb is not the usual infinitive: the verb root has the same form as in finite forms, despite the infinitival suffix (Waletzky 1969, Davis and Prince 1986, Källgren and Prince 1989, Travis 2003, Kilbourn-Ceron et al. 2016. In (80a), for instance, the root allomorph in the pseudo-infinitive form of 'know' is veys-the same as in the first singular form. ...
Article
We propose a theory of head displacement that replaces traditional Head Movement and Lowering with a single syntactic operation of Generalized Head Movement. We argue that upward and downward head displacement have the same syntactic properties: cyclicity, Mirror Principle effects, feeding upward head displacement, and being blocked in the same syntactic configurations. We also study the interaction of head displacement and other syntactic operations, arguing that claimed differences between upward and downward displacement are either spurious or follow directly from our account. Finally, we show that our theory correctly predicts the attested crosslinguistic variation in verb and inflection doubling in predicate clefts.
... Otherwise, the elsewhere allomorph will always be inserted locally without any need for domain extension (cf. Kilbourn-Ceron et al. 2016). 10 To 10 The latter option is what is usually observed in other known examples of the configuration ROOT-x-Z, where the elsewhere allomorph is used in case a morpheme Y intervenes between x and Z, thus blocking root suppletion normally triggered by Z (see Moskal 2015a for a discussion of Slavic diminutives and other phenomena; Arregi and Nevins (2014) propose a similar analysis for disuppletive pairs like worse/badden). ...
Article
Much work in Distributed Morphology ( Embick 2010 , 2015 , Bobaljik 2012 , Harley, Tubino, and Haugen 2017 , Bobaljik and Harley to appear ) holds that morphosyntactically conditioned contextual allomorphy, including suppletion, can only work in a very local fashion: two morphemes must be linearly or structurally adjacent for one to determine the morphological exponence of the other. Recently, however, the existence of nonlocal patterns has come into focus, with growing evidence that nonlocal allomorphy is an attested empirical option. ¹ In this squib, I discuss the allomorphy of verb stems in the Nakh-Daghestanian language Aqusha Dargwa and argue that the choice between allomorphs in morphological causatives in that language is determined nonlocally by tense-aspect-mood (TAM), proposing that Vocabulary Insertion (VI) can be exempt from locality requirements under certain conditions.
Article
Minimalist Morphology predicts that allomorphy is conditioned inward and locally, and that the domains of morphosyntactically and phonologically conditioned allomorphy selection are identical. Amy Rose Deal and Matthew Wolf have put forward two cases of allomorphy in Nez Perce that appear to be conditioned by an outward phonological context. I present an analysis of Nez Perce morphology and phonology which supports the conclusion that the first case is not outward-conditioned, and the second case is not allomorphy but phonology.
Article
Since (Aronoff, Mark. 1994. Morphology by itself . Cambridge, MA: The MIT Press), the disparate morphosyntactic roles that past participle forms have in Latin (and Italian) morphology have played a central role in arguing for morphomic approaches. In this article, I will propose an alternative analysis of the special behavior of these participle forms in Distributed Morphology (DM, Halle Morris, & Alec Marantz. 1993. Distributed morphology and the pieces of inflection. In Kenneth Hale & Samuel Jay Keyser (eds.), The view from building 20: Essays in linguistics in honor of Sylvain Bromberger , 111–176. Cambridge, MA: MIT Press.). In particular, I will propose that morphological spell-out, as a first stage of the PF derivation, includes morphological repairs triggered by abstract “morphomic” constraints. These repairs can insert “ornamental” pieces – structures that are not motivated syntactically or semantically but only morphologically – to mediate the interface between abstract syntactico-semantic structures and surface PF construction. I will demonstrate the role that these repairs play in accounting for the surface convergence between perfect and passive participle forms, and adjectival stative ones, and for the appearance of past participles in nominalizations. The article ends with an analysis of Latin past participle morphology focusing on its historical development. The first part of this analysis deals with the development of Latin verbal structure from Proto-Indo-European (PIE) and in particular with the development of “ornamental” thematic vowels. It then turns to a brief investigation of the historical development of the Latin past participle exponent /- t -/ from PIE adjectival suffix *-tó-, and of the PIE agentive and action/result nominal suffixes *-tér/tor, *-ti-, *-tu, *-men-(to)-. This will lead to a discussion of Latin nominalizations, the supine and the future participle and a possible explanation of why they contain participial morphology.
