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Verbal Complexes in Lebanese Arabic

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This study examines a particular type of optionality in subject placement in Lebanese Arabic that indicates that that language allows restructuring, or derived clause union, mediated by formation of a verbal complex, in which a non-finite subordinate verb raises and adjoins to the finite matrix verb. In addition to the word order VSVX in control constructions, Lebanese Arabic also admits the order VVSX. This study considers rightward subject movement and backward control analyses of the data presented here, but finds that the body of evidence instead supports a derivation in which subordinate T[ense] raises to matrix T, carrying the subordinate verb along with it, analogous to analyses of restructuring in Romance, Slavic and Germanic languages. The study therefore finds restructuring in a language in which it has not previously been observed.

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