Heavy NP shift in English and a-movement in subject-prominent languages

Suguru Mikami

Research output: Contribution to journalReview articlepeer-review


According to Miyagawa's (2005, 2007, 2010, etc.) view that human languages are divided into two types with regard to the way that the requirement of the EPP on T is satisfied, English is a Subject-prominent language. In this type of language, the EPP on T works in tandem with a φ-feature and always triggers the A-movement of an XP that establishes an Agree relation with T through the φ-feature (i.e. a subject DP). Given this parameterization, even 'stylistic inversion' constructions in English, which are considered marked constructions because of their deviant word orders, are proven to be unmarked constructions that involve only this type of A-movement. This paper focuses on a Heavy NP Shift sentence as a case study to argue that Miyagawa's parameterization of the EPP, together with the copy theory of movement, is highly promising with regard to research that examines the universality and diversity of human languages.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)259-284
Number of pages26
JournalEnglish Linguistics
Issue number2
Publication statusPublished - 2012
Externally publishedYes


  • A-movement
  • Copy theory of movement
  • EPP
  • Heavy NP Shift
  • Subject-prominent language

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Language and Linguistics
  • Linguistics and Language


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