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Carnie, Andrew, Heidi Harley and Sheila Ann Dooley (eds) (2005) Verb First: On the Syntax of Verb Initial Languages. John Benjamins



This collection of papers brings together the most recent crosslinguistic research on the syntax of verb-initial languages. Authors with a variety of theoretical perspectives pursue the questions of how verb-initial order is derived, and how these derivations play into the characteristic syntax of these languages. Major themes in the volume include the role of syntactic category in languages with verb-initial order; the different mechanisms of deriving V-initial order; and the universal correlates of the order. This book should be of interest to scholars who work on theoretical approaches to word order derivation, typologists, and those who work on the particular grammars of Celtic, Zapotec, Mixtec, Polynesian, Austronesian, Mayan, Salish, Aboriginal, and Nilotic languages.


ISBN 9781588116109




Ordering Information:​


Table of Contents





Introduction: When verbs come first. (Andrew Carnie, Sheila Ann Dooley and Heidi Harley)

Part I. VP Movement vs Head Movement 
  • What fronts? On the VP-raising account of verb-initial order (Sandra Chung)

  • Coordination and constituency in St’át’imcets (Lillooet Salish) (Henry Davis)

  • Two derivations of VSO: A comparative study of Niuean and Tongan (Yuko Otsuka)

  • Force first: Clause-fronting and clause typing in San Lucas Quiaviní Zapotec (Felicia Lee)

  • V1 and wh-questions: a typology (Kenji Oda)

  • Preverbal particles in verb-initial languages (Dirk Bury )

  • A note on predicates and heads in Irish clausal syntax (James McCloskey)

  • Seediq: Antisymmetry and final particles in a Formosan VOS language (Arthur Holmer )

  • VP-internal structure in a VOS language (Lisa deMena Travis)

Part II Categories, information structure and Prosodic Factors. 
  • Lexical categories, lack of inflection, and predicate-fronting in Niuean (Diane Massam)

  • Word order without syntactic categories: How Riau Indonesian does it (David Gil)

  • Nominal properties of vPs in Breton: A hypothesis for the typology of VSO languages (Mélanie Jouitteau)

  • On the parallelism of DPs and clauses: Evidence from Kisongo Maasai (Hilda Koopman)

  • Ordering clitics and postverbal R-expressions in Tagalog: a unified analysis? (Loren Billings)

  • The syntax of Chalcatongo Mixtec: Preverbal and postverbal (Monica Macaulay)

  • Accounting for verb-initial order in an Australian language (Mary Laughren, Robert Pensalfini and Tom Mylne)


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