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13.3.1. Negation movement
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This section discusses sentence negation, which can be expressed by the negative adverb niet'not', but also by negative noun phrases like niets'nothing', niemand'nobody' and geen N'no N', negative adverbs like nooit'never' and nergens'nowhere', etc. The logical formulas in (82) show that negation has scope over the full proposition expressed by the clause.

Example 82
a. Jan heeft niet gewandeld.
  Jan  has  not  walked
  'Jan hasnʼt walked.'
a'. ¬walk(Jan)
b. Jan heeft niets gelezen.
  Jan has  nothing  read
  'Jan hasnʼt read anything.'
b'. ¬∃x read(Jan,x)

The discussion in this section especially focuses on the placement of negative phrases and is organized as follows. Subsection I starts by showing that there is a designated position relatively low in the functional domain of the clause where sentential negation must be expressed. Subsection II formalizes this by assuming that in negative clauses the verb’s lexical domain is the complement of the functional projection NegP; the head of this projection is phonetically empty in present-day Dutch but the specifier of this projection must be filled. The filler can be the negative adverb niet or a negative phrase such as niets'nothing'. We will assume that niet in examples such as (82a) is simply base-generated in the specifier of NegP, as indicated in the simplified structure in (83a). This is, however, not an option for a negative direct object such as niets'nothing' in example (82b); such examples must be derived by movement (henceforth: Neg-movement) of the direct object into the specifier of NegP, as indicated by the simplified structure in (83b). Recall from the introduction to Section 13.3 that for simplicity’s sake we will represent the lexical domain of the verb as [LD ... V ...] instead of [vP ... v [VP ... V ...]], and that we ignore traces of the subject if not directly relevant for the discussion.

Example 83
a. Jan heeft [NegP niet Neg [LD gewandeld]].
b. Jan heeft [NegP nietsi Neg [LDti gelezen]].

In some languages the meaning of example (82b) can also be expressed by the combination of a negative adverb followed by a negative polarity item. This is illustrated for English by the simplified structure in (84a). Subsection III will discuss the fact that this option is not available for Dutch if the negative adverb and the negative polarity item are part of the same clause: cf. (84b).

Example 84
a. John has [NegP not Neg [LD read anything]].
b. * Jan heeft [NegP niet Neg [LD ook maar iets gelezen]].
  Jan has  not  anything  read

The fact that Neg-movement is not restricted to noun phrases but can also be applied to, e.g., PPs shows that we are dealing with A'-movement. Because it is generally assumed that A'-movement cannot be followed by A-movement, this predicts that negative subjects/direct objects normally do not undergo nominal argument shift: Subsection IV will show that this prediction is indeed borne out. Subsection V concludes by showing that negative subjects may sometimes block nominal argument shift of objects.

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[+]  I.  The location of NegP

Dutch negation is located relatively low in the functional domain of the clause. This is clear from the fact illustrated in (85) that the negative adverb niet must follow the modal adverbs, which are normally taken to demarcate the boundary of the functional and the lexical domain of the clause.

Example 85
dat Jan <*niet> waarschijnlijk <niet> komt.
  that  Jan      not  probably  comes
'that Jan probably does not come.'

Sentence negation is nevertheless external to the lexical domain. This intuition is formally expressed in standard predicate calculus by giving negation scope over the proposition come(Jan), which corresponds to the lexical domain of the verb. That sentence negation is external to the lexical domain is also clear from the fact that negation behaves like modal adverbs in that it passes the adverb test for clausal adverbs: example (86) shows that example (85) can be paraphrased by placing the negative adverb niet'not' in a matrix clause of the form het is ADVERB zo dat ...

Example 86
Het is waarschijnlijk niet zo dat Jan komt.
  it  is probably  not  the.case  that  Jan comes
'It is probably not the case that Jan will come.'

That negation is located low in the functional domain of the clause is further supported by the observation that the negative adverb niet follows all adverbs with the exception of the VP-adverbials, that is, adverbials which are part of the lexical domain as modifiers of the predicate expressed by VP in (79); cf. Section 8.2.

Example 87
a. Jan heeft [niet [LD lang gewacht]].
  Jan  has   not  long  waited
  'Jan hasnʼt waited long.'
b. Jan heeft [niet [LD zorgvuldig gelezen]].
  Jan  has   not  carefully  read
  'Jan hasnʼt read carefully.'

Since prepositional objects normally follow VP-adverbials, it does not come as a surprise that they also follow the negative adverb niet in examples such as (88a). The same holds for complementives like the directional PP in (88b), which are normally left-adjacent to the clause-final verbs.

