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The fundamental left-right asymmetry in the Germanic verb cluster

Abels, K; (2016) The fundamental left-right asymmetry in the Germanic verb cluster. The Journal of Comparative Germanic Linguistics , 19 (3) pp. 179-220. 10.1007/s10828-016-9082-9. Green open access

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Abstract

Cinque (2005, 2009, 2014a) observes that there is an asymmetry in the possible ordering of dependents of a lexical head before versus after the head. A reflection on some of the concepts needed to develop Cinque’s ideas into a theory of neutral word order reveals that dependents need to be treated separately by class. The resulting system is applied to the problem of word order in the Germanic verb cluster. It is shown that there is an extremely close match between theoretically derived expectations for clusters made up of auxiliaries, modals, causative ‘let’, a main verb, and verbal particles. The facts point to the action of Cinque’s fundamental left-right asymmetry in language in the realm of the verb cluster. At the same time, not all verb clusters fall under Cinque’s generalization, which, therefore, argues against treating all cases of restructuring uniformly.

Type: Article
Title: The fundamental left-right asymmetry in the Germanic verb cluster
Open access status: An open access version is available from UCL Discovery
DOI: 10.1007/s10828-016-9082-9
Publisher version: http://dx.doi.org/10.1007/s10828-016-9082-9
Language: English
Additional information: © The Author(s) 2016 Open AccessThis article is distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International License (http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/4.0/), which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided you give appropriate credit to the original author(s) and the source, provide a link to the Creative Commons license, and indicate if changes were made.
Keywords: verb cluster, word order, linear asymmetry, syntax, Universal 20, modal verb, separable prefix, verbal particle
UCL classification: UCL
UCL > Provost and Vice Provost Offices
UCL > Provost and Vice Provost Offices > School of Life and Medical Sciences
UCL > Provost and Vice Provost Offices > School of Life and Medical Sciences > Faculty of Brain Sciences
UCL > Provost and Vice Provost Offices > School of Life and Medical Sciences > Faculty of Brain Sciences > Div of Psychology and Lang Sciences
UCL > Provost and Vice Provost Offices > School of Life and Medical Sciences > Faculty of Brain Sciences > Div of Psychology and Lang Sciences > Linguistics
URI: https://discovery.ucl.ac.uk/id/eprint/1478207
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