Morphology and syntax in the Scandinavian vernaculars of Ovansiljan
The paper deals with the assumed correlation between morphological and syntactic phenomena, especially the one that has its roots in a parametric approach to syntax since (Chomsky 1981). Its main focus is on testing predictions presented in two works (Bobaljik and Thráinsson 1998 and Holmberg 2010a). These papers connect verbal morphology with a clustering of syntactic phenomena in the Scandinavian languages and maintain that morphological evidence – in the form of ‘rich’ verbal agreement – signifies a positive setting of a parameter that in turn makes certain syntactic patterns possible. In the present paper it is shown how this relation works when tested on a group of Ovansiljan vernaculars (East Scandinavian non-standard varieties). Five of these vernaculars have retained verbal agreement in number and person, whereas two others have not. It turns out that the hypotheses encounter difficulties when faced with the Ovansiljan data.
Keywords: Stylistic Fronting, expletives, Morphology, syntax, Ovaniljanmålen, parameric approach, Övdalian, syntactic variation, syntactic change, verb movement