Arguments against a universal base: evidence from Old English

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This article presents arguments against a uniform head-initial analysis of Old English clause structure. Three analyses that have been proposed for Old English - variation in the headedness of underlying structure, uniform head-initial structure with object movement, and uniform head-initial structure with pied piping - are presented and evaluated in terms of the Old English data that they are able to account for. In particular, it is argued that the positions of verbs and their complements in constructions with quantified and nonquantified objects, pronominal objects, particles, and double objects cannot be derived without stipulations within uniform head-initial accounts, but can be derived unproblematically within a framework that incorporates a headedness parameter, requiring only a stipulation to block V-O-Aux order.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)115-138
Number of pages24
JournalEnglish language & linguistics
Issue number1
Publication statusPublished - May 2005

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