Syntax Interface Lectures Utrecht


10 November 2022
16:00 - 17:00
Microsoft Teams

SIL talk by Sigríður Sæunn Sigurðardóttir (Yale University)

Icelandic V3 orders with temporal adjuncts: does prosody play a role?


Despite Icelandic being a verb second language (V2) (see overview in Thráinsson 2007), it allows for deviations from V2 under identifiable conditions, including certain types of V3. In this talk, I present the results of a perception study that focused on a type of V3 in Icelandic which consists of an adverbial adjunct occurring to the left of an otherwise regular V2 clause. Interestingly, an intonational break seems to be required between the adverbial adjunct and the following clause. Attempting to flesh out the effects of the prosodic break on the possibility of getting a V3, I carried out a pilot study where participants were presented acoustically with an adverbial clause sandwiched between two sentences (A and B). The task was to listen to the examples and judge which sentence (A or B) was longer, with the response reflecting which sentence the adverbial clause was parsed with. The results indicate that both the clause type of the sentence that followed the adverbial clause and the length of the prosodic break between the two had a significant effect on the parsing. In the presentation, I discuss the study I carried out and possible implications for the role of prosodics breaks on word order in Icelandic.