Against the split-CP hypothesis

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This paper examines one of the aspects of the cartography program concerned with the CP projection and the validity of positing a multi-layer CP consisting of a variety of semantically relevant functional projections that encode semantic and pragmatic properties of the sentence, (Rizzi 1997). In a language like Iraqi Arabic, data seem to cast doubts on some of the tenets of this hypothesis. The dislocated elements in the left periphery show positional variation and no uniqueness can thus be attributed to any such positions as specific landing sites for topics, focused elements, wh-elements and others. Some of these elements may surface in other positions than their canonical positions in the left periphery. A′-movement, overt or non-overt, to these canonical positions cannot be always motivated, because of the existence of a second landing site or because of some scope conflict. Given these facts, the hypothesis will have to abandon its universality. Its adequacy may be limited to only some languages. Less restrictive approaches to the structure of the left periphery will be more adequate in accommodating the facts in other languages that show free order and iterability of the dislocated elements like Iraqi Arabic.


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