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Natural Language & Linguistic Theory

, Volume 15, Issue 1, pp 1–41 | Cite as

QUOTATIVE INVERSION

  • CHRIS COLLINS
  • PHIL BRANIGAN
Article

Abstract

Sentences in which a direct speech complement to a verb of saying is preposed or postposed can trigger inversion of the subject and the finite verb. This structure is analysed in a minimalist framework, leading to a revision of the minimalist theory of locality constraints on movement.

Evidence is presented to show that the subject remains in Spec-V andthe verb raises to Agro in quotative inversion sentences.The dirett speech constituent at the periphery of the clause is shownto control an empty operator which triggers the inversion in a manner parallel to French stylistic inversion. The inversion is derived from the checking theory by supposing a particular complementiser type which then selects weak N-features on its complement. A transitivity constraint on quotative inversion is discussed and the Minimal Link Condition is reformulated so that inversion is blocked in VPs in which there is both a quote and a DP complement. Finally, the position of the verb in quotative inversion is derived from the Revised Minimal Link Condition.

Keywords

Artificial Intelligence Link Condition Locality Constraint Minimalist Theory Direct Speech 
These keywords were added by machine and not by the authors. This process is experimental and the keywords may be updated as the learning algorithm improves.

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Copyright information

© Kluwer Academic Publishers 1997

Authors and Affiliations

  • CHRIS COLLINS
    • 1
  • PHIL BRANIGAN
    • 1
  1. 1.Linguistics DepartmentMemorial University of NewfoundlandSt. John‘sCanada

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