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Micro-change and Macro-change in Diachronic Syntax$
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Eric Mathieu and Robert Truswell

Print publication date: 2017

Print ISBN-13: 9780198747840

Published to Oxford Scholarship Online: August 2017

DOI: 10.1093/oso/9780198747840.001.0001

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Diagnosing embedded V2 in Old English and Old French

Diagnosing embedded V2 in Old English and Old French

(p.168) 11 Diagnosing embedded V2 in Old English and Old French
Micro-change and Macro-change in Diachronic Syntax

Christine Meklenborg Salvesen

George Walkden

Oxford University Press

Old English (OE) and Old French (OF) both display verb-second (V2) word order in main declarative clauses. Different models may account for V2: (a) the finite verb must move to a head in the CP field; (b) it must remain in the IP field; or (c) it moves to the left periphery only when the preceding XP is not a subject. While the IP-model should allow free embedded V2, the two others would either exclude completely or strongly limit the possibilty of having embedded V2. We select embedded that-clauses and analyse the word order with respect to the matrix verb: embedded V2 is possible in both OE and OF, although the availability of this structure is restricted. OE has very few occurrences of embedded V2, whereas OF seems to permit this construction more freely. We link this difference to the site of first Merge of complementizers in the two languages.

Keywords:   verb second, V2, embedded V2, that-clauses, complementizer, Old English, Old French, root phenomena

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