Date of Completion


Embargo Period



Spanish nominal domain, phases, anti-locality, lethal ambiguity, ellipsis, PF-deletion

Major Advisor

Željko Bošković

Associate Advisor

Jonathan Bobaljik

Associate Advisor

Susi Wurmbrand

Field of Study



Doctor of Philosophy

Open Access

Campus Access


I examine the syntactic properties of the Spanish nominal(ization) domain. The research, which is empirically guided by extraction/binding/ellipsis data, and theoretically guided by both the highest-phrase-as-a-phase framework (Bošković in press) and the rescue-by-PF-deletion approach, argues for the theoretical relevance of four syntactic elements: (i) phases, (ii) anti-locality conditions, (iii) specifier/adjunct distinction, and (iv) “lethal ambiguity” contexts. I also argue that the Spanish nominal (theme/patient) a-phrase is structurally different from the (theme/patient) de-phrase: whereas the de-phrase is a nominal complement, the a-phrase is a nominal adjunct which is initially generated in an internal nominal projection. In addition, the resulting analysis, which assumes the minimal required amount of DP-internal structure, also shows that being (or not) a morphologically deverbal noun does not make any difference in terms of extraction/binding/ellipsis properties. Finally, ellipsis phenomena within the Spanish nominal domain, which are analyzed as contexts where the phrase that survives ellipsis moves to a DP internal focus projection, show that all locality violations (anti-locality/PIC/ intervening-specifier/”lethal ambiguity” violations) can be rescued by PF-deletion.