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Icelandic dative intervention: person and number are separate probes

Lookup NU author(s): Emeritus Professor Anders Holmberg

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Abstract

Abstract Icelandic DAT-NOM constructions generally observe the Person Restriction, allowing only 3rd person NOM to control agreement. In addition, however, there is variation within the 3rd person, one variety (Icelandic C) allowing only the default 3SG form of the verb (i.e., generally disallowing agreement), another variety (Icelandic B) generally disallowing 3rd person agreement with NOM across an overtly intervening DAT, and a third variety (Icelandic A), allowing many but not all instances of 3rd person agreement across DAT. Thus, we find the pattern in (a) in Icelandic A but the pattern in (b) in Icelandic B and C: a. /there have.3PL/?has.3SG only one linguist.DAT liked these ideas.NOM/ A b. /there *have.3PL/has.3SG only one linguist.DAT liked these ideas.NOM/ B/C However, when the dative raises outside of the probing domain of the finite verb, three patterns can be discerned: Preferable 3PL agreement in Icelandic A, optional agreement in Icelandic B, and agreement blocking (default 3SG) in Icelandic C. We develop a unified analysis of the Person Restriction, blocking 1st and 2nd person agreement, and the observed 3rd person agreement. The analysis is based on the hypothesis that interpretable (but unvalued) Person and Number are separate probes (‘heads’) in the clausal structure.


Publication metadata

Author(s): Sigurdsson HA, Holmberg A

Editor(s): d'Alessandro, R; Hrafnbjargarson, GH; Fischer, S

Publication type: Book Chapter

Publication status: Published

Book Title: Agreement Restrictions

Year: 2008

Pages: 251-280

Series Title: Interface Explorations

Publisher: Mouton de Gruyter

Place Published: Berlin

Library holdings: Search Newcastle University Library for this item

ISBN: 9783110200652


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