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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

(p.594) 25 Parameterizing subject–verb inversion across Verb Second languages
Rethinking Verb Second

Jan Casalicchio

Federica Cognola

Oxford University Press

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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