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Residual V-to-I in Faroese and its lack in Danish: Detecting the final stages of a syntactic change

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  • Sten Vikner
  • Caroline Heycock, University of Ediburgh, United Kingdom
  • Antonella Sorace, University of Edinburgh, United Kingdom
  • Zakaris Svabo Hansen, Fróðskaparsetur Føroya, Faroe Islands
  • Frances Wilson, University of Delaware, United States
In Heycock et al. (2010a) it was shown that V-to-I in contemporary Faroese has much lower acceptability than might be expected from a number of descriptions in the literature. Given that it was also argued that Faroese has a relatively free distribution of embedded V2 (EV2), it might be concluded that all putative instances of V-to-I in the language can be attributable to EV2. Here we demonstrate, however, that the judgments on clear cases of EV2 and on possible cases of V-to-I differ subtly but measurably, showing that the loss of V-to-I in this language has not yet gone entirely to completion.
We further demonstrate that the situation in Faroese contrasts with that in Danish, as expected under the assumption that V-Neg orders in subordinate clauses in Danish are entirely attributable to EV2, as argued in e.g. Vikner (1995).
Original languageDanish
JournalWorking Papers in Scandinavian Syntax
Pages (from-to)137-165
Number of pages28
Publication statusPublished - 2011

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