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Principles and Parameters in a VSO LanguageA Case Study in Welsh$
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Ian G. Roberts

Print publication date: 2005

Print ISBN-13: 9780195168211

Published to Oxford Scholarship Online: September 2007

DOI: 10.1093/acprof:oso/9780195168211.001.0001

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The Analysis of VSO Languages

The Analysis of VSO Languages

(p.7) 1 The Analysis of VSO Languages
Principles and Parameters in a VSO Language

Ian G. Roberts (Contributor Webpage)

Oxford University Press

This chapter presents an analysis of VSO order in terms of the feature-checking system of Chomsky (1995). Starting from the well-established idea that VSO order involves verb-movement out of VP and over the subject, the related questions of the target position of the verb and the target position of the subject are systematically investigated, taking the relevant literature on Welsh, Irish, and Breton into account. It is argued that V moves into the I-system but not into the C-system (as comparison with Germanic V2 languages reveals), while the subject raises from its predicate-internal position (as a range of cross-linguistic evidence reveals). The verb moves into a high head-position in the I-system while the subject moves into the specifier position of the immediately subjacent category.

Keywords:   verb-movement, subject raising, split-Infl hypothesis, strong features, Extended Projection Principle

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