Variation and change in Old and Middle English - on the validity of the double base hypothesis

Fuß, Eric ; Trips, Carola

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Document Type: Article
Year of publication: 2002
The title of a journal, publication series: The Journal of Comparative Germanic Linguistics
Volume: 4
Page range: 171-224
Place of publication: Dordrecht [u.a.]
Publishing house: Springer Science + Business Media B.V.
ISSN: 1383-4924 , 1572-8552
Publication language: English
Institution: School of Humanities > Anglistik IV - Anglistische Linguistik/Diachronie (Trips 2006-)
Subject: 400 Language, linguistics
Keywords (English): diachronic syntax , double base hypothesis , grammar competition , light verb , middle english , old english , verb movement , word order variation
Abstract: This paper investigates the role of Grammar Competition (Kroch 1989) in explaining word order variation in embedded clauses of Old and Early Middle English. It is argued that heretofore unnoticed distributional properties of adverbs point to the conclusion that the finite verb does not leave the extended verbal projection (i.e., νP/VP) in embedded clauses of Old English. Therefore, we claim that in these contexts, variation in the placement of the finite verb has to be attributed to competing grammars that differ with respect to parameter settings associated with the functional head ν (contra the Double Base Hypothesis, Pintzuk 1999). Moreover, the proposed analysis provides a principled account for the intriguing fact that a certain serialisation pattern (S-V-O-Vfin) is absent from the variety of ordering possibilities encountered in Old English. It is further argued that our account opens up a new perspective on a set of syntactic factors which can be shown to have a statistically significant influence on the position of the finite verb in embedded clauses.

Dieser Datensatz wurde nicht während einer Tätigkeit an der Universität Mannheim veröffentlicht, dies ist eine Externe Publikation.

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