Joseph Emonds Palacky University, Olomouc

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The new hypothesis that Middle English descends syntactically from Norse has been strongly contested by several specialists in ME syntax. One counterargument contends that ME Verb-Second patterns with Old English in sharing Verb-Third with OE but not Norse. The present paper argues that a Mainland Scandinavian adverb ‘so’, which appears after scene-setting adverbials (mostly PPs), is in SPEC(IP) and there blocks the common and expected UG order “PP — [IP subject — finite verb — …]” found in ME. When early Anglicized Norse lost this use of the adverbial, the UG order resurfaced in ME; this was not because of direct descent from OE.

  • Baugh, Albert and Thomas Cable. 2002. A history of the English language. 5th ed. London: Routledge and Kegan Paul.

  • Bech, Kristin and George Walkden. 2016. English is (still) a West Germanic language. Nordic Journal of Linguistics 39. 66100.

  • Borer, Hagit . 1984. Restrictive relatives in Modern Hebrew. Natural Language & Linguistic Theory 2. 219260.

  • Chomsky, Noam . 1986. Barriers. Cambridge, MA: MIT Press.

  • Emonds, Joseph . 1987. The Invisible Category Principle. Linguistic Inquiry 18. 613632.

  • Emonds, Joseph and Jan Terj Faarlund. 2014. English: The language of the Vikings. Olomouc: Palacky University Press.

  • Emonds, Joseph and Jan Terje Faarlund. 2016a. Anglicized Norse, or anything goes? Language Dynamics and Change 6. 4956.

  • Emonds, Joseph and Jan Terje Faarlund. 2016b. How Viking descendants reshaped the English vocabulary. In M. Uchida, Y. Iyeiri and L. Schourup (eds.) Language contact and variation in the history of English. Osaka: Osaka Books. 85109.

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  • Gianollo, Chiara, Cristina Guardiano and Giuseppe Longobardi. 2008. Three fundamental issues in parametric linguistics. In T. Biberauer (ed.) The limits of syntactic variation. Amsterdam & Philadelphia: John Benjamins. 109142.

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  • Kemenade, Ans van. 1987. Syntactic case and morphological case in the history of English. Dordrecht: Foris.

  • Kershaw, Jane . 2009. Culture and gender in the Danelaw: Scandinavian and Anglo-Scandinavian Brooches. Viking and Medieval Scandinavia 5. 295325.

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  • Kroch, Anthony , Ann Taylor and Donald Ringe. 2000. The Middle English verb-second constraint: A case study in language contact and language change. In S. Herring, P. van Reenen and L. Schøsler (eds.) Textual parameters in older languages. Amsterdam & Philadelphia: John Benjamins. 353391.

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  • Larson, Richard . 1985. Bare NP adverbs. Linguistic Inquiry 16. 595621.

  • Poussa, Patricia . 1982. The evolution of Early Standard English: The creolization hypothesis. Studia Anglica Posnaniensia 14. 6985.

  • Thomason, Sarah . 2016. Middle English: English, not Norse. Language Dynamics and Change 6. 4245.

  • Thomason, Sarah and Terrence Kaufman. 1988. Language contact, creolization, and genetic linguistics. Berkeley, CA: University of California Press.

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  • Townende, Matthew . 2002. Language and history in Viking age England: Linguistic relations between speakers of Old Norse and Old English. Turnhout: Brepols Publishers.

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  • Wood, Michael . 1986. Domesday: A search for the roots of England. London: Guild Publishing.

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