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Open Access Parasitic participles in Germanic: Evidence for the theory of verb clusters

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This paper investigates a series of Germanic verb constructions, which appear to involve the ‘wrong’ morphology on one or more of the verbs involved: Norwegian parasitic participles, Frisian upward and downward parasitic participles, and the German Skandal construction. I provide an explicit syntactic account unifying the phenomena and deriving the differences from independent differences among the languages. These apparently odd constructions are shown to be subject to specific distributional restrictions which are fully in line with standard grammatical principles of the languages under consideration. The account is based on a top-down definition of Agree, namely the claim that an unvalued feature is valued by the closest c-commanding element with the appropriate valued feature. I demonstrate that this view allows for a uniform treatment of the morphological and syntactic properties of these constructions, which, so far, have been assumed to be unrelated. Lastly, I argue that different word orders in verb clusters can be derived either by syntactic movement (in which case locality conditions have to be obeyed and new Agree(ment) relations are formed) or by pf-linearization of sister nodes (in which case no locality effects are observed and no new Agree(ment) relations are established.
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Document Type: Research Article

Affiliations: University of Connecticut, Department of Linguistics.

Publication date: January 1, 2012

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  • Taal en Tongval is een wetenschappelijk tijdschrift over taalvariatie in Nederland en Vlaanderen, waarin ook aandacht wordt geschonken aan naburige taalgebieden en aan het Nederlands verwante talen. Alle vormen van variatie kunnen worden besproken zoals geografische, sociale, etnische, stilistische en diachrone variatie. Verder mogen daarbij ook alle aspecten van de menselijke taal aan de orde komen. Het blad staat zowel open voor empirisch werk als voor studies die een verbinding leggen tussen taalvariatie en theoretische taalkunde.

    Taal en Tongval publiceert bijdragen in het Nederlands, Engels, en Duits. In bepaalde gevallen kunnen ook artikelen in andere talen in overweging genomen worden, zoals Fries, Afrikaans en Frans.

    Taal en Tongval. Language Variation in the Low Countries is a journal devoted to the scientific study of language variation in the Netherlands and Flanders, in neighbouring areas and in languages related to Dutch. All types of variation are covered, including but not restricted to geographical, social, ethnic, stylistic and diachronic variation. Articles may deal with all aspects of human language. The journal welcomes both empirical work as studies linking language variation to developments in theoretical linguistics.

    Taal en Tongval welcomes contributions in Dutch, English and German. In certain cases we also consider articles in other languages, including Frisian, Afrikaans, and French.

    The journal is published in Open Access, with the following Creative Commons copyright license: Attribution-Non Commercial-No Derivatives (CC BY-NC-ND 4.0).

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