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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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On the syntax and prosody of Verb Second and Clitic Second

On the syntax and prosody of Verb Second and Clitic Second

(p.503) 21 On the syntax and prosody of Verb Second and Clitic Second
Rethinking Verb Second

Željko Bošković

Oxford University Press

This chapter argues that V2 and clitic second should not be unified structurally. Second-position clitics do not all occur in a fixed position high in the clause (they can, in fact, occur rather low in the structure), differing from the verb in V2 in this respect, and second-position clitic systems are incompatible with the presence of definite articles in the language, in contrast to V2. Clitic second and V2 clauses also differ with respect to their mobility, the latter being immobile. Clitic second and V2 are, however, shown to share important prosodic properties, which is taken to indicate that the two should be unified at least to some extent prosodically (with clitic second, the second position is in fact defined prosodically: clitics are second within their intonational phrase). Factoring out the prosodic properties of V2 is also shown to simplify the syntax of V2. From this perspective, the chapter provides accounts of a number of properties of V2, including the root/embedded clause asymmetry regarding the productivity of V2, the non-pickiness of the V2 requirement (where just about anything can satisfy it), and the role of the freedom of word order in the historical development of syntactic V2, where all these are ultimately traced to the presence of a prosodic requirement. The chapter also provides a labelling-based account of the immobility of V2 clauses.

Keywords:   clitic second, V2, prosodic property, intonational phrase, labelling, definite article

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