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Detail of contribution

Auteur: Thomas LEU

Generalized x-to-C

Abstract/Résumé: I adopt the idea that V, N, and also A (Corver 1997), are associated with extended projections (EP), and that these EPs are analogous in important ways. (Zooming in on Germanic, but with the ultimate expectation of universal scope at some level of abstraction) I claim that at the left periphery of the EP of all 3 categories, there is a complementizer head, call it C1, with certain morphological and syntactic properties which are constant irrespective of the lexical category associated with its EP. C1 either spells out as 'd-' or it attracts the relevant lexical category, x (verb, noun, or adjective), as a phrase into its Spec. The verbal EP: In German, verb movement (possibly XP-movement, cf. Müller 2004) to C competes with the presence of a complementizer (cf. den Besten 1977). But the German finite complementizer 'dass', I argue, has a morpheme boundary between 'd-' and '-ass', with each morpheme corresponding to a separate complementizer head in the syntax (cf. Postma 1997). I claim that it is 'd-' which competes with V-to-C movement, since those Germanic languages whose finite complementizer lacks the 'd-' and only has (their variant of) '-ass' are exactly the languages which allow embedded V2 clauses with a (sometimes obligatory) complementizer (eCV2). Secondly, Yiddish began to allow eCV2 around the same time it started using the 'd'-less complementizer 'az' (cf. Santorini 1992 and Kühnert&Wagner 2004). In the nominal EP, it is common place that some languages have N-to-D movement (Longobardi 1994). Following Szabolcsi 1994, D is the nominal analogue of C. Furthermore, in German both are lexicalized by a 'd'-element ('dass' and 'der' etc.). The morpheme sequence in a plain definite noun phrase in German is 'd' < agreement < noun. The North-Germanic counterpart differs from German in two ways: It contains no 'd-', and the noun precedes the agreement, suggesting N-to-D movement (Taraldsen 1990, Delsing 1993), possibly XP-movement (Julien 2005), but suggesting also that the agreement is a separate head. In the adjectival EP, Leu (2008) proposes a movement analysis of the weak/strong adjectival declension alternation. The adjectival EP has a left peripheral head which is either lexicalized as 'd-' or attracts the adjective (as a phrase) into its Spec. a. d -er [sehr gute] Wein b. [sehr gut] -er t Wein Hence in all three EPs there is a C1 head which is either 'd-' or attracts the lexical category, x. While there are superficial counterexamples and challenges to all three aspects of this generalization, I claim that the generalization must be taken seriously. If correct and principled, it has interesting and important consequences.