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Agreement and movement in Icelandic raising constructions

Lookup NU author(s): Emeritus Professor Anders Holmberg


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An intervening dative experiencer argument in an Icelandic raising verb construction blocks agreement between the matrix verb (the matrix T) and the embedded subject of the infinitival clause, as well as blocking raising of the embedded subject. If the experiencer is wh-moved (or relativized or topicalized), it still blocks agreement, but does not block raising. The facts show unequivocally that the whP moves directly from specVP to specCP. The facts are explained in terms of a theory of spell-out and the EPP: A whP is not spelled out before it enters an Agree relation with a C with a matching feature. Spelled-out or not, a whP in specVP blocks Agree between T and the embedded subject. A whP not spelled out does not block Stylistic Fronting, an EPP-driven movement affecting only spelled-out categories. Raising across a whP is claimed to be Stylistic Fronting, not standard A-movement.

Publication metadata

Author(s): Holmberg A, Hróarsdóttir T

Publication type: Article

Publication status: Published

Journal: Lingua

Year: 2004

Volume: 113

Issue: 10

Pages: 997-1019

ISSN (print): 0024-3841

ISSN (electronic): 1872-6135

Publisher: Elsevier BV


DOI: 10.1016/S0024-3841(02)00162-6


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