The Loss of Verb Movement to Infl. in English.

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Research including but not limited to Rohrbacher (1994), Bobaljik and Thráinsson (1998), and Bobaljik (2003) has discovered a correlation between rich verb agreement in a language and movement of the verb to Infl. Different camps have been pulling back and forth different definitions of richness and different formulations of what is known as the Rich Agreement Hypothesis. As proposed by Bobaljik and Thráinsson (1998), a weak version of this hypothesis has long been the standard and predicted that rich languages have to move the verb, but does not do any predictions on poor languages due to the many exceptions to the rule. Koeneman and Zeijlstra (2014) reinstated the Rich Agreement Hypothesis in its strongest form, predicting that only rich languages move the verb to Infl. and that poor languages leave the verb in situ. They also predict that the loss of rich agreement instantly entails loss of verb movement. This directly contrasts earlier papers (Kroch, 1989; Bobaljik, 2003) that still proposed a time gap of about two hundred years for the change in morphology to influence the change in syntax. The research question in this proposal is to what extent this prediction of Koeneman and Zeijlstra (2014) is correct when it comes to changes in older languages such as the loss of rich agreement in English, and if it can account for more data than the established weak version of the hypothesis as envisioned by Bobaljik and Thráinsson (1998). The hypothesis was that they can indeed account for more data and that their predictions are true. This hypothesis turned out to be mostly correct.
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