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Information structure and word order in Germanic and Romance languages Kristin Bech Kristine Eide.

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Presentation on theme: "Information structure and word order in Germanic and Romance languages Kristin Bech Kristine Eide."— Presentation transcript:

1 Information structure and word order in Germanic and Romance languages Kristin Bech Kristine Eide

2 Six languages: Germanic: English German Norse/Norwegian Romance: Portuguese Spanish French

3 All six had V2 in earlier stages The modern languages show three different patterns: V2 (German, Norwegian) Mixed (Portuguese, Spanish) SV (English, French)

4 Old High German: Tho quad her zi andaremo manthen... 'Then said he to another man...' Modern German: Dann sagte er zu einem anderen Mann...

5 Old Norse: þa komu Kvenir til hans og sögþu... 'Then came Kvens to him and said...' Modern Norwegian: Da kom kvener til ham og sa....

6 Old Portuguese: E entom sayo do boosco hũa molher nua 'And then came out-from the-woods a woman naked' Modern Portuguese: E então saiu do bosco uma mulher nua E então uma mulher nua saiu do bosco

7 Old Spanish: Entonces tomaron los romanos la dicha cibdad 'Then took the Romans the already-mentioned city' Modern Spanish: Entonces tomaron los romanos dicha ciudad Entonces, los romanos tomaron dicha ciudad

8 Old English: þa for he norþryhte be þæm lande 'Then went he northwards near the land' Modern English: Then he went northwards near the land

9 Old French: Lors descendi Placidas de la montaigne ‘Then descended Placidas from the mountain' Modern French: Alors Placidas descendit de la montagne

10 We want to find out: to what extent and in what way word order in the older stages of the languages was governed by information-structural constraints how the languages changed with respect to the relation between word order and information structure how the modern languages differ from their older versions concerning these properties.

11 The three main parts of the project: (i) establish the corpora and corpus annotation (ii) a diachronic study of the interaction between syntax and information structure in the different languages (iii) comparative studies


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