Example 88
a. Jan heeft [niet [LD (lang) op zijn vader gewacht]].
  Jan  has   not   long  for his father  waited
  'Jan hasnʼt waited (long) for his father.'
b. Jan is [niet [LD naar het feest gegaan]].
  Jan  is   not  to the party  gone
  'Jan hasnʼt gone to the party.'

It should be noted, however, that nominal arguments cannot follow the negative adverb niet'not' if it expresses sentence negation. This is surprising since such arguments normally can follow manner adverbs: see the contrast between the two examples in (89).

Example 89
a. Jan heeft <het boek> [LD zorgvuldig <het boek> gelezen].
  Jan has    the book  carefully  read
  'Jan has read the book carefully.'
b. Jan heeft <het boek> [niet [LD (zorgvuldig) <*het boek> gelezen]].
  Jan has    the book   not   carefully  read
  'Jan hasnʼt read the book (carefully).'

Apparently, there is a surface filter which prohibits a definite nominal argument (DP) in the domain of sentence negation; cf. (90a). The rationale for this filter is not immediately evident but we expect it to be pragmatic in nature: nominal arguments within the lexical domain normally express discourse-new information and it does not seem expedient or informative to negate a proposition with discourse-new information because this does not result in an update of the background (shared information) of the discourse; cf. Grice’s cooperation principle. This pragmatic account may be supported by the fact that definite noun phrases can easily follow negative phrases, e.g., Ik heb nooit het boek gelezen'I have never read the book'; cf. (90b).

Example 90
a. * ... [NegP niet Neg [LD ... DP ...]]
b. ✓... [NegP XP[+Neg] Neg [LD ... DP ...]]

A complication for the pragmatic account is that the nominal argument can occur in between a modal adverb and sentence negation, as illustrated for the direct object het boek in (91a). At first sight this seems to go against the earlier suggestion that the direct object must express discourse-old information in negative clauses but Section 13.3.2 will show that the position in between the modal adverb and negation is a designated position for contrastive foci, which are discourse-given in the sense that their referents are normally part of a contextually given set. Example (91b) is added for completeness’ sake, to show that nominal arguments can undergo nominal argument shift if sentence negation is expressed by the adverb niet'not'.

Example 91
a. dat Jan waarschijnlijk het boek niet gelezen heeft.
  that  Jan  probably  the book  not  read  has
  'that Jan probably hasnʼt read the book.'
b. dat Jan het boek waarschijnlijk niet gelezen heeft.
  that  Jan  the book  probably  not  read  has
  'that Jan probably hasnʼt read the book.'

For completeness’ sake, it should also be pointed out that the examples in (92) are acceptable but in these cases we are arguably dealing with constituent negation as negation takes scope over the noun phrase het boek and the cardinal numeral only.

Example 92
a. Jan heeft niet het BOEK (maar het ARTIKEL) gelezen.
  Jan has  not the book   but  the article  read
  'Jan hasnʼt read the book but the article'
b. Jan heeft niet VIER maar VIJF boeken gekocht.
  Jan has  not  four  but  five books  bought
  'Jan hasnʼt read four but five books.'

If we put these potential problems surrounding surface filter (90) aside, it seems that we can safely conclude that sentence negation is external to the vP but lower than the modal adverbs. Haegeman (1995) argues that the negative adverb niet is located in the specifier and not the head of NegP, because West-Flemish can optionally express the head of NegP by means of the negative preverbal clitic en; this is illustrated in (93a). Example (93b), cited from Van der Horst (2008:516), shows that a similar clitic was (virtually obligatorily) used in Middle Dutch.

Example 93
a. Valere en-eet nie s’oavonds.
West-Flemish
  Valère neg-eat  not evening
  'Valère doesnʼt eat in the evening.'
b. Dit en konnen wi niet gheleisten.
Middle Dutch
  this  neg  can we  not  allow
  'We cannot allow this.'

Since standard Dutch lost this negative clitic around 1600 AD, we will not digress on this issue any further, but simply assume that Dutch niet'not' resembles nie(t) in West-Flemish and Middle Dutch in that it occupies the specifier position of the functional projection NegP. That Dutch niet is not a head can further be supported by the fact that it can be modified by means of an amplifier: cf. beslist/zeker niet'absolutely/certainly not'.

