Preposition stranding versus pied-piping: Negative Shift of prepositional complements in dialects of Faroese


  • Eva Engels University of Aarhus



Negative Shift, preposition stranding, pied-piping, syntax, cyclic linearization, Scandinavian


In Faroese, Negative Shift of a prepositional complement is subject to variation across dialects, as well as to variation across speakers of the same dialect as regards preposition stranding and pied-piping. In particular, Negative Shift of a prepositional complement is possible for all speakers in the presence of a main verb in situ, stranding the preposition. Only if the main verb undergoes finite verb movement does dialectal and inter-speaker variation arise. In Icelandic, in contrast, the choice between preposition stranding and pied-piping during Negative Shift seems to be independent of verb position and to be lexically determined by the verb-preposition combination instead.

         These asymmetries will be accounted for within Fox and Pesetsky's (2003, 2005) cyclic linearization model, which requires non-string-vacuous movement to proceed through the left edge of Spell-out domains, deriving cross-linguistic variation as to Negative Shift from differences in the availability of these left-edge positions. Thereby, pied-piping is considered a last resort strategy, possible only if the prepositional complement cannot undergo Negative Shift on its own due to the unavailability of the relevant left-edge position.