LINGUIST List 30.4529

Sat Nov 30 2019

Calls: Romance; General Linguistics, Historical Linguistics, Syntax/Norway

Editor for this issue: Everett Green <>

Date: 22-Nov-2019
From: Silvio Cruschina <>
Subject: Residual Verb Second in Romance
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Full Title: Residual Verb Second in Romance
Short Title: ReVerSe 1

Date: 08-Jun-2020 - 09-Jun-2020
Location: Oslo, Norway
Contact Person: Silvio Cruschina
Meeting Email: < click here to access email >
Web Site:

Linguistic Field(s): General Linguistics; Historical Linguistics; Syntax

Language Family(ies): Romance

Call Deadline: 31-Jan-2020

Meeting Description:

The term ‘residual verb second’ was coined by Rizzi (1990, 1996) to refer to V2 structures in non-V2-languages and, in particular, to phenomena involving subject inversion in English, but also in other languages. The clear implication of the term is that these V2 phenomena are residues of an older, more general V2 system. The term residual V2 has later been extended to a variety of further structures featuring the placement of a constituent other than the subject to the initial preverbal position and subject inversion, including locative inversion, quotative inversion, focus fronting, and topicalization.
As for Romance, there is considerable – albeit not absolute – consensus that the syntax of medieval Romance languages were characterized by a V2 constraint as a transitional phase between the predominant SOV order of Classical Latin and the SVO order of modern Romance (see Ledgeway 2012, Poletto 2014, and Wolfe 2018 for an overview). Given that subject inversion in modern French is primarily confined to the written and literary language (see, e.g., Lahousse 2011), the configurations featuring this property have been related to the V2 character of medieval French. Other topicalization or (focus) fronting constructions in modern Romance have also been or may be considered potential residues of V2 in contemporary Romance languages such as the so-called Resumptive or Anaphoric Preposing (Cinque 1990, Cardinaletti 2009), which is also stylistically limited to a formal or high register, Quantifier Fronting and Negative Preposing (cf. Âmbar 1999, 2003, Barbosa 2001, Quer 2002, Jiménez-Fernández 2018). Like wh-questions, however, the definition of these configurations as V2 residues has not yet been investigated coherently and systematically.
Further possible residues of V2 include the position of clitics in western peninsular Ibero-Romance, which seems to preserve only one ‘ingredient’ of the V2 syntax, namely, verb movement past the pronoun. Interestingly, enclisis on finite verbs in these varieties largely depend, among other factors, on the presence of certain constituents in the preverbal position, which trigger proclisis. According to Poletto (2006, 2014), moreover, in medieval Romance (especially in old Italian and old French) V2 parallelly correlates with a set of interesting properties in embedded clauses which are lost as soon as V2 disappears.

Independently of the possible historical origins, these constructions and configurations constitute an empirical domain that could shed light on the principles and operations that determine the position of the verb in Romance, and in general the configurations that Romance allows to put together verbs, inflection and subjects. The main aim of this workshop is thus to investigate, from different angles and perspectives, the morpho-syntactic phenomena in the modern Romance languages that can be considered to be residues of the V2 syntax of medieval Romance.

This workshop is the first of a series of workshops funded by the NOS-HS (The Joint Committee for Nordic research councils in the Humanities and Social Sciences) and involving a network of scholars from the Nordic countries. The workshop will feature talks by the network members and by two invited speakers.

Invited speakers for this workshop are:
– Karen Lahousse (KU Leuven)
– Michelle Sheehan (Anglia Ruskin University)

On the first day, the workshop will feature a poster session. We invite abstract submissions for poster presentation on same topic as the main session (for details regarding abstract submission, see the CALL FOR POSTERS).

Silvio Cruschina, Juanito Avelar, Antonio Fábregas & Christine Meklenborg [local organizer]

Call for Papers:


For the poster session, we invite abstracts on any topic related to V2 residues in the modern Romance languages. We particularly welcome abstracts explicitly addressing the issues outlined in the Workshop description, as well as abstracts concerned with methodological issues or offering comparative data and analyses.
Depending on the number of slots available, the authors of the best-rated abstracts will be given the possibility to present their paper in the format of an oral presentation and will also be considered for the allocation of a limited number of travel grants.

Anonymous abstracts should not exceed 1 page (12-point Times New Roman font, with single spacing and margins of at least 2.54cm/1 inch) excluding references, and should be sent to Contact details (name, affiliation and email address) and the title of the poster should be included in the body of the email, but not in the abstract. The submission deadline is 31 January 2020. Notifications will be sent by 17 February 2020.

Page Updated: 30-Nov-2019