Subordinate V2 and Verbal Morphology in Övdalian

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The purpose of this paper is (i) to locate Övdalian among the Scandinavian languages with regard to verbal morphology and embedded V2, and (ii) to formalize and test hypotheses predicting that languages/dialects that have the relevant morphological differences also show certain syntactic differences. It turns out that the older speakers of Övdalian allow Vfin-Adv order in various types of subject-initial clauses more freely than the younger speakers. The results from a verbal paradigm fill-in task reveal substantial variation in the use of verbal affixes and, interestingly, a tendency, especially by the younger speakers, to simplify the verbal morphology. The relevance of these results for different versions of the so-called Rich Agreement Hypothesis is discussed in the paper (see Koeneman and Zeijlstra 2014 and references there). In short, it is maintained that two kinds of V2-order can be found in Övdalian embedded clauses. On the one hand there is V-to-C and hence there is clear evidence that assertion plays a role in the distribution of V2-order in subject-initial complement clauses. But embedded V2-order in Övdalian cannot be attributed to Vto-C alone since they are also accepted, by some speakers at least, in clauses where Embedded Topicalization is completely impossible, such as relative clauses and indirect questions (clauses that have no root properties). This suggests that V-to-I is also a possibility in Övdalian. Some versions of the Rich Agreement Hypothesis would then predict that Transitive Expletives Constructions should also be possible in Övdalian but this prediction is not borne out.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)83–104
JournalWorking Papers in Scandinavian Syntax
Publication statusPublished - Jun 2017

Other keywords

  • Málvísindi
  • Sænska
  • Mállýskur


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