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What's the better move? On verb placement in Standard and Northern Norwegian

Published online by Cambridge University Press:  21 November 2005

Kristine Bentzen
Center for Advanced Study in Theoretical Linguistics (CASTL), Faculty of Humanities, University of Tromsø, N-9037 Tromsø, Norway. E-mail:
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Northern Norwegian (NN) allows verbs to precede adverbs in non-V2 contexts, whereas in Standard Norwegian (StN) verbs have to follow adverbs. These facts are discussed with respect to three different approaches to clausal structure. NN is problematic for a head movement account (cf. Cinque 1999) because multiple verbs may precede a given adverb, leading to violations of the Head Movement Constraint. A multiple positions account (cf. Ernst 2002, Svenonius 2002) would assume that any adverb in StN and NN can be adjoined to high positions, which may be problematic with respect to scope relations. A remnant movement approach (cf. Nilsen 2003) can account for both StN and much of the NN data by means of one generalisation, but a separate generalisation is needed for finite verbs in NN. Thus, all three approaches are faced with challenges with respect to the Norwegian data. However, it is argued that the remnant movement approach seems the most promising of the three approaches.

Research Article
© 2005 Cambridge University Press

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