Verb movement: Its nature, triggers, and effects

Amsterdam, December 11-12, 2010

This workshop is organized jointly by NORMS and the University of Amsterdam.

Organizing committee:
Kristine Bentzen (Tromsø), Thórhallur Eythórsson and Höskuldur Thráinsson (Iceland), Hedde Zeijlstra and Olaf Koeneman (Amsterdam)

Invited speakers include:

Jan-Wouter Zwart (Groningen University)
Ora Matushansky (Utrecht University)
Winfried Lechner (University of Athens)
Theresa Biberauer (University of Cambridge)
Klaus Abels (UCL)
Anna-Lena Wiklund (Lund University)
Øystein Nilsen (London)

Workshop description

In this workshop we want to address various issues related to verb placement and the syntax of the left periphery. The topic 'verb movement' has of course been discussed extensively in the linguistic literature, but many of the core properties of verb movement still trigger intense debates and we think it is about time to try to determine what the main issues are and take a new look at them through 2010 goggles.

For one thing, the empirical basis for traditional verb movement analyses has mainly consisted of (standard varieties of) Germanic and Romance languages, in particular English, German, Dutch, Scandinavian, and French. However, more detailed knowledge about other languages and dialects has enlarged the empirical basis. One such example is the extensive work on European dialects conducted in the last decade or so, partly in research groups that have been a part of the NORMS project or associated with it. These new data challenge the traditional view of verb movement as simply V-to-C or V-to-I.

On the theoretical side, one issue concerns the 'explosion' of the CP and IP domains. Since (among others) Pollock (1989), Rizzi (1997), and Cinque (1999) it is commonly assumed that the structure of the CP and IP domains is much more fine-grained than we previously thought, with several functional projections in each domain. As a result, for example 'V-to-C' can no longer be assumed to be one single phenomenon; rather, we need to consider e.g. V-to-Fin, V-to-Foc, V-to-Top, V-to-Force, etc. as variants of what used to be labeled 'V-to-C'. Likewise, 'V-to-I' could mean V-to-Asp, V-to-T, V-to-Mod, etc. Another theoretical issue that is still under debate is the nature of the movement operation itself. Traditionally, verb movement has of course been analysed as head movement, but during the last decade or more, many people have explored phrasal movement alternatives such as remnant movement to account for verb movement. Related to this is the question of what triggers verb movement. The long-standing view that verbal morphology is a trigger for verb movement has been challenged in recent years, but the debate on this issue has by no means come to an end. Finally, the potential semantic effects of verb movement is also an issue that deserves more scrutiny.

Call for papers
Abstract submission is closed!

Please registrer for the workshop by sending an e-mail to This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. .
When you registrer, please indicate whether you want to join the workshop dinner (approximately €25 + whatever you prefer to drink).

There will be a €10 registration fee to be paid in cash online.

The links to the abstracts in the program appear to be unstable (for some unknown reason). You can download the whole booklet with the program and the abstracts [rokdownload menuitem="132" downloaditem="138" direct_download="true"]here[/rokdownload].


Saturday 11th of December

09:30-10:30: Invited speaker 1: Winfried Lechner (University of Athens):
On the orthodoxy of head movement

10:30-11:10: Martin Salzmann (University of Zürich):
Evidence for semantically active covert head-movement–scope in Verb Projection Raising

11:10-11:20: COFFEE BREAK

11:20-12:00: Höskuldur Thráinsson (University of Iceland):
How can V2 vary?

12:00-13:00: Invited speaker 2: Øystein Nilsen (London):
Some scope puzzles for analyses of V2

13:00-14:00: LUNCH BREAK

14:00-14:40: Kristine Bentzen (University of Tromsø) & Caroline Heycock (University of Edinburgh):
Embedded V2 and extraction in Norwegian: Results from an online experiment

14:40-15:20: Madoka Murakami (Jissen Women's University and University of Siena):
Mood, features, and verb movement

15:20-16:00: Sonia Cyrino (University of Campinas):
Morphological marking and verb movement in Brazilian Portuguese

16:00-16:20: COFFEE BREAK

16:20-17:00: Terje Lohndal (University of Maryland), Øystein Vangsnes (University of Tromsø) & Marit Westergaard (University of Tromsø):
Verb movement in matrix wh-questions in Norwegian dialects: Microvariation and diachrony

17:00-18:00: Invited speaker 3: Klaus Abels (University College London):
'Verb' movement derives cluster orders


Sunday 12th of December

09:30-10:30: Invited speaker 4: Anna-Lena Wiklund (Lund University):
Differentiating verb placements – the case of Scandinavian

10:30-11:10: Piotr Garbacz (University of Oslo):
Low verb second and agreement in Scandinavian dialects

11:10-11:20: COFFEE BREAK

11:20-12:00: Hedde Zeijlstra & Olaf Koeneman (University of Amsterdam):
The Rich Agreement Hypothesis resurrected: weak isn’t strong enough

12:00-13:00: Invited speaker 5: Ora Matushansky (Utrecht University):
Alternatives to head-movement

13:00-14:00: LUNCH BREAK

14:00-14:40: Thórhallur Eythórsson (University of Iceland):
Saving V2

14:40-15:40: Invited speaker 6: Theresa Biberauer (University of Cambridge):
Embedded V2 in Afrikaans: An unexpected declarative-interrogative asymmetry

15:40-16:00: COFFEE BREAK

16:00-16:40: Gary Thoms (University of Strathclyde):
Syntactic verb movement without feature-checking: evidence from ellipsis

16:40-17:40: Invited speaker 7: Jan-Wouter Zwart (University of Groningen):
Verb movement in layered derivations

Alternate: Krzysztof Migdalski
(University of Wroclaw):
Remnant XP movement becomes head movement – evidence from Polish


Conference venue
University of Amsterdam,  Singel 421-427, room Doelenzaal

Invited speakers and (non-local) organisers will stay at Rho Hotel, and we can recommend that one to our other participants as well.
If you're looking for another place to stay in Amsterdam during the workshop, you can contact This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. and This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. for advice!

Finding your way in Amsterdam
Getting from Schiphol airport to Amsterdam city centre:
There is a very good train connection between Schiphol and Amsterdam Central, which runs six times an hour and takes about 20 minutes.

From Central station to the workshop venue

From Central station to Rho Hotel, Nes 11

From Rho Hotel to the workshop venue

Other questions?
Send an e-mail to This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

Contact information

CASTL, Faculty of Humanities, Social Sciences and Education, NO-9037 Tromsø, Norway · Phone: + 47 77 64 54 08 · E-mail: peter This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

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