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Word Order Change$
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Ana Maria Martins and Adriana Cardoso

Print publication date: 2018

Print ISBN-13: 9780198747307

Published to Oxford Scholarship Online: July 2018

DOI: 10.1093/oso/9780198747307.001.0001

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An effect of residual T-to-C movement in varieties of English

An effect of residual T-to-C movement in varieties of English

(p.123) 7 An effect of residual T-to-C movement in varieties of English
Word Order Change

Judy B. Bernstein

Oxford University Press

This chapter examines verb-second (V2) cross-linguistically in closely related varieties of English: Older Scots, displaying general V2; present-day Appalachian English and African American English, displaying residual V2. Discontinuous subjects (analysed as instances of transitive expletives) and negative auxiliary inversion are shown to involve verb-movement to Focus in the two present-day varieties of English, unlike the general V2 found across Germanic languages, which involves TopicP. The area of overlap among V2 phenomena in the varieties of English studied is FocusP, which encodes the V2 associated with wh-elements in all three varieties (Older Scots distinguishes between Topic, for regular V2 and transitive expletives, and Focus, for wh-elements). It is suggested that perhaps the loss of generalized V2 is tied to a shift in the inventory of triggering features. In some varieties of English, such as Appalachian English and African American English, Topic triggers may have given way to Focus triggers.

Keywords:   Older Scots, Appalachian English, African American English, V2, verb movement, focus, topic, discontinuous subjects, transitive expletives, negative auxiliary inversion

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