Operator movement and verb second phenomena in basque



Argitaratua 1987-04-02
Jon Ortiz de Urbina


This article presents an anlysis of wh-formation and focalization in Basque, framed within Chomsky's 'Barriers' system. In language like Basque and Hungarian, both foci and wh-words have to appear in a position immediately preceding the inflected verb. Rather than allowing, as a parametric option, such operators to move to a special pre-verbal FOCUS position, it is claimed that the correct parameter involved is the level of operator movement. In much the same way as wh-words may move to SPEC at LF (Chinese) or at S-structure (English, Basque), foci may also move at LF (English) or at S-structure (Basque). The fact that both types of operators have to precede the verb is interpreted as another instance of the well-known V2 (verb-secont) phenomenon, whereby inflected verbs move to the COMP position  when SPEC is occupied by an operator, as observed in English wh-formation. An extension of ths anlysis to the negative operator ez 'not' is also examined, attempting to explain inversion phenomena in negative clauses.

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Ortiz de Urbina, Jon. 1987. «Operator Movement and Verb Second Phenomena in Basque». Anuario Del Seminario De Filología Vasca "Julio De Urquijo" 21 (2):321-55. https://doi.org/10.1387/asju.7843.
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