Easy to (re)analyse
Tough-constructions in minimalism
Within minimalism, we may assume derivations to involve subderivations, connected by the interface components dealing with sound and meaning (layered derivations). If so, complex adjectival constructions involving predicates like tough/easy (as in John is easy to please) receive a natural account in terms of reanalysis taking place at these interface components, turning a complex adjectival construction into a simplex adjective which can be merged in predicative or attributive position in the next derivation layer. Arguments against reanalysis address earlier, more complicated conceptions of reanalysis, and fail to distinguish plain and expanded tough-constructions, the latter not showing any reanalysis characteristics. In a layered-derivation cum reanalysis approach, the arguments for empty operator movement in the embedded infinitival clause disappear, and the reanalysed construction shows the properties of an adjectival passive instead.
Keywords: easy-to-please constructions, complex adjectival constructions, tough-constructions, minimalism, passive infinitive, empty operator movement, reanalysis, layered derivations
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