Movement in the Afrikaans left periphery: a view from anti-locality

  • Robyn Berghoff Stellenbosch University


It has been convincingly argued that the so-called “left periphery” of the sentence makes available multiple positions which host topicalised and focalised phrases, among other elements. Projections in the C-domain have been shown to have a fixed ordering, the violation of which results in ungrammaticality. Rizzi (1997) provides a template that specifies this ordering. Botha and Oosthuizen (2009) examine this template’s ability to account for ordering phenomena in the Afrikaans left periphery and make certain necessary adjustments to Rizzi’s template to account for their data. This short paper takes Botha and Oosthuizen’s observations regarding the (im)possibility of a certain ordering in the Afrikaans CP as a case in point. Broadly put, the paper’s premise is that although the template provided for the Afrikaans CP may be descriptively adequate, in that it can accommodate and predict possible orderings, it falls short in that it does not account for why such a template should exist. That is, the template itself does not explain why certain orderings are permissible and others are not. It is the paper’s modest aim to test the ability of one theoretical perspective, namely Grohmann’s (2003) theory of anti-locality, to account for the illegality of a particular ordering in the Afrikaans CP. Antilocality’s ban on ‘too local’ movement is shown to predict the illicitness of this ordering. Due to the paper’s limited scope, the analysis is not extended to other constructions. Its aim is toprompt further efforts to account for the observed ordering in the CP domain, and it offers the theory of anti-locality as a possible starting point for these efforts.


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Part I: Afrikaans centre-stage