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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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Case, Agreement, and Mutation

Case, Agreement, and Mutation

(p.47) 2 Case, Agreement, and Mutation
Principles and Parameters in a VSO Language

Ian G. Roberts (Contributor Webpage)

Oxford University Press

This chapter attempts to find the corollaries of the parameter values responsible for the movements identified as underlying VSO order in Chapter 1. A comparison with the behaviour of subject clitics in Northern Italian dialects leads to the conclusion that subject-agreement marking in Welsh is a form of incorporated clitic pronoun. This plays a central role in triggering verb-movement, leading to the suggestion that there is no motivation for appealing further to a ‘strong V-feature’. The analysis of the trigger for subject-raising leads to a general account of structural Case-assignment, which, when applied to direct objects, also provides an account of direct-object mutation. Here too, the notion of ‘strong D-feature’ plays no role.

Keywords:   VSO languages, verb-movement, subject raising, subject clitics, agreement, anti-agreement, Case theory, direct-object mutation

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