The syntax of object shift in Icelandic

Matthews, Kenneth (2000) The syntax of object shift in Icelandic. Masters thesis, Memorial University of Newfoundland.

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    Available under License - The author retains copyright ownership and moral rights in this thesis. Neither the thesis nor substantial extracts from it may be printed or otherwise reproduced without the author's permission.
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Abstract

The focus of this thesis is an investigation of object shift in Icelandic within the Minimalist framework. Object shift here involves movement of a direct object or an indirect object from base position to a position higher in the syntactic structure. Adverb placement is often employed as evidence for object shift: in situ elements follow, and shifted elements precede a sentential adverb such as negation. -- A description of the object shift phenomenon is presented in Chapter One. Background research is discussed, including a description of Icelandic verb properties by Holmberg and Platzack (1995), an investigation of the category E by Travis (1994), and work on negator movement by Moritz and Valois (1994). -- Chapter Two illustrates various hypotheses concerning the syntactic derivation of the word order combinations involved in (double) object shift, with an emphasis on Icelandic data. These include work by Groat and O’Neil (1996), Collins and Thrainsson (1993), and Bobaljik (1995). Problems with each of the proposals are laid out after the respective analyses. -- Chapter Three represents an alternative analysis to the previous works. The analysis assumes the lowest position of an indefinite subject and the vP-external position of a shifted direct object to be the same position [Spec, EP]; and overt Shift of the negator to [Spec, NegP] is proposed. Object shift is derived by a process whereby the presence of strong features is triggered in a head whose maximal projection is immediately dominated by the maximal projection of another head which itself contains strong features. The implication of the latter is that shift of an indirect object alone is actually shifting of the indirect object, the negator, and the direct object to higher positions. The posibility of vP-internal shift of the direct object is also raised.

Item Type: Thesis (Masters)
URI: http://research.library.mun.ca/id/eprint/1556
Item ID: 1556
Additional Information: Bibliography: leaves 169-173
Department(s): Humanities and Social Sciences, Faculty of > Linguistics
Date: 2000
Date Type: Submission
Geographic Location: Iceland
Library of Congress Subject Heading: Icelandic language--Syntax; Icelandic language--Direct object; Icelandic language--Indirect object

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