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Linguistic Inquiry

Summer 2000, Vol. 31, No. 3, Pages 445-483
(doi: 10.1162/002438900554406)
© 2000 Massachusetts Institute of Technology
Scandinavian Stylistic Fronting: How Any Category Can Become an Expletive
Article PDF (155.15 KB)

The two central theses are (a) the category moved by stylistic fronting (SF) functions as a pure expletive in its derived position, which is [Spec, IP]; (b) what is moved under SF is only the phonological feature matrix of a category. The theory accounts for most of the properties of SF: why it applies only when there is a subject gap; why it affects almost any category, head or phrase; the locality conditions; and the crosslinguistic variation. SF belongs to Narrow Syntax, not the phonological component. Although the features moved by SF are invisible at LF, the specifier position created by SF is visible and is used by other categories that are visible at LF but invisible at PF.