The loss of Latin OV: steps towards an analysis

Abstract : This paper investigates the loss of the word order ‘Object-Verb’ (OV) in the history of Latin/Romance. It is argued that the immediate cause of this development is an independent change in the grammar of Latin, namely the genesis of A-movement for subjects (which was discussed in detail in Danckaert (2017), ‘The Development of Latin Clause Structure’, OUP). Using Yang’s (2000, 2002) variational acquisition model, I present corpus data which show that despite remaining the minority pattern throughout the lifespan of the Latin language (ca. 200 BC - 600 AD), in Late Latin the order ‘VO’ is in fact cued more robustly than the competing order ‘OV’, an observation which leads to the correct prediction that in the long run the former will oust the latter.
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Aboh, Enoch; Haeberli, Eric; Puskás, Genoveva; Schönenberger, Manuela. Elements of comparative syntax: theory and description, De Gruyter Mouton, pp.401-446, 2017, Studies in Generative Grammar 127, 978-1-5015-0403-7. 〈10.1515/9781501504037-015〉. 〈https://www.degruyter.com/view/product/467920〉
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Soumis le : mercredi 6 décembre 2017 - 22:12:15
Dernière modification le : vendredi 8 décembre 2017 - 01:15:49

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Lieven Danckaert. The loss of Latin OV: steps towards an analysis. Aboh, Enoch; Haeberli, Eric; Puskás, Genoveva; Schönenberger, Manuela. Elements of comparative syntax: theory and description, De Gruyter Mouton, pp.401-446, 2017, Studies in Generative Grammar 127, 978-1-5015-0403-7. 〈10.1515/9781501504037-015〉. 〈https://www.degruyter.com/view/product/467920〉. 〈halshs-01657596〉

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