[Author Login]
Title:Word Order and Constraint Interaction
Authors:João Costa
Abstract:Word Order and Constraint Interaction

Joao Costa (HIL/Leiden University)

This paper presents an optimality-theoretic approach to word order facts

in Portuguese, English, Dutch and Icelandic. It is shown that there is

a tension between the syntactic constraint CASE, that requires arguments

to move, and the discourse-related constraint ALIGNFOCUS, that requires

arguments to stay in their base-position (or at the right edge of the

sentence), where sentence nuclear stress is assigned (Grimshaw and

Samek-Lodovici 1996).

The interaction between these two constraints will derive the patterns

found for Portuguese (where discourse-configurationality appears as a

product of ALIGNFOCUS dominating CASE) and for English (where the rigid

word order is a product of the top-ranking of CASE).

The similar behavior of PPs across languages is taken as the control

test, showing that discourse-configurationality is also present in

English. The difference between object-shift and scrambling (A- and

A-bar movement of objects) is derived as a consequence of the inter-

action between CASE and STAY, and the principle of phrase structure

projection developed within OT-syntax.

Finally, it is shown that the OT-analysis accounts for the fact that in

sentence-focus cases the unmarked word-order of each language arises.
Type:Paper/tech report
Article:Version 1