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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 C-System and the Extended Projection Principle

The C-System and the Extended Projection Principle

(p.119) 4 The C-System and the Extended Projection Principle
Principles and Parameters in a VSO Language

Ian G. Roberts (Contributor Webpage)

Oxford University Press

This chapter deals with the nature and structure of the C-system in Welsh and Breton. The central question is whether the EPP holds at the C-level in these languages (since earlier chapters have shown that it is inoperative in IP). This entails a detailed discussion of Germanic verb-second, since it has often been proposed that the obligatory XP-movement into the C-system that makes up part of this phenomenon is a consequence of the EPP. First, the Welsh system of clause-initial particles is compared with the V2 system found in Germanic, and it is argued that the two systems are very similar at the relevant level of abstraction. Second, the Breton system is introduced. This system resembles that of Welsh in all respects except for one crucial one: it makes use of ‘long verb-movement’ rather than assertion particles. This movement is shown to be a genuine non-local case of head-movement. Both Welsh and Breton are argued to share a ‘filled-Fin’ requirement with V2 Germanic: this observation is then accounted for in terms of the EPP.

Keywords:   particles, complementizers, verb second, long head-movement, Welsh, Breton, Germanic languages

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