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Linguistic Universals and the order of verbs in Germanic
I will test the hypothesis that the set of possible orders of verbs in the verb cluster in Germanic follows exactly the same patterns as the set of possible word orders in the noun phrase in the global cross-linguistic work reported in Cinque (2005: Deriving Greenberg's Universal 20 and its Exceptions, Linguistic Inquiry). In other words, the hypothesis to be tested is that the attested word orders in four-element clusters in Germanic comprises all and only the 14 that are predicted on a straightforward extension of Cinque's system from the noun phrase to the verbal cluster. This will provide further crucial evidence for or against the validity of the syntactic assumptions underlying Cinque (2005), in particular the generalization that movement is leftward. The issue of leftward or rightward directionality of movement in verb clusters has long been debated in the literature on Germanic; if the hypothesis that neutral orders in noun phrases and cluster orders are isomorphic stands up, this would provide a strong argument in favor of a leftward movement analysis of verbal clusters. It would also remove verb clusters in Germanic as a potential threat to one of Cinque's crucial assumptions, namely, that movements deriving neutral word orders is uniformly leftward. The second objective is to verify the existence of and explain certain sub-regularities of word order in the verb cluster.
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