Modeling word order variation in discourse: On the pragmatic properties of VS order in Old High German

  • Svetlana Petrova


In Old High German, verb-initial matrix declarative clauses display a variety of functions which are broadly related to discourse structure. However, the tho-V2 construction also correlates with the factors triggering verb-initial placement. The paper shows that the preference of the one pattern over the other cannot be explained in terms of a single, straightforward criterion. Rather, several factors influencing the choice process are recognized in the literature. The paper tests the effect of these factors by using methods and tools developed to capture variability in sociolinguistics.