Abstract

We propose a theory of head displacement that replaces traditional Head Movement and Lowering with a single syntactic operation of Generalized Head Movement. We argue that upward and downward head displacement have the same syntactic properties: cyclicity, Mirror Principle effects, feeding upward head displacement, and being blocked in the same syntactic configurations. We also study the interaction of head displacement and other syntactic operations, arguing that claimed differences between upward and downward displacement are either spurious or follow directly from our account. Finally, we show that our theory correctly predicts the attested crosslinguistic variation in verb and inflection doubling in predicate clefts.

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