This paper focuses on the structure of word order alternations in so-called free word order languages by analyzing the syntax of postverbal subjects (VOS/VSO) and new information focus in Spanish. The central mechanisms to explore are the Copy Theory, the idea that under conflicting PF requirements a low copy may be pronounced (e.g., Groat and O'Neil, 1996 and Bobaljik 1995), and Sentence Stress Assignment Conditions (e.g., Zubizarreta 1998). Following Stjepanovic's (1999) analysis of Serbo-Croatian, this research provides evidence that postverbal subjects in the VOS order and non-presupposed arguments in general in Spanish constitute low copies pronounced as a way of meeting the Sentence Stress Assignment Conditions. Additionally, this research provides support for a derivational model of grammar (Uriagereka, 1999 and Chomsky, 2000), as the proposal interacts with such model in a non-trivial way.
Selected Proceedings of the 9th Hispanic Linguistics Symposium
edited by Nuria Sagarra and Almeida Jacqueline Toribio
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