German V2 and Doubly Filled COMP in West Germanic

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2020
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The Journal of Comparative Germanic Linguistics ; 23 (2020), 2. - pp. 125-160. - Springer. - ISSN 1383-4924. - eISSN 1572-8552
Abstract
The paper addresses the issue of Doubly Filled COMP effects in embedded interrogatives in West-Germanic languages, with particular attention paid to German: in these patterns, an overt interrogative operator co-occurs with an overt complementiser. Such configurations are ruled out from standard West-Germanic varieties, while they are attested in non-standard dialects. The paper argues that there are both theoretical and empirical arguments against the postulation of a Doubly Filled COMP Filter, proposing instead that the insertion of a visible complementiser in non-standard dialects in fact follows from the properties of the general syntactic paradigm in which empty complementisers are generally not possible. It is shown that doubling is not restricted to embedded constituent questions, but it may occur in polar questions as well. Further, the finiteness feature can be checked off by verb movement, as is the case in V2 patterns in German (and generally in Germanic, including historical English) and in T-to-C-movement in English. In this way, the property of V2 is linked to Doubly Filled COMP; in either case, there is no need to postulate a cartographic template with multiple projections but a minimal, merge-based model is sufficient and in fact favourable. The proposed model aims at accounting for the possible correlations between the properties of the head element and the properties of the fronted element merged as a specifier (if there is any). Finally, the observed syntactic differences between standard varieties and dialects in West Germanic can be attributed to minimal lexical differences.
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400 Philology, Linguistics
Keywords
Complementiser · Doubly Filled COMP, Embedded interrogatives, Finiteness, Verb movement, Wh-movement
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Cite This
ISO 690BACSKAI-ATKARI, Julia, 2020. German V2 and Doubly Filled COMP in West Germanic. In: The Journal of Comparative Germanic Linguistics. Springer. 23(2), pp. 125-160. ISSN 1383-4924. eISSN 1572-8552. Available under: doi: 10.1007/s10828-020-09117-x
BibTex
@article{BacskaiAtkari2020-08-11Germa-50544,
  year={2020},
  doi={10.1007/s10828-020-09117-x},
  title={German V2 and Doubly Filled COMP in West Germanic},
  number={2},
  volume={23},
  issn={1383-4924},
  journal={The Journal of Comparative Germanic Linguistics},
  pages={125--160},
  author={Bacskai-Atkari, Julia}
}
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