The force of V2 revisited

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle


The main claim of this paper is that embedded V2 clauses in Mainland Scandinavian have the same syntactic structure as main clauses. This means that embedded V2 clauses contain a Force head, and as a consequence, embedded declarative V2 clauses will normally be asserted. Embedded V2 clauses are also similar to main clauses in that they contain linkers which encode the local speaker and addressee. Hence, indexical shift is possible in embedded V2 clauses, but not in non-V2 clauses, which do not contain linkers. In shifted contexts, the assertion that the embedded clause represents will be attributed to the local, implicit speaker, while in other cases, the actual speaker will be responsible for the assertion. The Force head is also the source of the V2 order, since it attracts the finite verb in addition to attracting a phrase from its complement to its Spec. In this way, the connection between V2 order and illocutionary force gets a straightforward explanation.


Research areas and keywords

Subject classification (UKÄ) – MANDATORY

  • General Language Studies and Linguistics


  • illocutionary force, Mainland Scandinavian, embedded clauses, Verb second
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)139-181
JournalJournal of Comparative Germanic Linguistics
Issue number2
Publication statusPublished - 2015
Publication categoryResearch

Bibliographic note

The information about affiliations in this record was updated in December 2015. The record was previously connected to the following departments: Swedish (015011001)