1 … 3–2

Peter Svenonius

in The Oxford Handbook of Linguistic Interfaces

Published in print February 2007 | ISBN: 9780199247455
Published online September 2012 | | DOI:

Series: Oxford Handbooks in Linguistics

 1 … 3–2

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  • Linguistics
  • Grammar, Syntax and Morphology


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This article is about basic word order, morphology, and their relationship to movement. It explores some cross-linguistically pervasive word-order tendencies in which the hierarchical structure is reflected in left-to-right order (1–2–3) or right-to-left order (3–2–1) or in a mix of the two (1–3–2). The article also illustrates that there are basic asymmetries in these patterns for a wide variety of constructions in a wide variety of languages. It investigates one way to capture these ordering patterns: extension of Minimalist theory of phrasal movement. Moreover, the strengths and limitations of the Mirror Principle are reported. The position of agreement morphology or of negation does not seem to give the same sort of direct evidence for clause structure as is given by the position of functor morphemes expressing causation, tense, aspect, modality, and other concepts. Additionally, the article illustrates how verb clusters shed some additional light on the mechanisms responsible for word-order variation.

Keywords: word order; agreement morphology; hierarchical structure; Minimalist theory; phrasal movement; Mirror Principle; verb clusters; negation

Article.  17487 words. 

Subjects: Linguistics ; Grammar, Syntax and Morphology

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