Abstract

Head movement constitutes a controversial topic in linguistic theory. Finnish long head movement exhibits an unusual combination of predicate clefting with A-bar 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 by computational tools.

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Supplementary data