Weak crossover

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Weak crossover is a one kind of crossover:

(i)   *whoi did hisi mother see ti 

Who is moved across his in (i). The fact that who is moved across his is referred to as 'weak crossover', because the ungrammaticality is not due to a Condition C violation as in the case of strong crossover. Binding theory has nothing to say on the possibility of coreference between who and his. Who is moved to an A'-position, therefore, his cannot be A-bound by who. Moreover, since his does not c-command the wh-trace, his cannot bind it (which would be a condition C violation). Still, coreference between who and his is ungrammatical. A wide range of analyses have been proposed, including Chomsky's (1976) Leftness condition, Higginbotham's (1980) Accessibility Condition, Safir's (1984) PCOB, Reinhart's (1983) S-Structure c-command requirement. Best-known among these is Koopman & Sportiche's (1982) Bijection Principle. Weak crossover also occurs at LF, in cases such as (ii) containing the quantified expression everyone.

(ii)  *Hisi mother loves everyonei 
(iii) *everyonei hisi mother loves ti 

In the LF (iii), derived by Quantifier Raising, the interpretation of his as a bound variable is also ruled out by the Bijection Principle.



  • Chomsky, N. 1976. Conditions on Rules in Grammar, in: Chomsky 1977a., .
  • Higginbotham, J. 1980. Pronouns and Bound Variables, Linguistic Inquiry, 679-708
  • Koopman, H. and D. Sportiche 1982. Variables and the Bijection Principle, Kaye, J., H. Koopman and D. Sportiche (eds.), Projet sur les langues kru: Premier rapport, pp.176-202, Univ. du Quebec a Montreal
  • May, Robert 1985. Logical form, MIT Press
  • Reinhart, T. 1983. Anaphora and Semantic Interpretation, Croom Helm:London.
  • Ruys, E. 1992. The scope of indefinites, diss. Utrecht University.
  • Ruys, E.G. 1994. A global economy analysis of weak crossover, in:R. Bok & C. Cremers (eds.) Linguisitcs in the Netherlands 1994, Benjamins:Amsterdam/New York.
  • Safir, K. 1984. Multiple Varaible Binding, Linguistic Inquiry 15-4, 603-638
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