Verb-Preposing in Persian Yes-No Questions: A Minimalist Approach

Document Type : Research Paper


1 Assistant Professor of Linguistics, Razi University

2 Ph. D. Candidate in Linguistics, Razi University


This paper analyzes verb-preposing in yes-no questions in Persian within the Minimalist framework (Chomsky, 1995, 2000a-b). Raghibdoust (1993), in line with Karimi (1989), considers these constructions as the result of the extraction of the subject to the post-verbal position. As opposed to Raghibdoust (1993), therefore, in this paper, we employ some pieces of evidence including the impetus for the movement of constituents in grammar, the distinguished nature of the fronted verb compared to other fronted elements in structures with multiple fronted constituents, and the impossibility of fronting the light verb alone in compound verbs, hence leaving the nonverbal element in situ, to show that verb-preposing in yes-no structures in Persian is to be analyzed as the result of fronting of the verb rather than the extraposition of the subject. Following that, evidence is provided against Karimi’s (1994) idea that the head of CP should be taken as the position for the moved verb. Instead, using some evidence, we argue that the head of the FocusP obtains a better landing site for the preposed verbal element. If this analysis is on the right track, we then propose that the [-Q] feature on the head of the CP as the Probe is matched through the Agree mechanism with the [+Q] feature on the preposed verb as the Goal to get checked and valued, hence satisfying the yes-no question interpretation.


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Volume 7, Issue 2
January 2017
Pages 1-18
  • Receive Date: 14 June 2016
  • Revise Date: 11 October 2016
  • Accept Date: 21 November 2016
  • First Publish Date: 21 November 2016