[+]  II.  Neg-movement

Subsection I has argued that the negative adverb niet'not' is located in the specifier position of NegP if it is used to express sentential negation. If correct, the overall structure of negative clauses is as given in (94), in which we omitted the higher functional projections CP and TP and in which ADV stands for modal adverbs such as waarschijnlijk'probably'.

Example 94
... ADV [NegP... Neg [LD ... V ...]]

This subsection will adopt the structure in (94) as its point of departure and argue that negative noun phrases like niets'nothing', niemand'nobody', and geen N'no N' obligatorily move into the specifier of NegP as well, in order to enable negation to take scope over the proposition expressed by the lexical domain of the verb.

[+]  A.  The specifier of NegP must be filled by a negative phrase

It is relatively difficult to show on the basis of nominal arguments that the specifier of NegP must be filled by a negative phrase: examples such as (95) are compatible with the claim that the negative form niemand/niets must move into the specifier of NegP, but since the simplified representations in the (b)-examples show that Neg-movement does not cross any phonetically realized material, these examples do not provide conclusive evidence for movement.

Example 95
a. Vandaag heeft waarschijnlijk niemand dat boek gelezen.
  today has  probably  nobody  that book  read
  'Probably, nobody has read that book today.'
a'. Vandaag heeft waarschijnlijk [NegP niemandi Neg [ldti dat boek gelezen]].
b. Jan heeft waarschijnlijk niets gelezen.
  Jan  has  probably  nothing  read
  'Jan probably hasnʼt read anything.'
b'. Jan heeft waarschijnlijk [NegP nietsi Neg [LDti gelezen]].

Examples with manner adverbs provide al least weak evidence for Neg-movement of direct objects. Example (96a) shows that direct objects can normally either precede or follow manner adverbs, where we leave the syntactic and semantic differences between the two orders open for the moment. Example (96b) shows that negative phrases such as niets'nothing' normally precede manner adverbs; this would follow if niets is obligatorily moved into the specifier of NegP.

Example 96
a. Jan heeft waarschijnlijk <het hek> met zorg <het hek> geverfd.
  Jan has  probably    the gate  with care  painted
  'Jan has probably painted the gate with care.'
b. Jan heeft waarschijnlijk [NegP <niets> [LD met zorg <??niets> geverfd]].
  Jan has  probably    nothing  with care  painted
  'Jan probably hasnʼt painted anything with care.'

Prepositional objects such as naar Peter in (97) also provide weak evidence for Neg-movement. While example (97a) shows that prepositional objects can either precede or follow manner adverbs, where we leave the differences between the two orders open for the moment, (97b) shows that the negative prepositional objects such as naar niemand'to nobody' normally precede manner adverbs; this would again follow if naar niemand is moved into the specifier of NegP. Since we assume that the movement of the PP is motivated by the necessity of assigning scope to the negative operator, we must conclude that we are dealing with pied piping in example (97b), due to the fact that Dutch normally does not allow preposition stranding. This seems to be confirmed by the fact illustrated in (97c) that the preposition is obligatory stranded if the complement of the preposition is realized as the negative R-word nergens, which can strand prepositions.

Example 97
Jan heeft waarschijnlijk ...
  Jan has  probably
a. ... <naar Peter> goed <naar Peter> geluisterd.
  to Peter  well  listened
  'Jan has probably listened well to Peter.'
b. ... [NegP <naar niemand> [LD goed <*naar niemand> geluisterd]].
  ...    to nobody  well  listened
  'Jan probably hasn't listened well to anyone.'
c. ... [NegP <nergens> [LD goed [PP <*nergens> naar] geluisterd]].
  nowhere  well  to  listened
  'Jan probably hasn't listened well to anything.'

Example (98) provides similar examples with a PP-complement of an adjectival complementive. While example (98a) shows that the PP can either precede or follow the adjectival phrase erg trots'very proud', where we leave the difference between the two orders open for the moment, example (98b) shows that the negative prepositional object op niemand'to nobody' precedes it; this again follows if op niemand is moved into the specifier of NegP. Example (98c) further shows that the preposition is obligatory stranded if the complement of the preposition is realized as the negative R-word nergens.

Example 98
dat Jan waarschijnlijk ...
  that  Jan probably
a. ... <op zijn zoon> erg trots <op zijn zoon> is.
   of his son  very proud  is
  'that Jan is probably very proud of his son.'
b. ... [NegP <op niemand> [LD [AP erg trots <*op niemand>] is]].
  of his son  very proud  is
  'that Jan probably isnʼt very proud of anyone.'
c. ... [NegP <nergens> [LD [AP erg trots [PP <*nergens> op]] is]].
  nowhere  very proud  of  is
  'that Jan probably isnʼt very proud of anything.'

