We are very happy to announce the next talk in the Syntax Colloquium, which will take place on Monday, May 13, 5 (sharp) – 6 pm in IG 254.

Fenna Bergsma will present „The 2SG pronoun in Frisian“.


It has been argued (cf. Postma 2013) that the Frisian 2SG pronoun has different forms dependent on its position with respect to the verb. Preverbally, the pronoun do is used. Postverbally, the clitics -o/-e are possible or the pronoun can be dropped.

(1) a. Do  sjochst him.
          you see       him
          ‘You see him.’
b. Sjochst -o/-e/∅ him?
    see         you       him
    ‘Do you see him?’

This observation is used as a basis to argue that preverbal and postverbal pronouns have different positions in the syntax, and that they spell out different part of the syntactic structure.

I will argue that the description in (1) is incorrect, removing the basis to assume different syntactic objects are realized. I show that Frisian has, preverbally and postverbally, do as a full pronoun, de as a phonologically reduced version of the pronoun and the possibility to drop the pronoun. The d- disappears postverbally due to phonology. Preverbal de and the possibility to drop the pronoun are attested, but they have been overlooked. I discuss possible reasons for why they have been overlooked, which include the limited distribution of de and some methodological issues.

Postma, G.J. (2013) Clause-typing by [2] – The loss of the 2nd person pronoun du ‘you’ in Dutch, Frisian and Limburgian dialects. Camacho-Taboada, et.al, V. (eds). Information Structure and Agreement. Linguistik Aktuell/Linguistics Today. Amsterdam: Benjamins. 2013. 217-254.



You are cordially invited!