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Contiguity Theory$
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Norvin Richards

Print publication date: 2016

Print ISBN-13: 9780262034425

Published to MIT Press Scholarship Online: January 2017

DOI: 10.7551/mitpress/9780262034425.001.0001

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Selectional Contiguity

Selectional Contiguity

(p.145) 5 Selectional Contiguity
Contiguity Theory

Norvin Richards

The MIT Press

This chapter generalizes the Contiguity constraint, developed in the last two chapters, applying it to heads in a selection relation as well as to Probes and Goals. The proposal accounts for Baker’s observation that no language has both SVO and Tense-SVO word orders; for Potsdam’s observation that verb-initial languages invariably have overt wh-movement at least as an option; for the Final-over-Final Constraint of Biberauer, Holmberg, and Roberts; and for Trask’s observation that ergative languages, if they have a fixed word order, are verb-peripheral within TP. The operation of Untethering, introduced in chapter 2 as a way of creating head-final projections, is a major topic: the account of Potsdam’s generalization hinges on Untethering applying to the prosodic tree rather than to the syntactic one, and the Final-over-Final Constraint (along with some exceptions to the original constraint) follows from the requirement that Untethering be motivated.

Keywords:   Final-over-Final Constraint, ergative, verb-initial, Untethering

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