The examples provided in this subsection conclusively show that negative phrases are obligatorily moved into the specifier of NegP; the semantic motivation of this is that it enables negation to take scope over the proposition expressed by the lexical domain of the main verb.

[+]  B.  Negative phrases can be topicalized

It is not necessary for the negative phrase to appear in the specifier of NegP in the surface structure of the clause: the examples in (99) show that negative phrases may also occur in clause-initial position. That topicalization of negative phrases is possible follows if we assume that topicalization does not take place in one fell swoop, but involves an intermediate movement step into the specifier position of NegP, as a result of which this specifier is filled by a trace of the topicalized negative phrase: [CP XP[+Neg] C [TP.. T ... [NegPtXP Neg [LD ... V ...]]]]. We refer the reader to Haegeman (1995:137-8) for an alternative proposal motivated by West-Flemish data that cannot be replicated for Standard Dutch.

Example 99
a. Niemand heeft het boek gelezen.
subject
  nobody  has  the book  read
  'Nobody has read the book.'
b. Niets heeft Jan gelezen.
direct object
  nothing  has  Jan read
  'Jan hasnʼt read anything.'
c. Naar niemand heeft Jan goed geluisterd.
prepositional object
  to nobody  has  Jan well  listened
  'Jan hasnʼt listened well to anybody.'
d. Op niemand is Jan erg trots.
PP-complement of adjective
  of nobody  is Jan very proud
  'Jan isnʼt very proud of anybody.'
[+]  C.  Negative phrases cannot be extraposed

Examples (100a) shows that while prepositional objects can normally be extraposed, this is impossible if the nominal complement of the PP is negative. Example (100b) illustrates the same for a PP-complement of an adjectival complementive. The unacceptability of extraposition follows naturally if we adopt the hypothesis from Chapter 12 that extraposition is not derived by movement of the extraposed phrase; this makes it quite implausible that the specifier of NegP would be filled by a trace of the extraposed phrase.

Example 100
a. Jan heeft waarschijnlijk goed geluisterd naar Peter/*niemand.
  Jan  has  probably  well  listened  to Peter/nobody
  'Jan has probably listened well to Peter.'
b. dat Jan waarschijnlijk erg trots is op zijn zoon/*niemand.
  that  Jan probably  very proud  is  of his son/nobody
  'that Jan is probably very proud of his son.'
[+]  D.  Negative phrases that are not in the specifier of NegP

The discussion so far has shown that negative clauses contain a NegP the specifier of which must be filled by a negative phrase. It should be noted again, however, that negative phrases only move into the specifier of NegP if they express sentence negation; if Neg-movement does not apply, we are dealing with constituent negation. The constituent negation reading does not give rise to a very felicitous result for most of the examples given in the previous subsections, but it is possible in (101), in which the two examples form a minimal pair. Example (101a), in which the PP-complement occupies its original postadjectival position, involves constituent negation; this example literally means that Jan will be satisfied if he has got nothing, but is normally used in an idiomatic sense to express that Jan has virtually no requirements. This interpretation contrasts sharply with the one associated with example (101b), in which Neg-movement has applied, and which expresses that Jan will not be satisfied, no matter what he obtains. For completeness’ sake, note that PP-over-V in dat Jan tevreden is met niets is compatible with the constituent negation reading in (101a), but not with the sentential negation reading in (101b).

Example 101
a. dat Jan [LD [AP tevreden [PP met niets]] is].
  that  Jan  satisfied  with nothing  is
  'that Jan is satisfied with very little.'
b. dat Jan [NegP [PP met niets]i [LD [AP tevreden ti] is]].
  that Jan  with nothing  satisfied  is
  'that Jan isnʼt satisfied with anything.'

Other cases in which negative phrases do not move into the specifier of NegP are denials of the type in (102b), in which a noun phrase is simply replaced by a negative expression. Haegeman (1995) considers instances like the negative counterpart of the echo-question in (102b'), noting neither the negative phrase nor the wh-phrase takes scope over the clause.

Example 102
a. Jan is erg trots op zijn medaille.
speaker A
  Jan is very proud of his medal
b. Nee hoor, Jan is erg trots op niets.
speaker B
  no  hear  Jan is very proud of nothing
b'. Jan is erg trots op wat?
speaker B
  Jan is very proud of what
[+]  III.  A note on negative polarity items

The previous subsections have shown that the specifier of NegP must be filled by either the negative adverb niet or a negative phrase. We may therefore expect that certain negative clauses can be expressed in two different ways. That this is possible in principle is clear from the fact that the Dutch example in (103a) can be translated into English by means of the negative adverb not followed by the negative polarity item (NPI) any thing. Example (103b) shows, however, that the English strategy is not available in Dutch.