Chapter
Full-text available
We support the claim (Embick 2010, Bobaljik 2012) that suppletion is triggered locally by showing that number suppletion in Hiaki invariably occurs within the same phase and XP containing the suppletion target (the verbal Root) and its trigger (its complement). Evidence from their incompatibility with high applicatives suggests that Hiaki intransitive suppletive verbs are unaccusative. The Hiaki facts also dispute Embick & Halle’s (2005) proposal that only f-nodes compete for insertion. Rather, Hiaki suppletive verbs exhibit full semantic content typical of Roots, suggesting that Vocabulary Items also compete for insertion into Root nodes. Additionally, because no XP can intervene between the trigger and its target according to Bobaljik’s locality condition, the structural architecture we propose challenges the claim (Borer 2003, De Belder 2011) that Roots are extremely underspecified syntactic objects that do not take complements, because a maximal projection would then intervene between the suppletion target and its trigger.
Article
Full-text available
This article investigates diminutive affixes in four unrelated languages: Maale, Walman, Kolyma Yukaghir, and Itelmen, with additional discussion of German, Breton, and Yiddish. The data show variation in the syntax of diminutives. Diminutives differ cross-linguistically in the manner and place of attachment in a syntactic tree. In terms of the manner of attachment, some diminutive affixes are shown to behave as syntactic heads, while others show a behaviour characteristic of syntactic modifiers. In terms of the place of attachment, some affixes attach in the number position, while others attach above it. This article contributes to a discussion of form-function correspondence between syntactic categories (Wiltschko, in press). It shows that although diminutives across languages have the same meaning (or function), they significantly differ in their syntactic structures (or form). Thus, there is no 1:1 correspondence between form and function of diminutives in terms of the attachment and ordering of morphemes.
Article
Full-text available
This is a revised and updated version of Butt (2003), which noted that the study of light verbs and complex predicates is fraught with dangers and misunderstandings that go beyond the merely terminological. This chapter thus attempts to provide some clarity by addressing how light verbs and complex predicates can be identified cross-linguistically, what the relationship between the two is and whether light verbs must always be associated with uniform syntactic and semantic properties. Based primarily on both diachronic and synchronic evidence from the South Asian language Urdu, but also by taking cross-linguistic patterns into account, this chapter attempts to pull together the relevant available knowledge in order to arrive at a more definitive understanding of light verbs. Jespersen (1965, Volume VI: 117) is generally credited with first coining the term light verb, which he applied to English V+NP constructions as in (I). (I) have a rest, a read, a cry, a think take a sneak, a drive, a walk, a plunge give a sigh, a shout, a shiver, a pull, a ring The intuition behind the term ‘light’ is that although these constructions respect the standard verb complement schema in English, the verbs take, give, etc., cannot be said to be predicating fully. That is, one does not actually physically ‘take’ a ‘plunge’ but rather one ‘plunges’. The verbs therefore seem to be more of a verbal licenser for nouns.
Book
Full-text available
Article
Full-text available
This article examines stative and passive constructions in Chichewa, finding that the syntax of the two constructions is best accommodated in a model that allows argument structure changing operations, such as stative, to be distinguished from operations, such as passive, that affect the mapping from argument structure to grammatical functions. The Chichewa facts recall observations made concerning the differences between English adjectival and verbal passives, first formalized in Wasow 1977, but provide more straightforward evidence for a distinction, due to the absence of surface homophony. The paper concludes by reconsidering English adjectival and verbal passive constructions, and showing them to be morphologically distinct.
