Icelandic declarative V1: a brief overview

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Abstract

This squib is a brief state of the art overview of declarative V1 in Icelandic, old and modern. Three
(relevant) types of such clauses are discussed: Narrative Inversion, with an overt topical subject
directly after the verb, Presentational V1, with an overt non-topical subject, and Null-subject V1.
Narrative Inversion is a robust main clause phenomenon, whereas Presentational V1 and Null-subject
V1 are found in subordinate clauses, albeit less frequently than in main clauses. The
restrictions on declarative V1 have remained largely stable throughout the history of Icelandic. All
three types are continuity/linking orders, hence typical of narrative and other cohesive texts, but very
rare, almost nonexistent, in common discourse types in spoken language. Overall, declarative V1 is
more characteristic of and common in Old Icelandic texts than in Modern Icelandic texts, presumably
as the bulk of the preserved Old Icelandic texts are narrative texts, while such texts are only a
fraction of accessible Modern Icelandic texts.
Original languageEnglish
PublisherWorking Papers in Scandinavian Syntax
Pages49–55
Number of pages7
Volume101
Publication statusPublished - 2018

Publication series

NameWorking Papers in Scandinavian Syntax
PublisherLund University
No.101
ISSN (Electronic)1100-097x

Subject classification (UKÄ)

  • Specific Languages

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