Example 103
a. dat Jan [NegP nietsi Neg [LDti zegt]].
  that  Jan  nothing  says
  'that Jan doesn't say anything.'
b. * dat Jan [NegP niet Neg [LD ook maar iets zegt]].
  that  Jan  not  anything  says

That Neg-movement is preferred to the use of niet + NPI is a rather persistent property of Dutch: the (a)- and (b)-examples in (104) illustrate this for, respectively, a prepositional object and a PP-complement of a complementive adjective.

Example 104
a. dat Jan [NegP [PP op niemand]i Neg [LDti wacht]].
  that  Jan  for nobody  waits
  'that Jan wonʼt wait for anybody.'
a'. * dat Jan [NegP niet [LD [PP op ook maar iemand] wacht]].
  that  Jan  not  for anybody  waits
b. dat Jan [NegP [PP op niemand]i [[erg gesteld ti ] is]].
  that  Jan  of nobody    very fond  is
  'that Jan isnʼt very fond of anybody.'
b'. * dat Jan [NegP niet [LD [AP erg gesteld [PP op ook maar iemand]] is]].
  that  Jan  not  very fond  of anybody  is

The NPI ook maar iets/iemand'anything/anybody' can only be used if the clause contains some other negative phrase or if negation is located in a higher clause, as in the examples in (105). In such examples NPIs are not involved in the expression of sentence negation, however; they are simply licensed by negation as emphatic forms of the existential pronouns iets/iemand'something/somebody'

Example 105
a. Niemand heeft ook maar iets gezien.
  nobody  has  anything  seen
  'Nobody has seen anything.'
b. Ik denk niet [dat Jan ook maar iets gezien heeft].
  think  not   that  Jan anything  seen  has
  'I dont think that Jan has seen anything.'

This section has shown that Dutch strongly prefers Neg-movement to the semantically equivalent construction with a negative adverb followed by an NPI. In this respect Dutch differs conspicuously from English, in which the movement strategy is not found. This is of course related to the fact that English has a more rigid word order than Dutch; see Broekhuis & Klooster (2010) for more discussion and an account of this difference framed in terms of optimality theory.

[+]  IV.  Neg-movement is A'-movement

The previous subsections have argued that Dutch has a functional projection NegP external to the lexical domain of the verb, which follows modal adverbs such as waarschijnlijk'probably'. If correct, the overall structure of negative clauses is as given in (94), in which ADV indicates the position of the modal adverbs. Because Neg-movement is not restricted to noun phrases, but may also apply to PPs, it cannot be an instance of A-movement but should involve A'-movement, which is further supported by the fact that Neg-movement evidently has a semantic motivation: it is needed in order to assign clausal scope to negation.

Example 106
[CP ... C [TP ... T [... ADV [NegP ... Neg [vP ... v [VP ... V ...]]]]]]

The claim that Neg-movement is A'-movement makes an interesting prediction about the position of nominal arguments in view of Chomsky’s (1986) improper movement restriction. This restriction prohibits A-movement of a phrase XP after it has been A'-moved: Neg-movement of a nominal argument should therefore block nominal argument shift across modal adverbs such as waarschijnlijk'probably', which Section 13.2 has shown to be an instance of A-movement. The examples in (107), which are repeated from Section N8.1.3, sub ID3, show that this expectation is indeed borne out. The negative pronoun niemand cannot undergo nominal argument shift from the specifier position of NegP, which follows the modal adverb, into the specifier positions of the lexical heads assigning accusative and nominative case, which precede the modal adverb: see the representations in example (40) from Section 13.2, sub IA.

Example 107
a. dat Jan <*niemand> waarschijnlijk <niemand> uitnodigt.
  that  Jan      nobody  probably  invites
b. dat <??niemand> waarschijnlijk <niemand> dat boek gelezen heeft.
  that       nobody  probably  that book  read  has

The judgments on these examples seem confirmed by a Google search (6/11/2015). We checked our judgments on (107a) by means of the search string [ dat PRON niemand waarschijnlijk], in which PRON stands for a set of subject pronouns; this string does not occur at all. We checked out judgments on (107b) by means of the search strings [ dat waarschijnlijk niemand] and [ dat niemand waarschijnlijk]; the former string resulted in 191 hits and is therefore much more frequent then the second string, which resulted in no more than 32 hits, some of which struck us as quite marked. Observe that the acceptability contrasts indicated in (107) cannot be accounted for by claiming that negative noun phrases must occur in the specifier position of NegP, because Subsection IIB has shown that they can easily be moved into clause-initial position; the relevant examples are repeated in (108).