Article
Full-text available
English speakers disfavor compounds containing regular plurals compared to irregular ones. Haskell, MacDonald and Seidenberg (2003) attribute this phenomenon to the rarity of compounds containing words with the phonological properties of regular plurals. Five experiments test this proposal. Experiment 1 demonstrated that novel regular plurals (e.g., loonks-eater) are disliked in compounds compared to irregular plurals with illicit (hence less frequent) phonological patterns (e.g., leevk-eater, plural of loovk). Experiments 2–3 found that people show no dispreference for compounds containing nouns that merely sound like regular plurals (e.g., hose-installer vs. pipe-installer). Experiments 4–5 showed a robust effect of morphological regularity when phonological familiarity was controlled: Compounds containing regular plural nonwords (e.g., gleeks- hunter, plural of gleek) were disfavored relative to irregular, phonologically-identical, plurals (e.g., breex-container, plural of broox). The dispreference for regular plurals inside compounds thus hinges on the morphological distinction between irregular and regular forms and it is irreducible to phonological familiarity. Psychology
Article
This monograph probes the structure of the verb phrase through a cross-linguistic investigation of the syntax and morphology of relevant constructions. In particular, the author provides evidence for two event-related non-lexical projections called "inner aspect" and "event". The former is found within the verb phrase and encodes information on the endpoint of an event. The latter is found at the edge of the verb phrase and demarcates the boundary of a particular domain of syntax, L-syntax. Although languages vary in their use of these projections and in the way they encode the endpoints of events, the author argues that the comparison of a number of languages and the analysis of a range of constructions results in the emergence of a consistent picture. While much of the discussion involves Austronesian languages such as Malagasy and Tagalog, other languages such as French, Spanish, Swedish, Scots Gaelic, Chinese, Japanese, Navajo, Slave, and Kalagan are discussed. Syntactic and morphological data from these languages are used to illuminate the details of the phrase structure of the verbal predicate. These data also aid in understanding how phrase structure is used to express certain facets of language, such as event structure, aspectual verb classes, productive and lexical causatives, derived objects, agents and causes, and coerced structures.
Article
The abstract for this document is available on CSA Illumina.To view the Abstract, click the Abstract button above the document title.
Chapter
The general background for our study is the hypothesis of Lexical Learning, i.e., the question in what ways the emergence of syntactic structure in child language is determined through the acquisition of properties of lexical (and morphological) items. In the Universal Grammar (UG) framework it has recently been argued that parameters of UG should only refer to categories of lexical items or to properties of lexical items, for example canonical government. Rizzi (1989) proposed, for example, that only heads (=X°) or properties of heads may enter into a UG parameter. Chomsky (1989), based on previous work by Borer (1984), explored the possibility of allowing only functional categories to be parameterized. These attempts to constrain the class of UG parameters have lead to the hypothesis that in child language development the syntax of a particular language could be determined by the acquisition of lexical and/or functional categories (X°).
Article
An argument that patterns of allomorphy reveal that morphology and phonology behave in a way that provides evidence for a Localist theory of grammar. © 2010 Massachusetts Institute of Technology. All rights reserved.
Article
This article argues that there can only be one chunk-defining device in grammar: a theory cannot afford to have the same work done twice, once by phases, a second time by prosodic constituency. As it stands, however, phase theory is unable to describe all phonologically relevant chunks; these are too small and too diverse to be delineated. To qualify as the only chunk-defining device in grammar, phase theory therefore needs to be made more flexible—that is, to be adapted to the demands of phonology. To allow phase theory to describe all phonologically relevant chunks, we propose the separation of the Spell-Out operation from the Phase Impenetrability Condition (PIC). When Spell-Out occurs, every access point may or may not be associated with a PIC at PF, and the same optional endowment with a PIC holds for syntax. This is what we call Modular PIC. Empirically, on the basis of Abruzzese raddoppiamento fonosintattico and data from Bantu, we show that PIC effects in syntax and phonology are entirely independent: a given Spell-Out operation may leave traces in both modules, in either one, or in neither.
