Natural Language & Linguistic Theory

, Volume 36, Issue 2, pp 403–443 | Cite as

Truncation feeds intervention

Two clause type effects in Basque
  • Arantzazu Elordieta
  • Bill Haddican


In the generative literature, clause type effects have typically been modeled in one of two ways—“truncation” whereby embedded clauses are structurally reduced relative to root clauses, and intervention, by which non-root clauses have additional material that blocks movement available in root contexts. This paper analyzes two clause type effects in Basque—the possibility of verb-initial word orders (V1) and variation in the relative order of Aux, Neg and VP in embedded contexts. We show that these two effects covary systematically across clause types. We present a unified approach to these clause type effects that suggests that these two mechanisms interact, that is, that truncation feeds intervention. Omission of a Force head responsible for the *V1 effect in relevant clause types forces a set of operators to remerge in a position where they block movement of negation. VP-Neg-Aux orders in these clause types reflect a smuggling repair operation.


Locality Basque Intervention Verb second Clause type Truncation 



Many many thanks to three very insightful NLLT reviewers for careful critical discussions, and to Txomin Arratibel, Iñigo Arteatx, Xabier Artiagoitia, Maia Duguine, Urtzi Etxeberria, Ricardo Etxepare, Iñaki Camino, Patxi Goenaga, Melanie Jouitteau, Richard Kayne, Oihana Lujanbio, Ad Neeleman, Ane Odria, Beñat Oyharçabal, Koldo Zuazo, audiences of PLC 36, Wedisyn 2013, BLS 40 and members of the Basque Dialect Grammar team. This research is supported by grant from the Basque Government GIC12/61 IT769-13. All errors are our own.


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Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Department of Linguistics and Basque Studies, Faculty of ArtsUniversity of the Basque CountryVitoria-GasteizSpain
  2. 2.Department of Linguistics and Communication DisordersCUNY-Queens CollegeNew YorkUSA
  3. 3.Department of LinguisticsCUNY-Graduate CenterNew YorkUSA

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