Standardly, verb-first (V1) conditionals are considered to be mere variants of wenn-conditionals; accordingly, left-peripheral V1-clauses are analyzed as embedded into the prefields of declarative apodosis clauses, just like their V-end counterparts. We challenge this view, proposing instead that dependent V1-clauses are syntactically unembedded/unintegrated, and, consequently, that postposed declarative apodosis clauses are either V2-declaratives with prefield ellipsis or V1-declaratives. We argue our case by presenting evidence that (i) wenn-clauses differ considerably from V1-clauses in semantic distribution, (ii) unlike wenn-clauses, V1-clauses do not meet the criteria for syntactic embedding, (iii) the alternatives entailed by (ii) for the structural analysis of a postposed apodosis both have empirical support. As for a syntactic analysis of V1-structures suited to these findings, we argue that a CP adjunction analysis is currently the best option available. We also point out connections between the semantic restrictions on V1-conditionals and the semantics of V1-interrogatives that are suggestive of a common semantic core, which raises hope that our background vision (ultimately, all dependent V-to-C clauses are semantically licensed substitutes for genuine subordinates) may also be true for V1-clauses.
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