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11.2.Clause-initial position remains (phonetically) empty

This section discusses clauses in which the clause-initial position in representation (27) remains empty. This results in V1-clauses (that is, main clauses with the finite verb in first position) and embedded clauses with a complementizer in first position. We refer the reader to Section 9.1 for a more detailed discussion of structure (27).

Example 27

Section 11.1, sub VII, has shown that the clause-initial position of non-interrogative embedded clauses normally remains empty, so that there is not much to say about such cases; this section therefore focuses on V1-clauses. We will argue that at least some V1-clauses have a covertly filled initial position, that is, a clause-initial position filled by some constituent without a phonetic realization. This leads to the hypothesis that, from a syntactic perspective, there are no "true" V1-clauses but that the V1-order is merely a superficial phonetic phenomenon.