The C-System and the Extended Projection Principle

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 C-System and the Extended Projection Principle

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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

Chapter.  9404 words.  Illustrated.

Subjects: Grammar, Syntax and Morphology

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