Operator movement and topicalisation in adverbial clauses

Abstract : English ('central') adverbial clauses are incompatible with argument fronting (1a) (Haegeman 2006) and with markers of epistemic modality (1b) (Nilsen 2004), while initial adjuncts are allowed (1c).
(1) a * When this book I find, I will buy it.
b * I will come when it may be warmer.
c When next week he's not here, I'll call him.

The paper first reviews an earlier analysis (Haegeman 2003 etc.) of these data in which the absence of topicalisation in adverbial clauses as well as the absence of epistemic modal expressions is related directly to the absence of illocutionary force, as encoded by a specialised functional head, 'Force' (Rizzi 1997). It is then shown that the analyses raises a number of theoretical and empirical problems and an alternative analysis is proposed according to which the absence of topicalisation in adverbial clauses such as (1a) is accounted for by assuming that such clauses are derived by movement of a (possibly null) operator to the left periphery. It is shown that a movement analysis of adverbial clauses allows us to
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Submitted on : Monday, December 3, 2007 - 9:27:57 AM
Last modification on : Tuesday, July 3, 2018 - 11:33:55 AM

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Liliane Haegeman. Operator movement and topicalisation in adverbial clauses. Folia Linguistica, De Gruyter, 2007, 41, p. 279-325. ⟨halshs-00193242⟩

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