VSO word order in Malagasy imperatives
This paper accounts for an unusual VSO word order found in Malagasy imperative clauses to the exclusion of indicative clauses. It proposes that, what appears to be a subject in immediately post-verbal position is not a subject at all; rather, it is a vocative. Semantic and morphological characteristics of Malagasy vocatives support this claim. The paper argues against two alternative analyses: a scrambling analysis that derives VSO order from the canonical VOS via rightward scrambling, and a predicate-internal subject analysis that derives the VSO order by leaving the subject in its base position. I show that both alternatives are empirically and conceptually inferior to the vocative account proposed in the present work.