The nonunity of VP-preposing

Mark Baltin

    Research output: Contribution to journalReview articlepeer-review


    This article shows that a VP in English is only a VP at the outset of a derivation, and that VP-preposing in English is in fact preposing of the internal arguments of the verb, followed by remnant movement of the original VP, making English and German (Müller 1998) more similar than they might appear at first glance. The evidence for the nonconstituency of the verb and its original arguments in preposed position comes from its solution to what has been termed Pesetsky's paradox, in that an object of a preposed VP can bind into an adverbial at the end of a sentence, creating an apparent conflict between the assumptions that binding requires c-command and that only constituents move. This article also provides evidence for c-command as the prominence constraint on binding, rather than o-command (Pollard & Sag 1994) or f-command (Dalrymple 1999).

    Original languageEnglish (US)
    Pages (from-to)734-766
    Number of pages33
    Issue number4
    StatePublished - Dec 2006

    ASJC Scopus subject areas

    • Language and Linguistics
    • Linguistics and Language


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