QUOTATIVE INVERSION

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.

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COLLINS, C., BRANIGAN, P. QUOTATIVE INVERSION. Natural Language & Linguistic Theory 15, 1–41 (1997). https://doi.org/10.1023/A:1005722729974

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Keywords

  • Artificial Intelligence
  • Link Condition
  • Locality Constraint
  • Minimalist Theory
  • Direct Speech