We will study Verb-Subject word orders in French, Spanish and Italian using parallel corpora. The aim will be to understand the complex factors that interact in determining word order variation (information packaging, syntactic restraints) in VS-structures in French, Spanish and/or Italian word order scenarios.
The class will deal with a number of structures that favour a VS word order in one of the Romance languages under discussion, and we will then measure the variation between the different Romance languages. We will consider passive constructions, "ergative" intransitive structures, WH-inversion, narrow focus structures, quotative inversion, theticity, reflexive constructions and the like.
Concepts related to information packaging and the specific analytical tools to describe word order and word order variation will be introduced as well. The general theoretical framework in which the descriptive generalisations will be couched is "construction grammar" ([Radical] Construction Grammar, Croft 2009).