On the decrease in subject-verb inversion in French declaratives

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2011
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RINKE, Esther, ed. and others. The development of grammar : language acquisition and diachronic change ; in honour of Jürgen M Meisel. Amsterdam [u.a.]: Benjamins, 2011, pp. 355-382. Hamburg studies on multilingualism. 11. ISBN 978-90-272-1931-2
Zusammenfassung

This paper discusses the evolution of subject-verb inversion in declarative root clauses in French. The frequent occurrence of such constructions in Medieval French is generally accounted for in terms of a V2 analysis, and their marginality in Modern French is attributed to the loss of V2. Given clear evidence against the assumed V2 status of Medieval French, subject-verb inversion is alternatively explained in terms of a differentiation of subject-verb inversions (‘true’ subject-verb inversion vs. ‘NP-inversion’) as well as in terms of the existence of a ‘Focus Criterion’. It is claimed that while in (non-colloquial) Modern French, NP-inversion still exists, the highly limited instances of true subject-verb inversion constitute learnt vestiges. The loss of true subject-verb inversion is attributed to a parametric resetting of the Spell-Out condition associated with the ‘Focus Criterion’.

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440 Französisch, romanische Sprachen allgemein
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diachronic change, syntax, French, Sprachwandel, Wortstellung, Französisch
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ISO 690KAISER, Georg A., Michael ZIMMERMANN, 2011. On the decrease in subject-verb inversion in French declaratives. In: RINKE, Esther, ed. and others. The development of grammar : language acquisition and diachronic change ; in honour of Jürgen M Meisel. Amsterdam [u.a.]: Benjamins, 2011, pp. 355-382. Hamburg studies on multilingualism. 11. ISBN 978-90-272-1931-2
BibTex
@incollection{Kaiser2011decre-17773,
  year={2011},
  title={On the decrease in subject-verb inversion in French declaratives},
  number={11},
  isbn={978-90-272-1931-2},
  publisher={Benjamins},
  address={Amsterdam [u.a.]},
  series={Hamburg studies on multilingualism},
  booktitle={The development of grammar : language acquisition and diachronic change ; in honour of Jürgen M Meisel},
  pages={355--382},
  editor={Rinke, Esther},
  author={Kaiser, Georg A. and Zimmermann, Michael}
}
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