This chapter presents several approaches to the syntax of verb-initial (V1) languages with a special emphasis on Mayan and Austronesian languages. Some V1 languages are strictly VSO, others are VOS, and a significant number combine both orders. This chapter focuses on data from VSO/VOS languages and the factors that underlie these alternations. A number of V1 languages can be more adequately characterized as predicate-initial, with V1 being just a subset of clause-initial predicates. The chapter presents a number of structural properties that are or may be associated with V1 and discusses possible implicational relations between such properties and V1. While there are certain common characteristics observed across V1 languages, it is also clear that there are several distinct subtypes of V1. These subtypes call for different syntactic analyses; main approaches include the derivation of V1 via phrasal movement (VP-raising) and its derivation via head-movement (verb-raising). Other syntactic approaches to the derivation of V1 include the parametrization of specifier direction within a single language, non-configurational syntax, and subject lowering. In addition to these purely syntactic analyses, several recent approaches place the derivation of V1 outside syntax or at the syntax-PF interface. Careful, in-depth analyses of individual languages are required to test the different approaches to V1; in quite a few cases such analyses are still lacking.
In this paper, we bring to the attention of the linguistic community recent research on heritage languages. Shifting linguistic attention from the model of a monolingual speaker to the model of a multilingual speaker is important for the advancement of our understanding of the language faculty. Native speaker competence is typically the result of normal first language acquisition in an environment where the native language is dominant in various contexts, and learners have extensive and continuous exposure to it and opportunities to use it. Heritage speakers present a different case: they are bilingual speakers of an ethnic or immigrant minority language, whose first language often does not reach native-like attainment in adulthood. We propose a set of connections between heritage language studies and theory construction, underscoring the potential that this population offers for linguistic research. We examine several important grammatical phenomena from the standpoint of their representation in heritage languages, including case, aspect, and other interface phenomena. We discuss how the questions raised by data from heritage speakers could fruitfully shed light on current debates about how language works and how it is acquired under different conditions. We end with a consideration of the potential competing factors that shape a heritage language system in adulthood.