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Verb-Second Phenomena in English

Publication Date
  • V2 현상
  • V2 Phenomena
  • Wh-의문문
  • Wh-Question
  • 보문소
  • Auxiliary
  • 확대투사범주원리
  • Extended Projection Principle


The purpose of this research is to uncover the driving force for the movement of subjects and the insertion of an auxiliary in wh-questions in English. This task breaks down into two questions: (i) Do subjects move? if so, why do they move? (ii) why is the auxiliary verb inserted in the matrix wh-questions, unlike the embedded wh-questions in English? A general consensus seems to be that the verb-second principle plays a key role in deciding the surface word order in many of Germanic languages. Thus, subjects, though initially generated under the verbal phrase, raise to some higher position, i.e. to a position which is traditionally called surface subject position to fulfill this general verb-second principle in English. The focus of this research will be on this issue. On investigating various non-canonical sentence types such as locative inversion constructions and various wh-movement constructions, I show that what drives the movement of subjects and, especially the insertion of the auxiliary verb in the matrix wh-movement constructions, are not for feature checking, but the verb-second principle, a general word order principle of Germanic languages.

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