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Syntax over TimeLexical, Morphological, and Information-Structural Interactions$
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Theresa Biberauer and George Walkden

Print publication date: 2015

Print ISBN-13: 9780199687923

Published to Oxford Scholarship Online: April 2015

DOI: 10.1093/acprof:oso/9780199687923.001.0001

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Verb-third in early West Germanic: A comparative perspective

Verb-third in early West Germanic: A comparative perspective

(p.236) 14 Verb-third in early West Germanic: A comparative perspective
Syntax over Time

George Walkden

Oxford University Press

This chapter develops an analysis of the alternation between verb-third (V3) and verb-second (V2) in the older West Germanic languages in terms of information-structural considerations. It presents the situation in Old English and Old High German as well as new data from Old Saxon, proposing on the basis of this data that there were (at least) two possible left-peripheral targets for verb-movement in Proto-West Germanic, Force0 and Fin0, with information-structural considerations determining the surface constituent order of neutral declarative clauses. Strict V2, under this account, is a more recent development in Old Saxon and later Old High German.

Keywords:   Old Saxon, Old English, Old High German, V2, V3, information structure

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