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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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Parameterizing subject–verb inversion across Verb Second languages

Parameterizing subject–verb inversion across Verb Second languages

On the role of Relativized Minimality at the vP edge

Chapter:
(p.594) 25 Parameterizing subject–verb inversion across Verb Second languages
Source:
Rethinking Verb Second
Author(s):

Jan Casalicchio

Federica Cognola

Publisher:
Oxford University Press
DOI:10.1093/oso/9780198844303.003.0025

By discussing novel data from two Dolomitic Ladin languages spoken in Northern Italy, Badiotto and Gardenese, it is shown that in these Verb Second languages subject-finite verb inversion is constrained by the syntactic (adverb or object) and discourse (focus or topic) nature of the sentence-initial constituent, and by the discourse status of the DP subject. The chapter demonstrates that in both varieties subjects in inversion either appear in a FocusP of the vP periphery or in an A position in the IP layer, and that the observed distribution of inversion follows from two universal constraints of movement affecting extraction through the vP edge: (a) cyclicity (extraction through the edge of the vP phase) and (b) locality/ Relativized Minimality (RM). By comparing the distribution of DP subjects in Ladin with that observed in other V2 languages, such as Mòcheno and Mainland Scandinavian, the chapter proposes a novel typology of V2 languages and of subject-finite verb inversion to be captured in terms of parametric variation.

Keywords:   Relativized Minimality, cyclicity, locality, movement, extraction, subject-finite verb inversion, V2

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