The Analysis of VSO Languages

Ian G. Roberts

in Principles and Parameters in a VSO Language

Published in print January 2005 | ISBN: 9780195168211
Published online September 2007 | e-ISBN: 9780199788453 | DOI:

Series: Oxford Studies in Comparative Syntax

 The Analysis of VSO Languages

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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

Chapter.  16257 words.  Illustrated.

Subjects: Grammar, Syntax and Morphology

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