Doubling and do-support in verbal fronting: Towards a typology of repair operations


Most known languages seem to follow the intuitive and economical implication that if they show a repair such as verb doubling or do-support when just the verb is fronted, they also show that same repair when the verb is fronted together with its internal argument(s) (provided that the language has both types of fronting). In this paper, I present data from Asante Twi, where the verb is doubled in the former case but there is do-support in the latter instead. I argue that the attested patterns can be accounted for under the Copy Theory of Movement by introducing different orders of the operations Chain Reduction (CR) and head movement (HM) at PF (analogous to what Schoorlemmer 2012 proposed for Chain Reduction and Local Dislocation). CR either bleeds HM giving rise to consistent do-support (as in German) or counterbleeds it leading to consistent verb doubling (as in Hebrew). The Asante Twi pattern is a result of the interaction of the bleeding order with Ā-head movement, where the bleeding effect of the order is neutralised by the inability of Ā-head movement to form chains, which is rooted in the Chain Uniformity Condition (Chomsky 1995). The account provides a unified minimalist analysis of verb doubling and do-support in verbal fronting, which derives all attested patterns but correctly precludes the derivation of the unattested reverse Asante Twi pattern.


Copy Theory, Asante Twi, predicate cleft, verb doubling, head movement, do-support, order of operations, syntactic doubling

How to Cite

Hein J., (2017) “Doubling and do-support in verbal fronting: Towards a typology of repair operations”, Glossa: a journal of general linguistics 2(1), p.67. doi:







Johannes Hein (Universität Leipzig, Beethovenstr. 15, 04107 Leipzig)





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