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Free word order and copy theory of movement

image of Free word order and copy theory of movement

This chapter discusses the derivation of certain apparent cases of free word order in Serbo-Croatian, in particular those involving new information focus and neutral intonation patterns. The chapter starts by examining an apparent paradox concerning the position of the subject in Serbo-Croatian. While there are data indicating that the subject must raise to the highest position of the split IP in overt syntax, there are also data indicating that it appears in [Spec,VP] on the surface. Based on work by Franks (1998) and Bošković (2001, 2002), among others, the chapter argues that the subject does indeed raise to the highest position of the split IP in overt syntax, but when the subject represents new information focus, a lower copy is pronounced at PF to satisfy requirements on sentential stress assignment (see Zubizaretta 1998). The proposed analysis thus captures the extremely free word order of Serbo-Croatian as well as discourse effects of scrambling, and sheds light on how copy deletion works on the PF side.

  • Affiliations: 1: West Virginia University

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