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Evidence for a Syntactic Parameter at work in Övdalian

Chapter in book
Authors Henrik Rosenkvist
Published in New trends in Nordic and General Linguistics
Pages 224–238
ISBN 978-3-11-034697-8
Publisher De Gruyter
Place of publication Berlin
Publication year 2015
Published at Department of Swedish
Pages 224–238
Language en
Keywords grammatik, älvdalska, syntax, parameter
Subject categories General Language Studies and Linguistics, Scandinavian languages


Within the Scandinavian languages, there is a notable variation regarding verb agreement. Holmberg and Platzack (1995) suggested that this basic feature is linked to both verb raising and the presence of a handful of syntactic phenomena, such as stylistic fronting, oblique subjects, transitive expletives etc. In subsequent works, addressing dialect syntax as well as variation within the standard languages (Julien 2007; Bentzen 2009; Wiklund et al. 2009; Heycock et al. 2010, 2011 etc.), it has been shown that the correlation between agreement, verb raising and for instance oblique subjects is not as straightforward as was proposed by Holmberg and Platzack (1995) and others (cf. Roberts and Holmberg 2010; Holmberg 2010). In this paper, I argue that null referential subjects in Övdalian require both distinct verb agreement and verb raising, which indicates that these linguistic features are related to each other, possibly through the setting of a Parameter. Thereby the gist of the analyses presented by Holmberg and Platzack (1995) is supported.

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