Verb Movement Variation in Germanic and Optimality Theory

Research output: Book/anthology/dissertation/reportDoctoral thesisResearch

This habilitation dissertation falls into two parts. In the first part, "Establishing the typology: Verb Movement in the Germanic VO- and OV-languages", I continue the work in Vikner (1995a, 1997) on the movement of finite verbs across the Germanic languages. Chapter 1 argues that rich finite inflection triggers V°-to-I° movement in the Germanic (and Romance) VO-languages, chapter 2 supports the claim that Yiddish is an OV-language, and chapter 3 defends the view that all Germanic OV-languages except Yiddish do not have V°-to-I° movement.

Where Part I tries to establish facts and arguments which are independent of (but not incompatible with) Optimality Theory, the objective in Part II, "Accounting for the typology: Optimality Theory and Germanic Verb Movement", is not only to show how these facts may be accounted for within Optimality Theory but also to show why it is more promising to do this within Optimality Theory than within a theory with non-violable constraints. Chapter 4 provides an introduction to Optimality Theory syntax, and chapter 5 introduces the constraints and discusses the basic data, namely the word order in embedded clauses and in clauses with V2. In chapter 6, the more complicated data are treated: constructions with auxiliaries, negation and/or do-insertion, and chapter 7 accounts for the differences in distribution between the V2 word order and the non-V2 word order between the languages.
Original languageEnglish
Number of pages288
Publication statusE-pub ahead of print - 2001

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