Natural Language & Linguistic Theory

, Volume 25, Issue 4, pp 735–764

On egin: do-support and VP focus in Central and Western Basque

Original Paper

DOI: 10.1007/s11049-007-9027-8

Cite this article as:
Haddican, B. Nat Language Linguistic Theory (2007) 25: 735. doi:10.1007/s11049-007-9027-8


This paper develops an account of do-support in VP focus constructions in Central and Western Basque (CWB) dialects. In particular, this paper argues that CWB dialects, along with Korean, form a class of do-support languages whose dummy verb insertion mechanism differs slightly from that of English and Monnese. In all four of these languages, the dummy verb occupies a position that is, in marked environments, inaccessible to the verb. However, in Korean and CWB, unlike in English and Monnese, the verb’s inability to raise to value this feature is not due to its inflectional poverty, but rather because it must bear a nominalizing infinitival affix for independent reasons; this nominal infinitive may not bear aspectual morphology, and a dummy verb is merged to do so instead.

Moreover, Basque do-support is not a last-resort phenomenon as in Chomsky’s classic analysis of English do-support (Chomsky 1957). That is, the unavailability of do-support in non-verb focalization constructions is not due to competition with a more economical alternative, but rather is independently excluded. This approach avoids a violation of the Inclusiveness Condition inherent in economy-based approaches to do-support that generate the dummy verb in the computational component.


Do-supportBasqueEconomyVP-focusVerb movementLexical array

Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media B.V. 2007

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Department of Language and Linguistic ScienceUniversity of YorkHeslington, YorkUK