Free Word Order of Verbs and its Arguments

Document Type : Research Paper


1 Professor of General Linguistics, Terhan University

2 Ph.D. Student of General Linguistics, Terhan University


This study explores the nature of relatively free word order of verbs and their arguments in Persian. Based on the theory of phases and multiple spell-out which is an instantiation of Minimalist Program, we attempt to account for the restrictions on these word order variations. Having a direct interaction with the syntax-phonology interface rather than a purely syntactic one, these restrictions, which have no interaction with information structure, are accounted for using linearization principle (Fox & Pesetsky 2005) and sentential stress rule (Kahnemuyipour 2004). The main generalization is that no argument that bears the sentential stress can appear on the right side of the verb. As such, nonspecific object of transitive verbs and nonspecific subject of unaccusatives and passives cannot follow the verb. This specific argument imposes no restriction on verb fronting which is in fact VP fronting in Persian.


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Volume 6, Issue 2
January 2016
Pages 21-40
  • Receive Date: 26 October 2015
  • Revise Date: 02 January 2016
  • Accept Date: 02 January 2016
  • First Publish Date: 02 January 2016