Toggle Main Menu Toggle Search

Open Access padlockePrints

Syntax vs. phonology: A representational approach to stylistic fronting and verb-second in Icelandic

Lookup NU author(s): Emeritus Professor Noel Burton-Roberts, Dr Geoffrey Poole



In the standard 'double interface' view of language, expressions are assigned a semantically interpretable syntax and a phonology. The role of phonology is to realise the syntactic computation (up to Spell-Out) in Phonetic Form (PF). This is achieved by pied-piping of phonological features into and within the syntax. In default of being thus determined by the syntax, properties of PF are determined by strictly phonological considerations. Icelandic Stylistic Fronting (SF) presents a challenge to this 'realisational' view of phonology, its scope and its relation to syntax. We argue that the SF effect - a distinctive word order at PF - is neither due to a syntactic operation nor explainable in strictly phonological terms. Previous analyses, syntactic and phonological, are considered and rejected (including Holmberg, 2000, in which the syntax is allowed to target just phonological features). We outline an alternative view of the role and scope of phonology: rather than being realisational, phonology has a representational role with respect to the syntactic computation and the (phonology-free) expressions it generates. The wider scope of representational phonology makes possible a simpler, more declarative, account of the SF effect that links it to a (representationally reconstructed) version of the verb-second phenomenon. © 2004 Elsevier B.V. All rights reserved.

Publication metadata

Author(s): Burton-Roberts N, Poole G

Publication type: Article

Publication status: Published

Journal: Lingua

Year: 2006

Volume: 116

Issue: 5

Pages: 562-600

ISSN (print): 0024-3841

ISSN (electronic): 1872-6135

Publisher: Elsevier BV


DOI: 10.1016/j.lingua.2004.08.012


Altmetrics provided by Altmetric