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Rethinking Verb Second$
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Rebecca Woods and Sam Wolfe

Print publication date: 2020

Print ISBN-13: 9780198844303

Published to Oxford Scholarship Online: June 2020

DOI: 10.1093/oso/9780198844303.001.0001

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Verb Second and the Left Edge Filling Trigger

Verb Second and the Left Edge Filling Trigger

(p.455) 19 Verb Second and the Left Edge Filling Trigger
Rethinking Verb Second

Mélanie Jouitteau

Oxford University Press

This chapter is an inquiry into the subcomponent of the Extended Projection Principle (EPP) that is relevant for second position phenomena: the Left Edge Filling Trigger (LEFT). LEFT basically amounts to a classical morphological obligatory exponence effect, except that it is instantiated at the sentence level. It cross-linguistically operates in a post-syntactic realizational morphological module. It is shown that LEFT is an active rule of Universal Grammar, providing empirical arguments from Breton, a Celtic VSO language showing an extra conspicuous V2 requirement. A radical reanalysis of language word order typology is proposed. Classic V2 languages are conspicuously V2. SVO is a subtype. So-called V1 languages are either predicate-fronting languages (Tense second), or inconspicuously V2. A cross-linguistic typology of LEFT effects is presented, with great attention paid to inconspicuous satisfiers, among them null expletives, for which evidence is presented. The chapter argues accordingly for a drastic extension of the typology of expletives.

Keywords:   predicate-fronting, post-syntactic, expletive, null expletive, Celtic, Breton, Extended Projection Principle, EPP, Left Edge Filling Trigger, LEFT

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