Article
Within the intermodular perspective of Distributed Morphology, various authors have raised the question of how the domains (e.g., cycles, phases) of one module (syntax, morphology, semantics) interact with those of others. This chapter explores one small aspect of this puzzle. Specifically, it proposes a general rubric that allows for some slippage in otherwise well-established locality domains—cases in which a well-motivated cyclic domain appears to be suspended, allowing dependencies to span a larger structure than they normally may. To the extent that this is on the right track, the chapter bolsters arguments that cyclic domains constrain the locality of operations across modules and thus constitute a deep property of grammar.
Article
This paper attempts to articulate the essential nature of the notion 'root' in the morphosyntax. Adopting a realizational (Late Insertion) view of the morphosyntactic model, the question of whether roots are phonologically individuated, semantically individuated, or not individuated at all in the syntactic component are addressed in turn. It is argued that roots cannot be phonologically identified, since there are suppletive roots, and they cannot be semantically identified, since there are roots with highly variable semantic content, analogous to 'semantic suppletion'. And yet, they must be individuated in the syntax, since without such individuation, suppletive competition would be impossible. Roots must therefore be individuated purely abstractly, as independent indices on the v node in the syntactic computation that serves as the linkage between a particular set of spell-out instructions and a particular set of interpretive instructions. It is further argued that the syntactic v node behaves in a syntactically unexceptional way, merging with complement phrases and projecting a v P. The correct formulation of locality restrictions on idiosyncratic phonological and semantic interpretations are also discussed.
Article
Greek voice and aspect jointly condition verbal stem allomorphy, including suppletion. Negation and tense in English do likewise. These cases show that stem allomorphy cannot be restricted to cases where the conditioning element is structurally adjacent to the element that displays allomorphic variation. But neither is contextual allomorphy entirely free from locality constraints: allomorphy can be conditioned only by a span, a contiguous set of heads in an extended projection.
Article
This paper provides evidence that word-internal syntax can play a crucial role in the determination of phonological well-formedness. The focus is on an apparent paradox in Ojibwe; the language both avoids and tolerates vowels in hiatus. Adopting the theory of Distributed Morphology, we argue that VV sequences are avoided within domains that are realizations of syntactic phases, based on the theory of cyclic derivation proposed by 0115 and 0120 and others. In contrast, when a VV sequence spans the boundary between phases, it is tolerated. The apparent paradox is a consequence of the fact that the elements outside the spell-out of a phase cannot be evaluated to determine the well-formedness of prosodic entities like syllables, feet and prosodic words. Derivation by phase and Distributed Morphology also provide insights into two strategies for avoiding vowels in hiatus within a phase-domain; vowel loss applies to combinations of vocabulary items inserted in the same phase, while consonant epenthesis applies to items inserted in different phases but merged phonologically after insertion. The conditions under which consonant epenthesis occurs provide support for post-syntactic movement at the PF interface, triggered entirely by phonological factors.
Article
Contrary to recent work in Distributed Morphology adopting Early Root Insertion (the notion that Roots are present from the outset of the syntactic derivation), we argue that Late Insertion applies to Roots just like other morphemes. We support this conclusion with empirical evidence (Root suppletion and hyponymous direct objects in noun incorporation and related constructions) and conceptual considerations (including the beneficial obviation of readjustment operations and the possibility that narrow syntax is universal). Additional data (Latin semideponent verbs) allow us to recast Embick’s (2000) licensing analysis of Latin deponent verbs as a further argument for Late Root Insertion.
