Towards an Account of Adverbials in the Vor-Vorfeld: Beyond V2-Syntax


  • John R. Te Velde Oklahoma State University


This analysis focuses on main-clause contructions in German and Dutch that begin with an adverbial in the Vor-Vorfeld (pre-prefield), an area of the left periphery that I argue is beyond the reach of verb-second (V2) syntax. Using the Minimalist framework, I propose that the insertion of ad-ditional features, primarily the feature [-restrictive], from the Pragmatics Component (PC) is neces-sary to account for the properties that distinguish constructions of this type from those that have just one element before the finite verb, i.e. are classic V2. The addition of PC-features occurs at the Con-ceptual-Intentional (C-I) Interface and is thus subject directly only to the conditions of this interface. Once the C-I-Interface has been accessed for left-dislocation to the left periphery, the narrow syntax can no longer induce Merge (no look-back). Thus, the V2-constraint cannot apply. The data support a CP-domain with two projections: [CP [TopP [TP [vP …]]]].