Chapter

Parameters in Old Romance word order<sup>1</sup>

Guido Mensching

in Parameter Theory and Linguistic Change

Published in print November 2012 | ISBN: 9780199659203
Published online January 2013 | e-ISBN: 9780191745188 | DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.1093/acprof:oso/9780199659203.003.0002

Series: Oxford Studies in Diachronic and Historical Linguistics

Parameters in Old Romance word order1

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This chapter examines medieval Romance word order patterns concentrating on XP-V-subject and Aux-XP-V-participle. It argues both patterns are related to each other in that the latter overtly shows the position of some XP at the boundary of the vP phase. From this position, the XP is visible for higher functional categories, thus allowing for XP-V-subject, where XP checks T°'s [EPP]-feature, at least when XP is a topic. Both patterns follow from one (lexical) parameter—generalized [EPP]-feature on v°—which made the movement of a constituent to [spec,vP] possible. Since this feature was lost in the course of time, clitic pronouns became obligatory in these constructions. The clitics may be considered as a device to supply the relevant [EPP]-feature. The chapter is based on Chomsky (2000 et seq.), showing that a non-cartographic approach can account for the data, if the probe-goal approach is enhanced to allow information structural probes.

Keywords: Old Spanish; Old Italian; Old French; Old Galician/Portuguese; V2 phenomena; minimalist syntax; information structure; Romance languages; syntax; [EPP]-feature

Chapter.  7639 words. 

Subjects: Linguistics

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