In this chapter I concentrate on the analysis of Moira’s clauses introduced by a complementizer. Although non-target-consistent verb placement is attested in any type of embedded clause and needs to be accounted for, its existence in clauses introduced by a complementizer poses the most interesting challenge for an analysis of the acquisition data, since no such movement is ever found in the adult grammar. However, what one does find in the adult grammar is Verb-Projection Raising (VPR) and extraposition — referred to as ‘rightward movement’ from an SOV perspective — which sometimes disguises the verb-final pattern in embedded clauses and superficially gives rise to the impression that the finite verb has moved leftwards. Based on an analysis of an input sample for Moira I will show that in about 75% of embedded sentences the finite verb occupies the clause-final position, so the input is not overly ambiguous with respect to verb placement. Still, the child is faced with some ambiguity in the input and has to discover whether the finite verb does not occupy the clause-final position because a particular constituent has moved to the right, or because the finite verb has moved to the left. I shall examine and dismiss an analysis of the child data in terms of an overgeneralization of VPR or extraposition and instead embrace an analysis in terms of verb movement.


Relative Clause Embed Clause Matrix Clause Verb Movement Pronominal Subject 
These keywords were added by machine and not by the authors. This process is experimental and the keywords may be updated as the learning algorithm improves.


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Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media Dordrecht 2001

Authors and Affiliations

  • Manuela Schönenberger
    • 1
  1. 1.Institut für Linguistik: AnglistikUniversität StuttgartStuttgartGermany

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