The finite verb typically occurs in second position in main clauses in Germanic languages other than English. Hence they are often referred to as verb-second languages or V2-languages for short. The difference between a V2-language and a non-V2 language is shown in (i)-(ii) with Icelandic examples and English glosses (the finite verb is highlighted): In example (i) the finite verb occurs in second position in Icelandic, immediately following the subject Mariá in Icelandic but in the English gloss it occurs in third position, following the adverb never. In (ii) the finite verb immediately follows the fronted (topicalized) object Mariú in Icelandic but in the English gloss the finite verb again occurs in third position, this time following the subject. This article discusses the influence of intense language contact (English/Icelandic) on the two V2-order types in North American Icelandic (NAmIce), a heritage language spoken in former Icelandic conclaves in North America. We show that the subject-first V2-order is more robust in NAmIce than the topic-first V2-order and less vulnerable to English influence, although both types are affected to some extent. This is interesting for two reasons. First, it has been argued that word order is typically less prone to cross-linguistic influence than for instance morphology. Second, these results suggest that, contrary to common assumption, the two types of V2-orders discussed here may have different syntactic sources in Icelandic syntax.
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