Germanic Properties in the Left Periphery of Old French: V-to-C-Movement, XP-fronting, Stylistic Fronting and Verb-Initial Clauses

Alexandra Y. Hansch, Université D'Ottawa / University Of Ottawa, Université D'Ottawa / University Of Ottawa
The present dissertation is a comparative investigation between the Germanic-like structural phenomena found in the left periphery of Old French (OF) clauses and the syntactic phenomena found in the left periphery of Old High German (OHG). The goal of this thesis is to provide evidence that only a synchronic analysis can explain the presence of Germanic-like structures in OF syntax. The reason for this lies in the similarities between the V2 properties found in OF and OHG. The two languages
more » ... V2 properties such as V-to-C movement and XP fronting, but also properties which are not found in Modern V2 languages such as a frequent V1 and V3 word order. The corpus I use consists of four OF texts from the 12th and 13th century which correspond to the late OF period. They are composed in different OF dialects from the northern part of France. The poetic texts chosen for this study are Le voyage de Saint-Brandan and Gormont et Isembart. The prose texts are Le Roman de Tristan en prose and Les Miracles de Saint Louis. I coded these OF documents according to certain criteria: main clause type, embedded clause type, finite verb position, first element preceding the finite verb, etc. The results indicate that OF can be considered a true V2-language that shares a certain amount of properties with OHG, namely V-to-C movement, XP fronting, Stylistic Fronting as well as verb-initial clauses. This thesis illustrates that the OF dialects closer situated to the Germanic language border show a higher frequency in Germanic-like syntactic phenomena than the dialects situated further away. A difference between poems and prose texts concerning the presence and intensity of certain syntactic phenomena can also be observed.
doi:10.20381/ruor-3781 fatcat:qrfjdsioufafrdavuarqnnq6la