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Adjuncts and the Syntax of Subjects in Old and Middle English

ContributorsHaeberli, Eric
Published inDiachronic Syntax: Models and Mechanisms, Editors S. Pintzuk, G. Tsoulas and A. Warner, p. 109-131
PublisherOxford : Oxford Universtiy Press
Publication date2000

Old English (OE) shows characteristic properties of a Verb Second (V2) language. However, certain phenomena can be found in OE which suggest that V2 in this language cannot be dealt with in terms of analyses that have been proposed for the Modern Germanic V2 languages. Different alternative analyses have therefore been explored in the literature which account for the different properties of OE. Although there seems to be a general consensus on certain points, the different analyses vary with respect to several issues. In this paper, some of these issues are addressed and it is argued that important evidence can be obtained from a comparative analysis of OE, later stages in the history of English and the Modern Germanic languages with respect to phenomena concerning the distribution of adjuncts and subjects. In addition, it is shown not only that the comparative evidence used provides information for the analysis of OE, but also that the OE data contribute to a more detailed understanding of a general Germanic word order phenomenon.

  • Adjunct
  • Germanic
  • Middle English
  • Old English
  • Subject
Citation (ISO format)
HAEBERLI, Eric. Adjuncts and the Syntax of Subjects in Old and Middle English. In: Diachronic Syntax: Models and Mechanisms. Oxford : Oxford Universtiy Press, 2000. p. 109–131. doi: 10.1093/oso/9780198250265.003.0005
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