Call for papers

On March 9th - 10th the University of Oslo will host the first conference of the Traces of History project.

The project Traces of History seeks to understand why certain features of languages do not change. In particular, we ask the question why the Germanic languages (with the exception of English) have retained a Verb Second (V2) word order, whereas the Romance languages (with the exception of Rhaeto-Romance) lost it in the late Middle Ages.

One of the core objects of the project is to explore the relation between V2 and other features of the language, such as clitics, topicalisation, V1 and the complementiser system. Are there underlying properties of the Germanic languages that render V2 stable? In other words: is V2 contingent on other, apparently unrelated, structures in the language? Are they universal? If so, we will expect them to be absent from English and the Romance languages.

We also intend to explore the possibility that there are traces of V2 also in languages that have lost this word order. Is it possible to find archaic structures or other properties that may be ascribed to the former structure?

The workshop will take place at the University of Oslo on March 9th – March 10th 2015. It is possible to register without a presentation.

Presentations should be 20 minutes, leaving 10 minutes for discussion. The abstract is limited to two pages, including references. Submissions are to be mailed to The submission should contain the anonymous abstract and a document with the name of the abstract as well as the name of the author and his/her affiliation and e-mail address.

The workshop invites scholars to present papers on the above mentioned topics in Romance or Germanic languages. Presentations with a comparative aspect are highly encouraged.


Invited speaker: Ian Roberts, University of Cambridge

The participants of the project will presente papers:

  • Elly van Gelderen, Arizona State University
  • Cecilia Poletto (by Skype), Goethe Universität Frankfurt am Main
  • Thórhallur Eythórsson, Háskóli Íslands
  • George Walkden, University of Manchester
  • Francisco J. Fernández-Rubiera, University of Central Florida
  • Kristine G. Eide, University of Oslo
  • Christine M. Salvesen, University of Oslo


Published Jan. 12, 2015 1:50 PM - Last modified Jan. 12, 2015 3:50 PM