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Verb movement and the left periphery A comparative analysis of Scandinavian and Romance languages

Tildelt: kr 0,16 mill.

The post-doctoral project including the research period at CASTL, University of Tromsø, consists of a comparative approach between Scandinavian and Romance languages, based on both a synchronic and a diachronic study of syntax and the syntax-semantic inte rface of the languages belonging to each family. Wrt the complementizer system, some common aspects characterize Old Romance and Old Scandinavian, whereas Modern Romance languages have undergone an evolution such that they have progressively lost V2. In o rder to determine which are the relevant factors playing a role in this loss, a synchronic/diachronic analysis will be carried out for both language families, and evidence from acquisition will be considered (cf. Westergaard 2009, 2008, a.o.). The results will be compared and a theoretical explanation will be elaborated. The project as a whole aims at achieving an accurate description of the complementizer system and contribute to the definition of V2, which is still problematic. The research period at CA STL will be devoted to a fine-grained analysis of the complementizer system in Scandinavian languages, with special attention to the phenomena related to the V2 requirement and its (real or apparent) exceptions (cf. Westergaard and Vangsnes 2005), and to the linguistic evolution related to the disappearance of stylistic fronting in Mainland Scandinavian, in contrast to its productivity in Icelandic. The research period at CASTL, University of Tromsø, will be devoted to a comparative analysis of substanda rd varieties of Modern Norwegian and Swedish by accessing the NORMS database; to an analysis of Old Icelandic, Old Swedish, Old and Middle Danish corpora, and related works; to a collection of data on Insular and Mainland Scandinavian languages with addit ional surveys on site. The project will contribute to the development of studies on Scandinavian languages and their syntax through a comparative approach and through collaboration with local specialists.