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Academic Paper


Title: Late Placement of the Finite Verb in Old Norse Fornyrðislag Meter
Author: Haukur Þorgeirsson
Institution: University of Iceland
Linguistic Field: Historical Linguistics; Syntax
Subject Language: Norse, Old
Subject LANGUAGE Family: West Germanic
Abstract: In Old Norse poetry, there is a syntactic difference between bound clauses (subordinate clauses and main clauses introduced by a con-junction) and unbound clauses (main clauses not introduced by a conjunction). In bound clauses, the finite verb is often placed late in the sentence, violating the V2 requirement upheld in prose. In unbound clauses, the V2 requirement is normally adhered to, but in fornyrðislag poetry, late placement of the finite verb is occasionally found. Hans Kuhn explained these instances as a result of influence from West Germanic poetry. The present article argues that these instances can be explained as a remnant of the Proto-Norse word order, and that this explanation is better supported by the data.

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This article appears IN Journal of Germanic Linguistics Vol. 24, Issue 3, which you can READ on Cambridge's site or on LINGUIST .



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