Is ug like a chunk of swiss cheese? Evidence for a third-factor principle

Yafei Li, Jen Ting*

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


The word order of the serial verb constructions provides evidence for a "third-factor principle" at work. While what we know about UG linearizes syntactic constituents on the basis of hierarchical structure, serial verbs are linearized in accordance with iconicity. with the same semantic relation mapping to a constant word order but to varying structural relations. The utilization of iconic linearization under strict conditions may be viewed as a case of general cognitive mechanisms at work when UG has a functional gap for sentence-generation.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)737-754
Number of pages18
JournalLanguage and Linguistics
Issue number4
Publication statusPublished - 2013


  • Linear iconicity
  • Serial verb construction
  • Third-factor principle
  • UG

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Language and Linguistics
  • Linguistics and Language


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