Subject–verb Inversion in Greek: Implications for Head Movement and Typology

George Kotzoglou 1
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1University of Reading

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Published Online: Jan 01, 2017


The empirical domain of investigation in this paper is the phenomenon of ‘obligatory (subject–verb) inversion’ in Greek, whereby a subject cannot intervene between a fronted interrogative phrase and the inflected verb in constituent questions. The paper examines three accounts of the phenomenon that have been proposed in the literature and provides a host of evidence against two of them, which employ T–to–C head movement. I also show that the third analysis (Anagnostopoulou 1994), which relies on Relativized Minimality (Rizzi 1990, 2001), is not entirely satisfactory and I propose to supplement it with a condition requiring PF (linear) adjacency between the verb group (V+clitics+preverbal particles) and the covert interrogative C[+Q] at PF. Having established the fact that this requirement is distinct from V–to–T verb movement I (i) argue that ‘normal’ head movement belongs to narrow syntax (contra Chomsky 2001), and (ii) examine the typology of inversion, by considering the similarities and differences of the Greek inverted orders to these of other languages.

Keywords: head movement; obligatory inversion; Greek; adjacency; T–to–C movement



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