Clause-typing by [2] – the loss of the 2nd person pronoun du 'you' in Dutch, Frisian and Limburgian dialects

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The 2nd person singular pronoun <i>du</i> &#8216;you&#8217; has been replaced by new pronouns <i>gij</i>/<i>jij/jii</i> in many Dutch dialects. The standard explanation attributes <i>du</i>&#8217;s decline to the emerging honorific plural pronouns such as <i>gij</i> &#8216;you&#8217; in singular use. In this study we trace a purely syntactic trigger for this change, thus replacing sociolinguistic and paradigmatic explanations (deflection). Using dialect geographic tools of the GTRP dialect database, we found a significant correlation between the loss of <i>du</i> and the rise of double present tense paradigms (direct and inverse). By defining two types of Verb Second, C-type V2 (Den Besten) and C/T-type V2 (Zwart), we show that a transition between those types predicts the loss of position-dependent spelled out pronouns such as <i>du</i>. The factor that blocks Den Besten-type V2 structures in clauses with [2] in Dutch dialects is the clause-typing property of the feature [2], which generate a violation that is similar to the <i>that</i>-trace violations with the [WH] feature. Keywords:&#65279;&#65279; verb second; <i>that</i>-trace effect; clause-typing; position-dependent spell out; pronouns; inflection; person


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