Verb Raising and Referential Null Subjects in Övdalian

Research output: Working paper


Within the Scandinavian languages, there is a notable variation regarding verb agreement. Holmberg & Platzack (1995) suggested that this basic feature is linked to both verb raising and the presence of a handful of syntactic phenomena, such as stylistic fronting, oblique subjects, transitive expletives etc. In agreement-rich languages such as Icelandic and Faroese, the finite verb thus raises to I (i.e., T) in embedded clauses, and transitive expletives, for example, also occur in these languages. In Swedish and Danish, two languages without verb agreement, neither verb raising nor the relevant syntactic constructions are possible. In subsequent works, addressing dialect syntax as well as variation within the standard languages (Julien 2007, Bentzen 2009, Wiklund et al 2009, Heycock et al 2010, 2011 etc), it has been shown that the correlation between agreement, verb raising and for instance oblique subjects is not as straightforward as was proposed by Holmberg & Platzack (1995) and others.
In this paper, I argue that null referential subjects in Övdalian is a syntactic phenomenon that requires both distinct verb agreement and verb raising, and this circumstance in turn indicates that these linguistic features are related to each other, possibly through the setting of a parameter. Thereby the gist of the analyses presented by Holmberg & Platzack (1995) is supported.


  • Henrik Rosenkvist
Research areas and keywords

Subject classification (UKÄ) – MANDATORY

  • Languages and Literature


  • Övdalian, null subject, syntax, verb raising
Original languageEnglish
Number of pages20
Publication statusPublished - 2011
Publication categoryResearch

Publication series

NameWorking Papers in Scandinavian Syntax
ISSN (Print)1100-097X

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)