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Analysing word order in the English imperative

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Abstract

This paper proposes that the syntax of inverted English imperatives such as <i>Don’t you leave! </i>assimilates to that of better studied polar interrogatives: both involve a conservative clause structure in which the subject occupies the specifier of IP and the clause-initial auxiliary has undergone I0-to-C0. Evidence from negation/ quantifier scope interactions and adverb placement argues against an alternative in which the subject is in the specifier of a projection below IP and the auxiliary is no higher than I0.

References

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