Pauli Brattico Aarhus University

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Finnish finite clause exhibits topic prominence in the sense that the preverbal subject position is occupied by the topic (for example, by the direct object topic), not necessarily by the grammatical subject. Three currently unexplained facts concerning the Finnish free word order phenomenon and topicalization are noted in this paper: subject-verb agreement interacts with word order; the preverbal “topic” position is not reserved exclusively for topics; and noun phrase (DP) arguments are also able to dislocate to the right edge of a (potentially very long) finite clause. A generalized morphosyntactic agreement mechanism that requires the presence of nominal phi-features inside the highest finite projection of a clause is posited to explain the link between agreement and word order. The problem with topicality is accounted for by assuming that the topic-focus mechanism operates outside of narrow syntax. Free word order and non-configurationality are argued to result from argument adjunction, not from movement. Finally, it is concluded that the Finnish EPP is connected neither to morphosyntax nor to discourse.

  • Alexiadou, Artemis and Elena Anagnostopoulou. 1998. Parametrizing AGR: Word order, V-movement and EPP-checking. Natural Language & Linguisti. Theory 16. 491539.

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  • Bailyn, John Frederick . 2004. Generalized inversion. Natural Language & Linguisti. Theory 22. 149.

  • Bianchi, Valentina and Mara Frascarelli. 2010. Is topic a root phenomenon. Iberia 2. 4388.

  • Brattico, Pauli . 2011. The diehard extended projection principle. SKY Journal of Linguistics 24. 181188.

  • Brattico, Pauli and Saara Huhmarniemi. 2006. Finnish negation, EPP-principle and the valuation theory of morphosyntax. Nordic Journal of Linguistics 29. 544.

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  • Brattico, Pauli and Saara Huhmarniemi. 2016. Finite and non-finite null subjects in Finnish. Ms. Supplementary material to Huhmarniemi & Brattico (2015). Available at finnishsyntax.

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  • Brattico, Pauli, Saara Huhmarniemi, Jukka Purma and Anne Vainikka. 2014. The structure of Finnish CP and feature inheritance. Finno-Ugric Languages an. Linguistics 2. 66109.

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  • Brattico, Pauli and Alina Leinonen. 2009. Case distribution and nominalization. Syntax 12. 131.

  • Brattico, Pauli and Taija Saikkonen. 2010. Sandwich EPP hypothesis: Evidence from child Finnish. Nordic Journal o. Linguistics 33. 529.

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  • Chomsky, Noam . 1995. The minimalist program. Cambridge, MA: MIT Press.

  • Chomsky, Noam . 2001. Derivation by phase. In M. Kenstowicz (ed.) Ken Hale: A life in language. Cambridge, MA: MIT Press. 152.

  • É. Kiss, Katalin. 2009. An adjunction analysis of quantifiers and adverbs in the Hungarian sentence. Lingua 120. 506526.

  • Holmberg, Anders . 2000. Scandinavian stylistic fronting: How any category can become an expletive. Linguisti. Inquiry 31. 445483.

  • Holmberg, Anders . 2005. Is there a little pro? Evidence from Finnish. Linguisti. Inquiry 36. 533564.

  • Holmberg, Anders . 2010. The null generic subject pronoun in Finnish: A case of incorporation in T. In T. Biberauer, A. Holmberg, I. Roberts and M. Sheehan (eds.) Parametric variation: Null subjects in Minimalist Theory. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press. 200230.

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  • Holmberg, Anders and Urpo Nikanne. 2002. Expletives, subjects and topics in Finnish. In P. Svenonius (ed.) Subjects, expletives, and the EPP. Oxford: Oxford University Press. 71106.

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  • Holmberg, Anders, Urpo Nikanne, Irina Oraviita, Hannu Reime and Trond Trosterud. 1993. The structure of INFL and the finite clause in Finnish. In A. Holmberg and U. Nikanne (eds.) Case and other functional categories in Finnish syntax. Berlin & New York: Mouton de Gruyter. 177206.

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  • Huhmarniemi, Saara . 2012. Finnish A'-movement: Edges and Islands (Studies in Cognitive Science 2). Helsinki: University of Helsinki.

  • Huhmarniemi, Saara and Pauli Brattico. 2013. On primary and secondary movement. Acta Linguistic. Hungarica 600. 173216.

  • Huhmarniemi, Saara and Pauli Brattico. 2015. The Finnish possessive suffix. Finno-Ugric Languages an. Linguistics 4. 241.

  • Koskinen, Päivi . 1998. Features and categories: Non-finite constructions in Finnish. Doctoral dissertation. University of Toronto.

  • Kuroda, Shige-yuki . 1988. Whether we agree or not: A comparative syntax of English and Japanese. Linguistica. Investigationes 12. 147.

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  • Manninen, Satu . 2003. Finnish PPs and the Phase Impenetrability Condition. In D. Nelson and S. Manninen (eds.) Generative approaches to Finnic and Saami linguistics. Stanford, CA: CSLI Publications. 295320.

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  • Manninen, Satu and Diane Nelson. 2004. What is a passive? The case of Finnish. Studi. Linguistica 58. 212251.

  • Miyagawa, Shigeru . 2005. On the EPP. In perspectives on phases. MIT Working Papers i. Linguistics 49. 201236.

  • Vainikka, Anne . 1989. Deriving syntactic representations in Finnish. Doctoral dissertation. University of Massachusetts Amherst.

  • Vainikka, Anne and Pauli Brattico. 2014. The Finnish accusative: Long distance case by agreement. Linguistics 52. 73124.

  • Vainikka, Anne and Yonata Levy. 1999. Empty subjects in Finnish and Hebrew. Natural Language & Linguisti. Theory 17. 613671.

  • Välimaa-Blum, Riitta . 1988. Finnish existential clauses: Their syntax, pragmatics and intonation. Doctoral dissertation. Ohio State University.

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  • Vilkuna, Maria . 1989. Free word order in Finnish: Its syntax and discourse functions. Helsinki: SKS.

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Acta Linguistica Hungarica
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