The Romanian verbal cluster and the theory of head movement

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In Romanian, auxiliaries, mood particles, the negation and a handful of functional items traditionally analyzed as adverbs behave as clitics on the verb, forming together with the verb the so-called ‘verbal cluster’. The analysis of this cluster as a complex head is problematic because auxiliaries, mood particles and negation display a head-initial order inside the cluster, instead of the normal head-final order inside complex heads found in Indo-European languages. Examining the alternatives proposed in the literature and a possible analysis as PF head-clitics, I conclude that the verbal cluster involves nevertheless complex head formation in syntax. I discuss the solutions proposed for the head-initial order in the literature and I offer an alternative analysis, based on the idea of PF-linearization.


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