Verb Second in Medieval Romance

ISBN : 9780198804673

Sam Wolfe
256 Pages
156 x 234 mm
Pub date
Dec 2018
Oxford Studies in Diachronic and Historical Linguistics
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This volume provides the first book-length study of the controversial topic of Verb Second and related properties in a range of Medieval Romance varieties. It presents an examination and analysis of both qualitative and quantitative data from Old French, Occitan, Sicilian, Venetian, Spanish, and Sardinian, in order to assess whether these were indeed Verb Second languages. Sam Wolfe argues that V-to-C movement is a point of continuity across all the medieval varieties - unlike in the modern Romance languages - but that there are rich patterns of synchronic and diachronic variation in the medieval period that have not previously been observed and investigated. These include differences in the syntax-pragmatics mapping, the locus of verb movement, the behaviour of clitic pronouns, the syntax of subject positions, matrix/embedded asymmetries, and the null argument properties of the languages in question. The book outlines a detailed formal cartographic analysis of both the attested synchronic patterns and the diachronic evolution of Romance clausal structure. The findings have widespread implications for the understanding of both the key typological property of Verb Second and the development of Latin into the modern Romance languages.


Series preface
List of abbreviations
1 Introduction
2 The V2 syntax of Medieval Romance
3 Old Italo-Romance
4 Old Gallo-Romance
5 Old Spanish
6 Old Sardinian
7 Rethinking Medieval Romance
8 Conclusion

About the author: 

Sam Wolfe is Associate Professor of French Linguistics at the University of Oxford. Prior to this he held teaching and research positions at the Universities of Cambridge, Manchester, and Oxford as well as a Visiting Professorship at the University of Padua. He has a PhD in Linguistics from the University of Cambridge and has published on a range of topics within French and comparative Romance linguistics, historical syntax, and formal syntax.

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