Boskovic (2016) – On Verb Second and Clitic Second

On Verb Second and Clitic Second
Zeljko Boskovic
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December 2016
The paper argues that V-2 and clitic second should not be unified structurally. Second position clitics do not all occur in a fixed position high in the clause (they can in fact occur rather low in the structure), differing from the verb in V-2 in this respect, second-position clitic systems are incompatible with the presence of definite articles/DP in a language, in contrast to V-2, and clitic second and V-2 clauses differ regarding their mobility. Clitic second and V-2 do, however, share some prosodic characteristics, which is taken to indicate that the two should be unified at least to some extent prosodically (with clitic second, the second position is in fact defined prosodically: clitics are second within their intonational phrase), which also simplifies the syntax of V-2. From this perspective, the paper gives accounts of a number of properties of V-2, like the root/embedded clause asymmetry regarding the productivity of V-2, the non-pickiness of the V-2 requirement (where just about anything can satisfy it), and the role of the freedom of word order in the development of syntactic V-2, where all these are ultimately traced to the presence of a prosodic requirement. The paper also provides a labeling-based account of the immobility of V-2 clauses, which has consequences for a number of constructions.

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Reference: lingbuzz/003234
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keywords: verb second, clitic second, prosody, labels, syntax, phonology