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Title:Weak Function Word Shift
Authors:Ralf Vogel
Comment:draft version, submitted, comments very welcome
Abstract:The fact that object shift only affects weak pronouns in mainland Scandinavian
is seen as an instance of a more general observation that can be made in all Germanic languages: weak function words tend to avoid the edges of larger prosodic domains. This generalisation has been formulated within Optimality Theory in terms of alignment constraints on prosodic structure by Selkirk (1996) in explaining the distribution of prosodically strong and weak forms of English function words, especially modal verbs, prepositions and pronouns. But a purely phonological account fails to integrate the syntactic licensing conditions for object shift in an appropriate way. The standard semantico-syntactic accounts of object shift, on the other hand, fail to explain why it is only weak pronouns that undergo object shift. This paper develops an Optimality theoretic model of the syntax-phonology interface which is based on the interaction of syntactic and prosodic factors. The account can successfully be applied to further related phenomena in English and German.
Type:Paper/tech report
Article:Version 1