In Dutch, verbs selecting a VP-complement come in at least three varieties. First, a verb, such as verbieden (to disallow), may subcategorize for a full VP to its right:
These verbs are called extraposition verbs, as transformational accounts assume that the VP-complement has been extraposed from a position in the midfield. Second, a verb may form a `verbal complex' or `verb cluster' with the head of its VP-complement. In this case, the non-verbal elements of the VP-complement occur to the left of the governing verb, whereas the verbal head of the VP-complement normally occurs to the right (2a). This is the so-called verb-raising (VR) construction, as transformational accounts (following ) assume that in this case the head of the embedded VP-complement is `raised' from its original position left of the governing verb to a position on the right. Modals, such as willen (to want) or kunnen (can), are typical VR verbs, as well as perception verbs such as zien (to see) or horen (to hear), and causatives such as laten (to let). The VR construction gives rise to so-called cross-serial dependencies. This is illustrated in (2b), where verbs have been coindexed with their non-verbal arguments.
Finally, there is a class of verbs (containing proberen (to try) and verzuimen (to fail) inducing word orders that are a mixture of extraposition and verb-raising. Instances of such mixed word orders (3) are known as `the third construction' , or as cases of partial extraposition (PE) .
This paper presents a categorial analysis of all the verb classes just introduced, although we will primarily be concerned with VR verbs. In particular, we demonstrate that cross-serial word order can be accounted for by a mechanism, i.e. recursive lexical constraints, whose domain of application is restricted to the lexicon and which can be implemented using feature-based formalisms. Furthermore, we show that various other word orders in the verb cluster can be accounted for by generalizing our initial formulation of the constraint. Finally, we argue that overgeneration can be avoided by requiring that the argument of a VR verb must be a `verbal complex'.