Skip to Main content Skip to Navigation
Book sections

Verb doubling in Breton and Gungbe; obligatory exponence at the sentence level

Abstract : Breton tensed verbs show a synthetic/analytic alternation (I.know vs. to.know I.do), that is not conditioned by their semantic or aspectual structure but by their syntactic environment, namely word order. Such a paradigm of verb-doubling poses a strong case against iconicity, because knowing where a verb can double requires full information about the entire derivation of the sentence. The sentence is correct if and only if the tensed element is not at the left edge of the sentence. The infinitive form of the analytic construction prevents the tensed element from occurring in the most left-edge position. This paper proposes that the analytic structure (to.know I.do) responds to the same trigger as expletive insertion (expl I.know). I claim that analytic tense formation is a last resort strategy that forms the equivalent of an expletive by excorporation of the verbal root out of the tensed complex head. The excorporated lexical verb appears fronted as an infinitive form by default. The tensed auxiliary is either realized as a dummy 'do' auxiliary (to.know I.do), or, for an idiosyncratic list of verbs, as the tensed reiteration of the excorporated verb itself (do.ubling; to.know I.know).
Complete list of metadatas

Cited literature [60 references]  Display  Hide  Download

https://hal.archives-ouvertes.fr/hal-01249680
Contributor : Mélanie Jouitteau <>
Submitted on : Saturday, January 2, 2016 - 5:21:14 PM
Last modification on : Tuesday, April 21, 2020 - 1:57:07 AM
Document(s) archivé(s) le : Friday, April 15, 2016 - 3:33:01 PM

File

Jouitteau 2011. Verb doubling ...
Files produced by the author(s)

Identifiers

Citation

Mélanie Jouitteau. Verb doubling in Breton and Gungbe; obligatory exponence at the sentence level. Aboh, Enoch O., Norval Smith and Anne Zribi-Hertz. The Morphosyntax of Reiteration in Creole and Non-Creole Languages, John Benjamins, pp.135-174, 2012, ⟨10.1075/cll.43.04jou⟩. ⟨hal-01249680⟩

Share

Metrics

Record views

87

Files downloads

365