5. Wednesday, January 25, 2023: "What left-right asymmetries may tell us about syntactic structure building"

Hedde Zeijlstra (University of Göttingen)
In this paper, I demonstrate that a well-known left-right asymmetry, Biberauer, Holmberg and Roberts’s (2014) Final-over-Final Condition (FOFC), which these authors claim follows from Kayne’s Linear Correspondence Axiom (LCA), is actually better explained under a symmetric approach to syntactic structure building in tandem with the mechanism that underlies the constraints on rightward movement. Apart from circumventing the theoretical and empirical problems that this LCA-based analysis faces, the fact that particles form a natural class of counterexamples to FOFC naturally follows under such a symmetric approach. The final part of this paper shows that this explanation to FOFC also straightforwardly applies to the semi-universal leftwardness of (subject) specifiers in both head-final and head-initial languages.