Edited by Christine Meklenborg Salvesen
[Linguistic Variation 19:1] 2019
► pp. 47–81
More than one way out
On the factors influencing the loss of V to C movement
In this article I will show that there is not a single diachronic path that leads to the loss of the verb second property so that different languages can have different ways towards a non V2 grammar. I will also show that the progressive loss of subject inversion contexts is not the only factor that played a role in the change, because there are V2 languages in which nominal subject inversion was never attested but they are still V2, i.e. they have I to C movement. I will identify various factors which may play a role and are related to the type of verb second found in different languages. I will consider various types of factors and show that they can play a role or not in the loss of V2 depending on the type of V2 that the language displays. I will also identify an additional factor that has not been considered in the literature namely the type of complementizer system: a change in this area can contribute to destabilizing the V2 grammar.