Verb second

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Verb second is name for the phenomenon that, or the process by which, the verb in declarative root clauses ends up in second position. If a language has verb second as a characteristic property it is called a verb second language.


The contrast between the Dutch (i)a and the English (i)b shows that Dutch, but not English, is a verb second language.

(i) a  Jan sla ik
       J hit I
    b  John I hit

Verb second is no longer considered a process, but is rather taken to be an epiphenomenon, the effect of the interaction of as yet ill-understood parameter-settings and principles.



  • Weerman, F. 1989. The V2 Conspiracy, Diss Utrecht University,
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