Volume 25, Issue 1
  • ISSN 0176-4225
  • E-ISSN: 1569-9714
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Modern Colloquial Welsh (MCW) displays a considerable variety of tag question patterns. In this paper we offer a unified account for the divergent developments in modern Welsh dialects, focusing on tags attached to “normal” or VSO clauses. We propose a scenario of how the MCW system of tags is descended from the pre-modern system by processes of reanalysis and grammaticalization. We show that South Walian dialects have elaborated a system of tag questions in which the tag reverses the polarity of the anchor to which it is attached, while North Walian dialects have followed a principle of constant polarity in which tags anticipate the polarity of the expected response.


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