Microvariation in Norwegian long distance binding
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It is well known that (some speakers of) Norwegian allow long distance binding, defined here as binding across a finite clause boundary. A number of factors that facilitate long distance binding have also been identified. In the study reported on here, 93 native speakers of Norwegian judged 30 sentences in a web-based questionnaire. The results show that V2 order in the embedded clause reduces the acceptability of long distance binding considerably, and the presence of a fronted topic in the embedded clause further adds to this effect. V2 order involves a relatively complex C-domain, and the presence of an initial topic increases the complexity even more. It appears that even without long distance binding, an embedded complex C-domain reduces the acceptability for some speakers, but adding long distance binding increases the rejection rate considerably. There are also other factors that influence the acceptance of long distance binding, and in addition, there is individual variation in the weighting of the factors. Moreover, for some speakers each factor in isolation does not make long distance binding unaccept¬able – only the interaction of two or more factors leads to ungram¬maticality. Hence, long distance binding is a more complex phenomenon than has hitherto been assumed.