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Licensed Unlicensed Requires Authentication Published by De Gruyter Mouton July 27, 2005

Cyclic Linearization of Syntactic Structure

  • Danny Fox and David Pesetsky
From the journal Theoretical Linguistics


This paper proposes an architecture for the mapping between syntax and phonology – in particular, that aspect of phonology that determines the linear ordering of words. We propose that linearization is restricted in two key ways. (1) the relative ordering of words is fixed at the end of each phase, or ‘‘Spell-out domain’’; and (2) ordering established in an earlier phase may not be revised or contradicted in a later phase. As a consequence, overt extraction out of a phase P may apply only if the result leaves unchanged the precedence relations established in P. We argue first that this architecture (‘‘cyclic linearization’’) gives us a means of understanding the reasons for successive-cyclic movement. We then turn our attention to more specific predictions of the proposal: in particular, the effects of Holmberg’s Generalization on Scandinavian Object Shift; and also the Inverse Holmberg Effects found in Scandinavian ‘‘Quantifier Movement’’ constructions (Rögnvaldsson (1987); Jónsson (1996); Svenonius (2000)) and in Korean scrambling configurations (Ko (2003, 2004)). The cyclic linearization proposal makes predictions that cross-cut the details of particular syntactic configurations. For example, whether an apparent case of verb fronting results from V-to-C movement or from ‘‘remnant movement’’ of a VP whose complements have been removed by other processes, the verb should still be required to precede its complements after fronting if it preceded them before fronting according to an ordering established at an earlier phase. We argue that ‘‘cross-construction’’ consistency of this sort is in fact found.

Published Online: 2005-07-27
Published in Print: 2005-05-20

© Walter de Gruyter

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