Theiling Online    Sitemap    Conlang Mailing List HQ   

Re: V2

From:Matt Pearson <jmpearson@...>
Date:Monday, April 17, 2000, 17:49
Nik Taylor wrote:

>DOUGLAS KOLLER wrote: >> And are there not vestiges of this structure in modern English? > >Yep! But only vestiges. One doesn't say "Yesterday, gave I John the >book" but rather "Yesterday, I gave John the book" > >> Never have I seen such a beautiful painting. (a little poetic, I'll grant >> you, but in my idiolect at least, it's the only grammatical possibility if >> you front "never"). > >Mine too. Of course, rarely do I front such words. :-) > >> So do I. >> Negativity seems to play a major role here (and still involves adverbs or >> adverbial constructions), but I seem to remember having come up with a >> couple of affirmative examples as well > >You've got one up there, "So do I". Also forms like "So quickly did he >run out the door that he tripped over the step". "So" appears to be one >of the words that triggers that V2 structure.
Residual V2 is also found in certain fixed expressions, such as "Little did he know that..." and "Far be it from me". Matrix wh-questions in English also exhibit V2 -- or more accurately, Aux2, since non-auxiliary verbs can't invert with the subject: When ARE they leaving? They ARE leaving soon. Some syntacticians have analysed V1 structures in English as 'covert V2s', in which the preverbal position is occupied by a phonologically empty operator. For example: Yes-no question: "Are you still sleeping?" Negative inversion (dialectal): "Ain't nobody been there." Conditional inversion (formal): "Had you been listening,..." are analysed as involving an empty [QU], [NEG], and [WH] operator, respectively: "[QU] are you still sleeping?" "[NEG] ain't nobody been there." "[WH] had you been listening,..." If this analysis is correct, then vestigal V2 (or Aux2) is really quite pervasive in English. Matt.