Date of Completion

January 1986


Language, Linguistics




This dissertation is an investigation of possible word orders of Latin syntactic constituents. The claim is that, despite apparent ordering freedom, the ordering of Latin constituents is not "free." Rather, Latin constituents have an underlying, base-generated ordering from which other orderings are derived by transformational movement to specific "landing sites." Latin syntactic structure is claimed to be "configurational" and is analyzed in terms of Government Binding Theory restricted by Landing Site Theory. The apparent "free" word order is the result of a greater variety of movement processes than in evidence in "fixed" word order languages.^ Chapter 1 gives a detailed summary of the theory of this dissertation and a full outline of following chapters.^ Chapter 2 surveys past syntactic studies of Latin and of other "free" word order languages. Studies in both linguistics and classical philology are considered.^ Chapter 3 explicates the methodology used to obtain positive and negative data in the absence of native speakers.^ Chapter 4 considers the ordering patterns of the Latin Prepositional Phrase. The underlying ordering is claimed to be P-NP. Three movement rules are proposed to account for all surface orderings of PP. Analyses are given of an apparent ordering requirement that some part of the Object of P must be right-adjacent to P.^ Chapter 5 considers the ordering of Subject, Object, and Verb. The underlying ordering is claimed to be SOV, and the other orderings are derived by transformational movement to specific landing sites.^ Chapter 6 considers constituent breakup in general. All landing sites, movement rules to these landing sites, and restrictions on movement are given.^ Chapter 7 gives a general summary of the theory. Alternative analyses are considered. ^