V2 violations in French Flemish: nature, origin and microvariation.

01 October 2018 → 30 September 2021
Research Foundation - Flanders (FWO)
Research disciplines
  • Humanities
    • Italian language
    • Corpus linguistics
    • Diachronic linguistics
    • Dialectology
    • Historical linguistics
    • Phonetics and phonology
    • Syntax
syntax dialects French Flemish V2-order V2-violations Linguistics
Project description

Many languages have a basic verb second (V2) word order. This means that the verb linearly takes
the second position in declarative main clauses, for instance in Standard Dutch (SD, 1).
1) Het spatte in alle richtingen.
it splashed in all directions
In one Dutch dialect, West-Flemish (WF), the verb can also be the third constituent in the clause
instead of the second one. This can only happen if the clause is introduced by an adverbial
element (2). This phenomenon is called V2 violation or verb third (V3).
2) At je derop sloeg, het spetterde
if you on-it hit it splashed
WF consists of a language area in Belgium, roofed by Standard Dutch, and a language area in
France, roofed by French. This project focuses on the dialect in the French language area called
French Flemish (FF), as preliminary research suggests that the frequency of V3 structures in FF is
higher than in Belgian WF and that more kinds of elements can precede verb and subject, for
instance non-adjuncts (3).
3) De nieuwe wagens me makten he
the new cars we made PART
The project will formulate an answer on how V3 in FF developed, especially focusing on the role of
contact, for instance with French, in which non-inversion of verb and subject after initial nonsubject
constituents is the norm (4).
(4) Demain, je chanterai
tomorrow I will-sing
It will map the frequency and the distribution of V3 based on 91 FF localities and analyse the
properties of FF V3 in a formal syntactic framework.