Wh-questions, V2, and the Left Periphery of Three Norwegian Dialect types

  • Marit R. WestergaardEmail author
  • Øystein A. Vangsnes


In this paper, we present data from three Norwegian dialect types, NOR-1, NOR-2 and NOR-3, which differ with respect to the verb second (V2) requirement in wh-questions: NOR-1 (represented by Standard Norwegian) requires V2 in all main clauses, NOR-3 (represented by the Nordmøre dialect) lacks this requirement in all wh-questions, while NOR-2 (represented by the Tromsø dialect) lacks the requirement in questions with a short wh-word. Focusing on NOR-2, we will show that the choice of word order (V2 or V3) is dependent on the information status of the subject. We will argue that this can be related to the position subjects have in the IP domain, more specifically that given subjects occur in Spec-AgrSP and new information subjects occur in Spec-TP. Furthermore, based on the split-CP analysis we will account for the word order differences in the three Norwegian dialect types by postulating a parameterized requirement for filling different C heads. The analysis proposed will also account for why the complementizer som is inserted in NOR-2 and NOR-3 whenever the wh-constituent is the subject of the clause. In addition, on the basis of a comparison with Norwegian we will provide an analysis of the English subject/oblique asymmetry in wh-questions, i.e., of the fact that there is no auxiliary inversion/do-support in main clause subject wh-questions.


information structure left periphery microparameters Norwegian dialects subject positions verb movement verb second wh-questions 


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© Kluwer Academic Publishers 2005

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Department of Linquistics & Center for Advanced Study in Theoretical LinquisticsUniversity of TromsøBreivika, TromsøNorway

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