CP-Recursion in Danish: A cP/CP-analysis

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Based on data from extraction, embedded V2, and complementizer stacking, this paper proposes a cP/CP-analysis of CP-recursion in Danish. Because extraction can be shown to be possible from relative clauses, wh-islands, and adverbial clauses, and given that long extraction is successive-cyclic, an extra specifier position has to be available as an escape hatch. Consequently, such extractions require a CP-recursion analysis, as has been argued for embedded V2 and for complementizer stacking.

Given that CP-recursion in embedded V2 clauses does not allow extraction, whereas other types of CP-recursion do, we suggest that embedded V2 is fundamentally different, in that main clause V2 and embedded V2 involve a CP (“big CP”), whereas all other clausal projections above IP are instances of cP (“little cP”). The topmost “little” c° has an occurrence feature that enables extraction but bars spell-out of its specifier.
Original languageEnglish
JournalThe Linguistic Review
Pages (from-to)449-477
Number of pages29
Publication statusPublished - 2017


  • Syntax
  • Embedding
  • V2
  • Long-Distance Extraction
  • Multiple Complementizers
  • Syntactic islands
  • Generative grammar
  • Scandinavian languages
  • Danish

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