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      Wide-focus subject-verb inversion in Ibero-Romance: A locative account

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          Abstract

          This paper explores the hypothesis that wide-focus subject-verb inversion in Ibero-Romance is a type of locative inversion, involving a null locative argument. Ibero-Romance displays fine-grained, systematic variation determined by verbal class and variety, offering evidence that Ibero-Romance neutral word order is SVO, rather than VSO as claimed by some null-subject accounts. It is proposed that ‘locative’ subject-verb inversion is a consequence of grammatically-encoded deictic features correlating with the semantic properties of the verbs involved. The locative element, available unequally across Ibero-Romance, can surface in different positions in the left periphery, yielding the variation encountered. The data indicate that the licensing of these constructions depends neither on the null-subject parameter, since this type of inversion also occurs in non- and partial null-subject varieties, nor on the unaccusative/unergative division, though in both cases a degree of correspondence exists.

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          Most cited references 14

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          Three partial null-subject languages: a comparison of Brazilian Portuguese, Finnish and Marathi

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            Prepositional Aspect and the Algebra of Paths

             Joost Zwarts (2005)
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              Conditions on rules of grammar

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                Author and article information

                Contributors
                Journal
                2397-1835
                Glossa: a journal of general linguistics
                Ubiquity Press
                2397-1835
                29 June 2016
                : 1
                : 1
                Affiliations
                University of Cambridge, Magdalene College, Cambridge CB3 0AG, GB
                Article
                10.5334/gjgl.85
                Copyright: © 2016 The Author(s)

                This is an open-access article distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International License (CC-BY 4.0), which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original author and source are credited. See http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/4.0/.

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