Verb-First Clauses in Icelandic, Successive Cyclic wh-Movement and Syntactic Binding

  • Annie Zaenen
Part of the Studies in Language book series (STUDLANG)


In their important 1978 paper, Kayne & Pollock argue that Stylistic Inversion in French provides independent evidence for the successive cyclic movement hypothesis argued for in Chomsky (1977) and references cited there, on the basis of island phenomena. Bresnan (1975) and Grimshaw (1975), on the other hand, show that both in the comparative construction in Modern English and in relative clauses in Chaucerian English, the successive cyclic wh-movement hypothesis runs into trouble and that in these constructions, unbounded deletion should be allowed. Nevertheless, both comparative subdeletion and presumably relativization in Chaucerian English obey the “island” constraints that the successive cyclic wh-movement hypothesis was meant to explain. The same state of affairs obtains in Irish, according to the analysis given in McCloskey (1979), in Kikuyu as argued in Clements (1979), in Old English (Allen (1977)), and Old Icelandic (Maling (1976)).


Binding Domain Relative Clause Word Order Embed Clause Extraction Rule 
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Copyright information

© Communication and Cognition 1983

Authors and Affiliations

  • Annie Zaenen
    • 1
  1. 1.Harvard UniversityUSA

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