This article addresses the syntax of the notorious 'tough' (-movement) construction (TC) in English. TCs exhibit a range of apparently contradictory empirical properties suggesting that their derivation involves the application of both A-movement and A'-movement operations. Given that within previous Principles and Parameters models TCs have remained “unexplained and in principle unexplainable” (Holmberg 2000: 839) due to incompatibility with constraints on theta-assignment, locality, and Case, this article argues that the phase-based implementation of the Minimalist program (Chomsky 2000, 2001, 2004) permits a reanalysis of null wh-operators capable of circumventing the previous theoretical difficulties. Essentially, 'tough'-movement consists of A-moving a constituent out of a “complex” null operator which has already undergone A'-movement, a “smuggling” construction in the terms of Collins (2005a,b
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