Abstract

Despite decades of research, debate continues over the analysis of Object Shift in Mainland Scandinavian, and all syntactic and information-structural accounts have run into empirical and/or conceptual problems. We argue that this debate can be resolved by recognizing that Object Shift is, in fact, a prosodic phenomenon. Our analysis builds on the observation that varieties with optional Object Shift (most Swedish dialects, South Danish dialects (e.g., Ærø)) also have a tone accent contrast. The in-situ word order in these varieties is licensed because tonal accent creates a prosodic domain that makes the incorporation of weak pronouns possible.

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