Verb movement and the lack of verb-doubling VP-topicalization in Germanic
Johannes Hein
June 2019
 

In the absence of a stranded auxiliary or modal VP-topicalization in Germanic gives rise to the presence of a dummy verb meaning `do'. Cross-linguistically, this is a rather uncommon strategy as comparable VP-fronting constructions in e.g. Hebrew, Polish, and Portuguese, among many others, exhibit verb doubling. Discussing several recent approaches to verb doubling showing that they all involve VP-evacuating head movement of the verb and subsequent deletion of the (low copy of) VP, I conclude that this derivation, and therefore verb doubling, should in principle also be available in Germanic where V-to-C movement provides the necessary VP-evacuating head movement of V. After discussing and rejecting some alternative explanations for the lack of verb doubling I propose that it is the result of a bleeding interaction between V-to-C movement and VP-to-SpecCP-movement, i.e. the fact that both movement operations are triggered by the same head C. The resulting prediction that verb doubling should result if there is independent V-to-T movement seems to be borne out.
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Reference: lingbuzz/004959
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keywords: verb doubling, head-movement, vp-topicalization, germanic, verb second, v-to-t movement, v-to-c movement, scandinavian, syntax
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