Linguistic Variation Yearbook 2005
  • ISSN 1568-1483
  • E-ISSN: 1569-9900
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The absence of V2 in mainclausewh-questions is geographically speaking a very widespread phenomenon in Norwegian, absent only in central eastern and southeastern Norwegian dialects. The characteristics of the phenomenon are nevertheless not uniform across the dialects – three descriptive variables can be discerned: (i) whether or not V2 is required, (ii) whether or not V2 is optional alongside non-V2, and (iii) whether or not non-V2 is allowed with shortwh-elements only. In addition these variables are relative to a 77;subjecthood distinction on thewh-constituent. The phenomenon has received considerable attention by both dialectologists and theoretical syntacticians, and the main purpose of this paper is to systematize the information available in previous works. On the basis of the resulting overview a microparametric account of the variation will be proposed whereby the variation hinges on three microparameters: (i) whether or not interrogative C must be lexicalized, (ii) whether or not shortwh-elements are heads that may lexicalize C, and (iii) whether or not the elementsomthat appears in subjectwh-questions is a head or not. Diachronic speculations concerning the development of the variation will also be raised.


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