From OV to VO in Early Middle English

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This monograph answers the question of why English changed from an OV to a VO language on the assumption that this change is due to intensive language contact with Scandinavian. It shows for the first time that the English language was much more heavily influenced by Scandinavian than assumed before, i.e., northern Early Middle English texts clearly show Scandinavian syntactic patterns like stylistic fronting that can only be found today in the Modern Scandinavian languages. Thus, it sheds new light on the force of language contact in that it shows that a language can be heavily influenced through contact with another language in such a way that it affects deeper levels of language. It further gives an introduction to working with the Penn-Helsinki-Parsed Corpus of Middle English II (PPCMEII). It discusses the texts included in the corpus, it describes the format of the texts, and it explains how to search the corpus with the tool called Corpus Search. The book targets researchers in diachronic syntax, comparative syntax and in general linguists working in the field of generative syntax. It can further be used as an introduction to working with the PPCMEII.<br />

Subjects: Historical linguistics; Germanic linguistics; Syntax; Generative linguistics; English linguistics

  • Affiliations: 1: University of Stuttgart

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