Example 108
a. Niemand heeft het boek gelezen.
subject
  nobody  has  the book  read
  'Nobody has read the book.'
b. Niets heeft Jan gelezen.
direct object
  nothing  has  Jan read
  'Jan hasnʼt read anything.'

If the unacceptable orders in (107) are indeed ruled out by the improper movement restriction, the acceptability of the examples in (108) need not surprise us because topicalization is clearly a case of A'-movement. The contrast between nominal argument shift and topicalization of negative noun phrases thus supports the claim that Neg-movement is A'-movement (but see Section N8.1.3, sub ID3, for an alternative account for the impossibility of nominal argument shift in (107)).

[+]  V.  The interaction of Neg movement and nominal argument shift

Subsection IV has shown that negative subjects cannot be moved into the regular subject position by nominal argument shift. The fact that negative phrases follow the modal adverbs when they are part of the middle field, while the target positions of nominal argument shift precede the modal adverbs, raises the question as to whether negative subjects can be crossed by other nominal arguments. The answer is negative, as is clear from the fact illustrated in (109a) that the direct object het boek cannot shift across the negative subject niemand (under a non-contrastive intonation pattern of the clause), and that the acceptable order is actually ambiguous in that the direct object can be interpreted as either part of the new-information focus or the presupposition of the clause. For completeness’ sake, we have added example (109b) to show that the negative subject cannot easily be pushed up into the regular subject position by the direct object.

Example 109
a. dat <*het boek> waarschijnlijk niemand <het boek> gekocht heeft.
  that      the book  probably  nobody    the book  bought  has
  'that probably nobody has bought the book.'
b. ?? dat niemand het boek waarschijnlijk gekocht heeft.
  that  nobody  the book  probably  bought  has

The examples in (110) show that the same pattern arises for negative subjects and pronominal indirect objects; as indirect objects and subjects are frequently both +human, we use a strong object pronoun in order to avoid processing problems.

Example 110
a. dat <*hem> waarschijnlijk niemand <hem> hulp aangeboden heeft.
  that     him  probably  nobody    him  help  prt. -offered  has
  'that probably nobody has offered him help.'
b. ?? dat niemand hem waarschijnlijk hulp aangeboden heeft.
  that  nobody  him  probably  help  prt.-offered  has

The examples above have shown that negative subjects normally block object shift (although it is perhaps marginally possible for the object to push the negative subject up into the regular object position in violation of the improper movement restriction). This shows that ordering restriction (111) also applies in negative clauses.

Example 111
Ordering restriction on nominal argument shift in Standard Dutch: nominal argument shift does not affect the unmarked order of the nominal arguments (agent > goal > theme).

We want to conclude by repeating that the judgments in (109a) and (110a) only hold if the sentences are pronounced with a neutral intonation pattern. The orders marked with a star become acceptable if the objects are given contrastive accent: dat het boek waarschijnlijk niemand gekocht heeft and dat hem waarschijnlijk niemand hulp aangeboden heeft are both perfectly acceptable. However, argument inversion in such examples is not the result of A-movement (nominal argument shift) but of A'-movement (topic or focus movement). We refer the reader to Section 13.3.2 for a discussion of the latter type of movement.

References:
  • Broekhuis, Hans & Klooster, Wim2010Merge and Move as costly operationsRevista Virtual de Estudos da Linguagem 8 (theme issue on Optimality Theoretic Syntax edited by Gabriel de Avila Othero & Sergio de Moura Menuzzi)8155-182
  • Chomsky, Noam1986BarriersLinguistic inquiry monographs ; 13Cambridge, Mass.MIT Press
  • Haegeman, Liliane1995The syntax of negationCambridge studies in linguistics 75CambridgeCambridge University Press
  • Haegeman, Liliane1995The syntax of negationCambridge studies in linguistics 75CambridgeCambridge University Press
  • Haegeman, Liliane1995The syntax of negationCambridge studies in linguistics 75CambridgeCambridge University Press
  • Horst, Joop van der2008Geschiedenis van de Nederlandse syntaxisLeuvenUniversitaire Pers Leuven
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