On the asymmetry of root versus embedded clauses

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This paper addresses a systematic asymmetry between main and embedded clauses in Shipibo, an Amazonian language of the Pano family that shows certain verb-second properties. These properties are reduced to the asymmetry in the nature of the projections at the edge of the two clause types. In particular, the comparison between Shipibo and Germanic-type V2-languages leads us to propose two parameters. The first one requires the highest position of a strong phase to be filled, deriving the V2-like properties of Shipibo and Germanic; and the second one determines whether the highest projection is an extended +V projection (Germanic) or not (Shipibo). This parameter accounts for why Shipibo has an obligatory second position clitic (as opposed to a verb).


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