Case, Agreement, and Mutation

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

 Case, Agreement, and Mutation

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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

Chapter.  15294 words.  Illustrated.

Subjects: Grammar, Syntax and Morphology

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