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Word Order in Övdalian : A Study in Variation and Change.

Garbacz, Piotr LU (2010) In Lundastudier i nordisk språkvetenskap. Serie A 70.
Abstract
This dissertation discusses aspects of the syntax of Övdalian, a variety spoken by ca. 2,500 people in the province of Dalecarlia in Sweden. Initially, an overview of the history and current status of the language of Älvdalen is given, and the focus of the dissertation is on certain syntactic phenomena that have been well studied from a comparative and diachronic perspective in other Scandinavian languages but not in Övdalian. The examined variant of Övdalian is the one spoken by people born between the 1920’s and the 1940’s and it is called Traditional Övdalian. The empirical data were collected by means on elicitation of grammaticality judgements from twelve native speakers of Traditional Övdalian. These new data are analysed within a... (More)
This dissertation discusses aspects of the syntax of Övdalian, a variety spoken by ca. 2,500 people in the province of Dalecarlia in Sweden. Initially, an overview of the history and current status of the language of Älvdalen is given, and the focus of the dissertation is on certain syntactic phenomena that have been well studied from a comparative and diachronic perspective in other Scandinavian languages but not in Övdalian. The examined variant of Övdalian is the one spoken by people born between the 1920’s and the 1940’s and it is called Traditional Övdalian. The empirical data were collected by means on elicitation of grammaticality judgements from twelve native speakers of Traditional Övdalian. These new data are analysed within a general Principal and Parameters approach and the point of departure is the framework of Holmberg & Platzack (1995) who argue that a number of word order phenomena depend on two morphological parameters: subject-verb agreement and morphological case. Övdalian word order is also compared with the word order of the other Scandinavian languages and an underlying syntactic structure of Övdalian is proposed. The main focus of the dissertation lies on two phenomena that have often been connected to verbal morphology, that is V-to-I movement and Stylistic Fronting, which were both present in Övdalian at the beginning of the 20th century. It is shown that V-to-I movement has become optional in Övdalian during the last hundred years in absence of any change in the verbal morphology, and the ongoing loss of V-to-I movement is argued to be triggered by a high, pre-subject negation (and sentential adverbial) placement. This placement gives no clue to the speakers as to whether the finite verb is raised to I or not. Stylistic Fronting is lost in Traditional Övdalian and it is maintained that this loss is connected to the changed status of the landing site of Stylistic Fronting, that is Spec,TP. While Spec,TP was a position accessible to many syntactical constituents in older Övdalian, it has later become a position to which only the subject may move. This explains the loss of SF in the absence of changes in the verbal morphology. (Less)
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author
supervisor
opponent
  • Professor Heycock, Caroline, University of Edinburgh
organization
publishing date
type
Thesis
publication status
published
subject
keywords
Stylistic Fronting, V-to-I movement, Swedish dialects, dialect syntax, language change, variation, älvdalsmålet, Övdalian, Elfdalian, the Rich Agreement Hypothesis, negative concord
in
Lundastudier i nordisk språkvetenskap. Serie A
volume
70
pages
239 pages
publisher
Centre for Languages and Literature, Lund University
defense location
Hörsalen, Språk- och litteraturcentrum, Helgonabacken 12, Lund
defense date
2010-04-10 10:15
ISSN
0347-8971
ISBN
978-91-628-8068-2
language
English
LU publication?
yes
id
5e60a1c3-0d6d-4ca6-92b9-18ff955a7ae6 (old id 1567392)
date added to LUP
2010-03-15 10:46:34
date last changed
2018-05-29 10:00:32
@phdthesis{5e60a1c3-0d6d-4ca6-92b9-18ff955a7ae6,
  abstract     = {This dissertation discusses aspects of the syntax of Övdalian, a variety spoken by ca. 2,500 people in the province of Dalecarlia in Sweden. Initially, an overview of the history and current status of the language of Älvdalen is given, and the focus of the dissertation is on certain syntactic phenomena that have been well studied from a comparative and diachronic perspective in other Scandinavian languages but not in Övdalian. The examined variant of Övdalian is the one spoken by people born between the 1920’s and the 1940’s and it is called Traditional Övdalian. The empirical data were collected by means on elicitation of grammaticality judgements from twelve native speakers of Traditional Övdalian. These new data are analysed within a general Principal and Parameters approach and the point of departure is the framework of Holmberg & Platzack (1995) who argue that a number of word order phenomena depend on two morphological parameters: subject-verb agreement and morphological case. Övdalian word order is also compared with the word order of the other Scandinavian languages and an underlying syntactic structure of Övdalian is proposed. The main focus of the dissertation lies on two phenomena that have often been connected to verbal morphology, that is V-to-I movement and Stylistic Fronting, which were both present in Övdalian at the beginning of the 20th century. It is shown that V-to-I movement has become optional in Övdalian during the last hundred years in absence of any change in the verbal morphology, and the ongoing loss of V-to-I movement is argued to be triggered by a high, pre-subject negation (and sentential adverbial) placement. This placement gives no clue to the speakers as to whether the finite verb is raised to I or not. Stylistic Fronting is lost in Traditional Övdalian and it is maintained that this loss is connected to the changed status of the landing site of Stylistic Fronting, that is Spec,TP. While Spec,TP was a position accessible to many syntactical constituents in older Övdalian, it has later become a position to which only the subject may move. This explains the loss of SF in the absence of changes in the verbal morphology.},
  author       = {Garbacz, Piotr},
  isbn         = {978-91-628-8068-2},
  issn         = {0347-8971},
  keyword      = {Stylistic Fronting,V-to-I movement,Swedish dialects,dialect syntax,language change,variation,älvdalsmålet,Övdalian,Elfdalian,the Rich Agreement Hypothesis,negative concord},
  language     = {eng},
  pages        = {239},
  publisher    = {Centre for Languages and Literature, Lund University},
  school       = {Lund University},
  series       = {Lundastudier i nordisk språkvetenskap. Serie A},
  title        = {Word Order in Övdalian : A Study in Variation and Change.},
  volume       = {70},
  year         = {2010},
}