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Dutch Verb Clustering without Verb Clusters

Gertjan van Noord and Gosse Bouma


We propose an analysis of Dutch cross-serial dependencies and related constructions based on minimal assumptions about phrase structure. We argue that there is no need to assume the existence of a constituent containing a ``verb cluster'' or ``verbal complex''. Furthermore, in clauses with normal (non-extraposed and non-topicalized) word order there are no (full or partial) VP's. Instead, all elements of a cross-serial dependency construction are directly dominated by S. The analysis is formulated in terms of Head-driven Phrase Structure Grammar ([23,24]), and makes crucial use of argument inheritance ([8]). We demonstrate that our analysis not only accounts for the basic word order in cross-serial dependency constructions, but also for instances of partial extraposition and partial topicalization of VP's. We also show that a recent version of the HPSG binding theory is fully compatible with our analysis. Finally, we demonstrate how verb sequences in which the strictly cross-serial word order is not obeyed can be accounted for.

Noord G.J.M. van