A lecturer presented by the Linguistics Student Association as part of the Academic Speaker Series.
The goal of this talk is to show that VP-fronting is not a uniform construction type but can be realized in at least two different ways across languages. Specifically, I will argue that while VP-fronting in German is A'-movement to the CP edge, English VP-fronting is VP-dislocation with a null nominal resumptive. I spell out this proposal in terms of Ott's (2014) approach to left-dislocation, according to which dislocated XPs are elliptical sentence fragments, and show that it successfully accounts for various asymmetries as well as commonalities between German and English VP-fronting.
These are shown to follow from the fact that is VP itself that moves in German VP-fronting, whereas it is its nominal placeholder in the English construction. I discuss various implications of the approach and compare it to a recent proposal by Thoms & Walkden (2015) that seeks to explain properties of English VP-fronting in terms of a 'matching' structure.