Restructuring head and argument in West-Germanic

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The West-Germanic, c.q. Dutch, complex predicate appears as a series of verbs in predicate-final position. They were considered as a kind of separate unit (a field) in structuralist grammar (Bech 1955; Paardekooper 1955). A direct generative phrasing of that view follows from a head-to-head raising applied to a left- branching VP-stack consisting of the separate head-final predicates. This headraising accounts easily for the strict adjacency of the verbs and for dialectical variations in their linear order. However, beyond its descriptive efficiency, the rule has little to recommend itself in present-day syntax, due to its properties of rightward movement, extracting heads and tugging heads in. Yet, suppose there are SOV languages due to lexical frames with a predicate- final position of the V0. VPs stacked for a complex predicate in such environment would lack separately PF identifiable left edges to define their hierarchy and their subjects. Suppose this disqualifies the preservation of VP-stacks in SOV languages despite the hierarchy of predicates to be PF present given a predicate-final headcluster of verbs. In this paper it is argued that V-to-V Raising is aimed at just that outcome and represents a general and obligatory variant of the V-to-I raising in SVO languages.


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