Article
This paper describes and analyzes the predicate cleft construction found in Yiddish. It is shown that the topicalized constituent in this construction paradoxically appears both to have been base-generated in its peripheral position and to have been moved to that position. This paradox is resolved if we hypothesize that the topic-constituent is first base-generated in a peripheral topic position, and then may subsequently move to higher topic positions via successive A-bar movement. Such an account is nearly identical to the analysis of Clitic Left Dislocation offered in Iatridou 1995. I point out some interesting similarities between Clitic Left Dislocation and the Yiddish predicate cleft, and try to explain away some of their obvious differences. This analysis is also shown to be well-motivated for the predicate cleft in Brazilian Portuguese. Moreover, it seems that it might be correct for the Korean predicate cleft as well. The Hebrew predicate cleft, however, has properties which are problematic for this analysis, and I discuss two hypotheses why this might be so.
Article
1. The Program Starting out from the central ingredients of the analysis of the locality restrictions on Predicate Inversion presented in Den Dikken (2006a), in this paper I will lay the foundations for a theory of syntactic locality and the relationship between phrasal extraction and head movement that is predicated on the premises below: (1) Phase Impenetrability syntactic relationships (Agree) and processes (Move) are constrained by the Phase Impenetrability Condition (PIC) of Chomsky (2000 et passim): in phase α with head H, the domain is not accessible to operations outside α, only H and its edge are accessible to such operations (2) Inherent Phase an inherent phase is a predication (subject-predicate structure) (3) Phase Extension syntactic movement of the head H of a phase α up to the head X of the node β dominating α extends the phase up from α to β; α loses its phasehood in the process, and any constituent on the edge of α ends up in the domain of the derived phase β as a result of Phase Extension.
Article
Haitian’s well studied predicate cleft and its unstudied predicate reduplication are closely related: the former derives from the latter by A-bar movement of one reduplicant. This claim solves two long standing problems of the construction (why, apparently, this A-bar movement targets a head and leaves no gap). Moreover, it predicts novel restrictions on when predicate clefts are possible and makes possible a straightforward formalization of their semantics.
Article
The relationship between the meaning of words and the structure of sentences is an important area of research in linguistics. Studying the connections between lexical conceptual meaning and event structural relations, this book arrives at a modular classification of verb types within English and across languages. Ramchand argues that lexical encyclopedic content and event structural aspects of meaning need to be systematically distinguished, and that thematic and aspectual relations belong to the latter domain of meaning. The book proposes a syntactic decompositional view of core verbal meaning, and sets out to account for the variability and systematicity of argument structure realisation across verb types. It also proposes an interesting view of lexical insertion.
Article
Hale and Keyser (1993) introduce a new level to the grammar by suggesting that syntax may be divided between s-syntax (syntactic syntax) and l-syntax (lexical syntax). As with any innovation, the range of application of this new level of l-syntax must be motivated and constrained. In this paper I examine the characteristics of l-syntax with the aim of both determining and restricting its use. In the process, I introduce the notion of binding categories — categories that are non-distinct from lexical categories and from functional categories. I will argue that binding categories play an important role in the representation of event structure in phrase structure and that a particular binding category, Event (E), represents the phrase structure boundary between l-syntax and s-syntax.
Article
The abstract for this document is available on CSA Illumina.To view the Abstract, click the Abstract button above the document title.
