Head movement constitutes a controversial topic in linguistic theory. Finnish long head movement exhibits an unusual combination of predicate clefting with Ā-movement instead of V-copying. An analysis is developed on the basis of Roberts 1993, 2010 and Chomsky 2008 that relies on a minimal top-down search algorithm that exists as part of a comprehension-based, reverse-engineered Minimalist architecture. Exceptional properties of Finnish head movement are explained as arising from its lexicon, which furnishes the language with an extensive catalogue of left-peripheral discourse-motivated C-features participating in predicate formation. The analysis was formalized and tested using computational tools.
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Massachusetts Institute of Technology