The Spec-head vs head-Spec Asymmetry: Post-syntactic linearization and the embedded-topicalization paradox

Mark de Vos


This paper is a preliminary exploration of how English specifiers and heads are linearized at the PF interface. In particular, it argues that linearization may reflect underlying grammatical relationships of agreement and selection.   To evaluate this proposal, it uses the theoretical lens of relational theory and empirically, topicalization constructions in English which have somewhat paradoxical properties with respect to the perceived relative positioning of the head and specifier of TopP.  These paradoxes can be explained by the linearization proposal in this paper.  However, before accepting the proposed solution it is necessary to ensure that the proposal can be consistently applied to other spec-head relationships in English; the paper therefore includes a discussion of double object constructions as well as the relative spec-head orders of CP, TP, vP, VP and PP.


specifier; head; headedness parameter; LCA; linearization

Full Text:




  • There are currently no refbacks.

Copyright (c)

ISSN 2223-9936 (online); ISSN 1027-3417 (print)

Creative Commons License

This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International License

Powered by OJS and hosted by Stellenbosch University Library and Information Service since 2011.


This journal is hosted by the SU LIS on request of the journal owner/editor. The SU LIS takes no responsibility for the content published within this journal, and disclaim all liability arising out of the use of or inability to use the information contained herein. We assume no responsibility, and shall not be liable for any breaches of agreement with other publishers/hosts.

SUNJournals Help