Article
I Introduction The ultimate attainment of L2 learners varies considerably; some learners achieve completely native-like performance - and arguably native-like competence- while others 'fossilize', their endstate competence and performance differing, often considerably, from native speakers of the L2. In this paper, we contrast two positions which argue that failure to achieve native-like competence reflects effects of L1 representations on the interlanguage grammar (ILG). These accounts differ as to whether non-native attainment reflects L1 syntactic or phonological properties. According to the Representational Deficit Hypothesis (RDH) (Hawkins and Chan, 1997; Hawkins, 2000, 2003; Hawkins and Liszka, 2003; Tsimpli, 2003), there is no (syntactic) parameter resetting in adult L2; consequently, speakers can never acquire functional categories or features that are required by the L2 but absent in the L1. In other words, there are permanent effects of L1 syntactic representations on the ILG. In contrast, we argue that it is transfer of L1 prosodic constraints that affects IL representations, with consequences for the production of inflectional morphology and function words, particularly during the course of development but also in the endstate. In this paper, we investigate the L2 acquisition of English tense morphology by Mandarin speakers; we show that Mandarin speakers have few problems in interpreting English tense appropriately and that their production of the morphology shows effects of stimulus type which is unexpected on syntactic accounts. We further argue that, while there are circumstances in which L2 speakers are able to adapt L1 prosodic structures in order to represent L2 functional morphology, there are certain situations where this will never be possible.
Chapter
The bulk of evidence concerning the syntax–phonology interface shows an influence of syntax on phonology. The domain structure for sentence-level phonological and phonetic phenomena, which forms part of the surface phonological representation (PR) of the sentence, is defined through an interaction of two types of constraints: syntax–prosodic structure interface constraints, which call for certain properties of the surface syntactic representation of the sentence (PF) to be reflected in domain structure in PR, and prosodic structure markedness constraints, which call for the surface prosodic structure to display patterns of unmarked prosodic structure. The effects of prosodic markedness constraints argue against direct access theories, which see phonological phenomena as defined directly on the surface syntax. Distinguishing PF and PR raises the question whether PF is input to the phonological component, with PR the output, as in standard models of generative grammar, or whether there may be mutual influence. Current models of grammar would countenance effects in the other direction, with the possibility of phonological principles constraining the range of acceptable surface syntactic representations, and research is beginning to explore this area.
Chapter
Despite the great complexity and abstractness of the data, there is rich evidence that long-distance relations have a successive-cyclic character. This often gives rise to what appear to be edge effects, and can be taken as a strong argument for the importance of a special area at the edge of each cycle. The phase-based model gives the underpinnings of an explanatory account for these phenomena, rooted in a conceptually appealing model of syntactic structure. What I have tried to do here is to explore the extension of the phase-based theory to the nominal domain, and to explore the interaction of the nominal structure with the clausal structure. The interactions mainly express themselves not in edge effects, but in the successive opacity of different nominal domains, blocking relations from the clausal heads into spelled out projection of the extended DP. I have suggested a few points of parametric variation, relying mainly on the presence or absence of attractors of different types in different heads.
Article
Under a non-lexicalist view of word formation, such as Distributed Morphology (Halle and Marantz 1993), morphemes combine to form complex words during or after –but not before– narrow syntactic derivation. Such a model inevitably requires the availability of downward transformations, e.g. affix-hopping. This thesis provides a detailed investigation into such downward movements. Whereas previous analyses have relegated downward movements to a position outside of core derivational processes (e.g. Chomsky 1981 and, to a lesser extent, Embick and Noyer 2001), I argue that certain downward movements, namely head-to-head Lowering, form part of the central architecture of syntactic derivation and are motivated by fundamental properties of that architecture, such as phase impenetrability (Chomsky 2001). Though this thesis addresses certain properties of other types of apparent downward movement (e.g. morpho-phonological merger; i.e. Local Dislocation), it focuses