Opin vísindi

The distribution of embedded V2 and V3 in modern Icelandic

The distribution of embedded V2 and V3 in modern Icelandic

Title: The distribution of embedded V2 and V3 in modern Icelandic
Author: Angantýsson, Ásgrímur   orcid.org/0000-0003-1452-9741
Date: 2017-12
Language: English
Scope: 55–82
University/Institute: Háskóli Íslands
University of Iceland
School: Menntavísindasvið (HÍ)
School of Education (UI)
Series: Working Papers in Scandinavian Syntax;99
ISSN: 1100-097x
Subject: Málvísindi; Málfræði
URI: https://hdl.handle.net/20.500.11815/825

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Ásgrímur Angantýsson. (2017). The distibution of embedded V2 and V3 in modern Icelandic. Working Papers in Scandinavian Syntax, (99), 54–82.


This paper aims at giving a comprehensive and current overview of the key empirical facts regarding embedded V2 and V3 in Icelandic, including age-related variation, and to compare this to what has been shown for other Scandinavian varieties. It is shown that Icelandic is a robust symmetric V2-language, meaning that it exhibits V2 as the default worder order both in matrix and subordinate clauses. In general, preposing is easier in matrix clauses than in subordinate clauses, with the exception of Stylistic Fronting (SF) which is more easily applicable in embedded contexts. As discussed in the paper, recent research has shown that the simple typological picture of the late 1990s is in reality much more articulated, in particular with respect to age-related variation. The fact that younger speakers of Icelandic do not accept embedded topicalization and SF as much as older speakers could be interpreted as an ‘ongoing change’ in Icelandic. However, it must be taken into account that these constructions are more common in the written language and in a formal style of speech. If the results regarding V3 in Icelandic are taken to indicate an ‘ongoing change’, then there are two changes that must be recognized: In relative clauses the conditions for V3 are reminiscent of the conditions for Topicalization and SF (less accepted by younger people), while in complement-clauses V3 is more accepted by younger people than older (innovation).

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