COMP, INFL, and Germanic Word Order

  • Christer Platzack
Part of the Studies in Natural Language and Linguistic Theory book series (SNLT, volume 5)


The aim of this article is to describe and account for the major word order differences among the Germanic languages.1 The main thesis of the article is that the different placements of the finite verb and related phenomena in these languages can be ascribed to a small set of grammatical differences, mainly involving different distributions of the properties assigned to COMP and INFL. Specifically, I will argue that S is a headed category, and that the choice of head of S is a parameter, the value of which singles out English from the other Germanic languages.


Word Order Germanic Versus Embed Clause Main Clause Matrix Clause 
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© D. Reidel Publishing Company 1986

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  • Christer Platzack

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