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Observations on the Loss of Verb Second in the History of English

ContributorsHaeberli, Eric
Published inStudies in Comparative Germanic Syntax, Editors C.J.W. Zwart and W. Abraham, p. 245-272
PublisherAmsterdam : John Benjamins
Publication date2002

The aim of this paper was to give a general overview of the loss of V2 or, more precisely, the loss of subject-verb inversion in clauses with a fronted non-operator and a full DP subject in the history of English. Based on data taken from two parsed corpora, I have shown that the absence of subject-verb inversion is already fairly frequent in OE and that by the 15th century inversion has become the clear minority pattern in most texts although there is still considerable variation among different texts.

  • Middle English
  • Old English
  • Subject-verb inversion
  • Verb Second
Citation (ISO format)
HAEBERLI, Eric. Observations on the Loss of Verb Second in the History of English. In: Studies in Comparative Germanic Syntax. Amsterdam : John Benjamins, 2002. p. 245–272.
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Book chapter (Accepted version)
  • PID : unige:35613

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