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Rethinking Verb Second$
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Rebecca Woods and Sam Wolfe

Print publication date: 2020

Print ISBN-13: 9780198844303

Published to Oxford Scholarship Online: June 2020

DOI: 10.1093/oso/9780198844303.001.0001

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A different perspective on embedded Verb Second

A different perspective on embedded Verb Second

Unifying embedded root phenomena

(p.297) 13 A different perspective on embedded Verb Second
Rethinking Verb Second

Rebecca Woods

Oxford University Press

This chapter compares embedded verb movement phenomena in English with embedded Verb Second clauses in German and Swedish. Close examination of the syntactic—but more particularly the semantic and pragmatic—properties of these phenomena reveals striking similarities, and the claim is made that these phenomena exhibit independent illocutionary force in the sense that the perspective holder for the embedded proposition or question is disambiguated—a departure from the claim that embedded verb movement structures are asserted (cf. Julien 2015 and Chapter 11 of this volume). It is proposed, following recent innovations in speech act syntax (Wiltschko and Heim 2016; Woods 2016) that these structures are dependent, as the ‘embedded’ clause contains less structure than full a root clause, yet is still structurally larger than a typical embedded clause. However, they are not selected and are instead in an apposition relation with a (usually covert) nominal complement to the matrix verb.

Keywords:   embedded Verb Second, English, German, Swedish, perspective, illocutionary force

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