Parameterizing 'lexical subject-finite verb' inversion across Verb Second languages: On the role of Relativized Minimality at the vP edge

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingChapter

Abstract

By discussing novel data from two Dolomitic Ladin languages spoken in Northern Italy, Badiotto and Gardenese, we show that in these Verb-second languages subject-finite verb inversion i) 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. We demonstrate that in both varieties subjects in inversion either appear in a FocusP of the vP periphery (Belletti 2004, Poletto 2010) 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, Chomsky 2001) and b) locality/RM (Rizzi 1990, 2004). By comparing the distribution of DP subjects in Ladin with that observed in other V2 languages, such as Mòcheno and Mainland Scandinavian, we propose a novel typology of V2 languages and of subject-finite verb inversion to be captured in terms of parametric variation (see Biberauer & Roberts 2012, Biberauer, Holmberg, Roberts & Sheehan 2014 and Biberauer & Roberts 2016, Biberauer to appear).
Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationRethinking Verb Second
Pages594-622
Number of pages29
Publication statusPublished - 2020

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