Interpretation and the Typology of Head Movement: A Reassessment

Two themes define the current consensus concerning the status of head-movement in linguistic theory. The first is that the raising of a head can have interpretive effects (and that head movement as a consequence should not be relegated to the post-syntactic realm). The second is that at least the classic instances of head-movement should be understood uniformly as involving adjunction of head to head. The present talk aims to survey the current state of our knowledge concerning the first claim especially; the (tentative) general conclusion is that it is not in fact well-supported by the evidence currently available. But the two elements of the consensus are linked in an important way. If it is actually important to distinguish different sub-types of head movement, then the right answer to the question of whether or not there are interpretive consequences could well be different for the different sub-types