On Some (A)symmetrical Properties of Scramblings

Hee-Don Ahn1, Sungeun Cho2,
Author Information & Copyright
1Konkuk University
1Yeungnam University
Corresponding Author: Professor, Department of English Education, Yeungnam University, 280 Daehak-ro, Gyeongsan, Gyeongbuk 38541, Korea, E-mail:

ⓒ Copyright 2022 Language Education Institute, Seoul National University. This is an Open-Access article distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution Non-Commercial License ( which permits unrestricted non-commercial use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited.

Received: Jan 27, 2022 ; Revised: Mar 31, 2022 ; Accepted: Apr 17, 2022

Published Online: Apr 30, 2022


This paper investigates symmetrical and asymmetrical properties of clause- internal scrambling and clause-external scrambling in Korean. We first assume that the binding condition applies derivationally while scope interpretation is obtained solely at LF. Concerning binding, the two types of scrambling display (a)symmetric properties that are not well-captured under previous analyses based on the traditional A/A’ distinction. Following Hicks’s (2008) assumption that the binding condition applies throughout the derivation, we show that binding facts can be explained if we examine the derivational history of scrambled elements. We further show that (a)symmetrical scope facts of clause-internal scrambling and clause-external scrambling are not well-captured under the canonical copy-theory of movements. In the case of QP-QP scope interaction, clause-internal scrambling induces scope ambiguity while clause-external scrambling does not. Regarding this contrast, we suggest that the wide scope interpretation of a quantifier in clause-internal scrambling results from the base-generation of the scope-bearing element at a clause-initial position, whereas the narrow scope interpretation of a quantifier in clause-internal scrambling results from the lowering of the moved quantifier. We lend further support to the proposal that the absence of a wide scope interpretation of a quantifier in the case of clause- external scrambling results from the obligatory reconstruction of the moved QP. However, when a negative polarity item is introduced into the sentence, clause-internal and clause-external scrambled QPs take only wide scope over negation. We suggest that symmetric scope facts related to NPI-QP interaction hinge on a ban on Relativized Minimality violation.

Keywords: clause-internal scrambling; clause-external scrambling; binding; quantifier scope; negation; NPI



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