Bergin’s Rule: Syntactic diachrony and discourse strategy

$36.18 plus tax (Refund Policy)

Buy Article:


Bergin’s Rule constructions, whereby verbs in Old Irish occur in other than normal clause-initial position and with ‘conjunct’ flexion in simplex verbs and ‘prototonic’ stress in compound verbs, has traditionally been viewed as evidence for the language’s prehistoric clausal configuration, usually considered to be SOV or, more recently, V2. Others view the construction as entirely artificial, i.e., as not reflecting any historical reality, perhaps based on Latin models. This paper demonstrates that the difficult evidence emphatically does not support a V2 analysis, but is otherwise indeterminate. The conjunct flexion of simplex verbs and the prototonic stress of compound verbs used in the construction is also diagnostic of the fact that it is not simply the result of scrambling the normal VSO clausal configuration of Old Irish, but represents vestiges of real syntax.
More about this publication?
  • International Journal for Historical Linguistics
Related content



Share Content

Access Key

Free Content
Free content
New Content
New content
Open Access Content
Open access content
Subscribed Content
Subscribed content
Free Trial Content
Free trial content
Cookie Policy
Cookie Policy
ingentaconnect website makes use of cookies so as to keep track of data that you have filled in. I am Happy with this Find out more