Verb second word order in Kashmiri and other Indo-Aryan languages. A diachronic and typological study

Start - End 
2015 - 2018 (ongoing)



The predominant word order in the Indo-Aryan language Kashmiri, spoken in a mountainous areain the Indian Himalayas, is verb second (V2). This means that the verb always takes the secondposition in the sentence, preceded by a noun phrase that can be the subject or another topicalizedclause constituent. This is remarkable, because in most other Indo-Aryan languages, word order isverb final. Moreover, it resembles the word order of Dutch and German, languages far removedfrom the Kashmiri area. In this project, I would first like to investigate the historical processes bywhich the V2 word order developed in Kashmiri, and second, investigate other Indo-Aryanlanguages which display this exceptional pattern. The path to accomplish these aims is three-fold:first, I will analyze a corpus of Modern Kashmiri and map the clauses in which the V2 word order ismost frequent, and those which apparently do not show V2. Second, I will analyze three historicaltexts (from the 13th, 15th and 19th century) to trace the development of the word order,expecting that there will be more verb final constructions in the oldest text. Third, I will collectfield work data on three Indo-Aryan languages which have been reported to show V2 word order:the Kashmiri dialect Poguli and on the Western Pahari languages Kotgarhi and Kochi. The wordorder pattern in these languages is not identical, and the attested differences will throw additionallight on how Kashmiri word order has come to be V2.