Scrambling and last resort

Željko Bošković, Daiko Takahashi

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

147 Citations (Scopus)


Under the standard analysis (e.g., Fukui 1993, Saito 1985, 1992), scrambling in Japanese raises a serious problem for the last resort view of Move α, since it is considered to involve optional overt movement that has no driving force. In this article we propose a new analysis of scrambling that puts scrambling in conformity with the Last Resort principle. We argue that scrambled elements are base-generated in their surface non-θ-positions and undergo obligatory LF movement to the position where they receive θ-roles, which we consider to be formal features capable of driving movement. We show that our LF analysis of scrambling is both conceptually and empirically superior to the standard optional overt movement analysis.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)347-366
Number of pages20
JournalLinguistic Inquiry
Issue number3
Publication statusPublished - 1998


  • A/Ā distinction
  • Japanese
  • Last Resort
  • Lowering
  • Scrambling
  • θ-roles


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