primarily on the defining characteristics of head-to-head Lowering. Central to this investigation is the observation that Lowering is a highly syntactic operation. In Chapter 2, I argue that a Lowering head may freely target any intermediate syntactic position of the complex head of its complement, thus deriving several cases of morphological optionality; e.g. reduplicative variability in Tagalog and Ndebele and the variable positions of agreement markers in Turkish. Chapter 3 addresses tense-hopping, a canonical case of downward movement. I argue that certain asymmetries between English and Swedish provide evidence that these two languages derive their respective tense-hopping patterns via different means. Namely, Swedish tense-hopping is a case of Lowering, whereas English tense-hopping results from Local Dislocation (following Ochi 1999). Additionally, I propose a detailed theory of the Lowering vs. Raising distinction. Based in the observation that Lowering only ever takes place across a phase boundary, I posit a Phase Head Impenetrability Condition (PHIC), under which features embedded in a complex phase head become inaccessible as a result of Spell-out. Lowering occurs as a last resort feature-checking operation when the next highest head targets one of these embedded features; Raising occurs otherwise. I address several repercussions of this analysis, and in Chapter 4 I show that the PHIC allows for a straightforward account of the aux-raising vs. tense-hopping asymmetry in English. More precisely, I claim that auxiliary verbs are merged in the same phase as finite tense, and so the PHIC does not apply between these two elements, unlike with main verbs. The analyses presented in this thesis all share a common goal – to show that downward movements can and should be incorporated into core linguistic theory. Selon une conception non-lexicaliste de la formation du mot, telle que la Morphologie Distribuée (Halle et Marantz 1993), les morphèmes se combinent pour former des mots complexes pendant ou après—mais pas avant—la dérivation syntaxique étroite. Un tel modèle requiert inévitablement la disponibilité de transformations descendantes, par exemple la transformation affixale. La présente thèse procure une investigation détaillée de tels mouvements descendants. Tandis que les analyses précédentes ont relégué les mouvements descendants hors du cœur des processus dérivationnels (p. ex., Chomsky 1981 et, dans une moindre mesure, Embick et Noyer 2001), je soutiens que certains mouvements descendants, soit l'abaissement tête-à-tête, forment une partie de l'architecture centrale de la dérivation syntaxique et sont motivés par des propriétés fondamentales de cette architecture, tel que l'impénétrabilité phasique (Chomsky 2001). Bien que la présente thèse examine certaines propriétés d'autres types de mouvements descendants apparents (p. ex., fusionnement morpho-phonologique, c'est-à-dire, la Dislocation Locale), elle se concentre principalement sur les caractéristiques définitionnelles de l'abaissement tête-à-tête. L'observation que l'abaissement est une opération proprement syntaxique est centrale à cette investigation. Au chapitre 2, je soutiens qu'une tête abaissante peut librement cibler toute position syntaxique de la tête complexe de son complément, dérivant ainsi plusieurs cas d'optionalité morphologique, par example, la variabilité reduplicative en tagalog et ndebele et les positions variables des marqueurs d'accord en turc. Le chapitre 3 examine la transformation du temps. Je soutiens que certaines asymétries entre l'anglais et le suédois fournissent la preuve que ces deux langues dérivent leurs patrons de transformation du temps respectifs par des moyens différents. Plus précisément, la transformation de temps en suédois est un cas d'abaissement, tandis que la transformation du temps en anglais résulte d'une Dislocation Locale (selon Ochi 1999). De plus, je propose une théorie détaillée de la distinction entre l'abaissement et la montée. Sur la base de l'observation que seul l'abaissement ne prend place qu'à travers une frontière phasique, je stipule une condition d'impénétrabilité de la tête phasique (PHIC), sous laquelle les traits enchassés dans une tête de phase complexe deviennent inaccessibles à la suite de l'épel. L'abaissement prend place comme opération de vérification de trait en dernier recours lorsque l'avant-dernière tête cible un de ces traits enchassés; autrement, la montée se produit. J'explore plusieurs répercussions de cette analyse, et au chapitre 4 je montre que la PHIC permet une explication directe de la montée des auxiliaires par opposition à la transformation du temps en anglais. Plus précisément, je soutiens que les verbes auxiliaires et le temps fini sont fusionnés dans la même phase, et ainsi la PHIC ne s'applique pas entre eux, contrairement aux verbes principaux.Les analyses présentées dans cette thèse partagent toutes un but commun : montrer que les mouvements descendants peuvent et doivent être incorporés dans la théorie linguistique fondamentale.