Renewal in the left periphery: economy and the complementiser layer

Elly Van Gelderen

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

39 Scopus citations


This paper examines cyclical changes involving complementisers, for instance, whether in the history of English. Whether starts out as a pronoun and after frequent topicalisation is reanalysed as an element in the left-most layer of the sentence. The same is true with prepositional phrases that are fronted and then reanalysed as part of the CP layer. The paper uses a Minimalist approach in that it seeks answers for the linguistic changes in terms of Economy Principles such as Specifier-to-Head Reanalysis. It examines two sources of renewal of complementisers, full phrases such as demonstrative pronouns and heads such as the verbs that reanalyse as question particles in Chinese.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)131-195
Number of pages65
JournalTransactions of the Philological Society
Issue number2
StatePublished - Jul 2009

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Language and Linguistics
  • Linguistics and Language


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