Wojcik (1981)

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  • Wojcik, Richard. 1981. 'On so-called verb topicalization in Breton', LSA 56, Barnard College, Columbia University.

pointe que le verbe ne peut pas être topicalisé devant le verbe tensé car cela prédirait incorrectement la possibilité de le faire à longue distance et au dessus de la négation.
 "Anderson (1981) has recently proposed that Breton has a rule which topicalizes any constituent of the clause, including main verbs, into initial position. That is, topicalization permutes underlying Aux-V-NP-NP into surface V-Aux-NP-NP as well as NP-Aux-V-NP. This paper updates and revises arguments from Wojcik (1976), which show that NP topicalization cannot be the same rule that shifts verbs into initial position. For example, topicalization is an unbounded rule that applies to both negative and positive clauses, whereas the verb shift rule never operates across clause boundaries and is blocked by negation. Moreover, the latter rule shifts not only main verbs, but predicate APs and NPs, thereby establishing unequivocably the existence of a 'predicate' constituent in Breton clauses. Since it is still a popular view among syntacticians that the underlying 'main verb' of a copular sentence is the copula itself, Breton 'predicate shift' has important implications for the development of a general theory of syntactic categories.