1996 Volume 13 Pages 277-298
In NEG first (NEG1) constructions, which are frequently observed in Old English, the negating particle ne occupies a “sentence initial” position and is immediately followed by a finite verb. Since the negating particle is analyzed as cliticized to the finite verb, NEG1 constructions apparently seem to be instances of verb first sentences, which are occasionally observable in Old English. This article will show that in spite of their appearance NEG1 constructions should be analyzed as verb second, but not verb first constructions. Specifically, it will be argued that in the constructions the initial position is occupied by an empty operator and that the combination of the negating particle and finite verb is in the second position.