On Quirky oblique subjects and ECM complementation in Icelandic

Bowden, David (2010) On Quirky oblique subjects and ECM complementation in Icelandic. Masters thesis, Memorial University of Newfoundland.

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Abstract

The syntactic position occupied by ECM complements is highly debated in the literature with no definitive answer currently available. This is problematic since the unknown nature of the position obscures our understanding of a universal theory of syntax. This thesis examines the debate through the lens of the Icelandic language which exhibits a cross-linguistically rare phenomenon termed Quirky Case, or Aukafallsfrumlag in Icelandic scholarship, whereby speakers can employ oblique forms in subject position. This mismatch of morphological case and grammatical function, evident in the Icelandic language, is therefore an ideal environment within which to explore the contested nature of exceptionally case marked nouns. It will be shown that there are certain height constraints associated with Quirky vs. non-Quirky ECM movement. By unifying the notions of Quirky case, Object Shift, and Exceptional Case Marking, novel insight into the universal relationship between case and syntactic position will be made - shedding more light on the illusive nature of the ECM complement position.

Item Type: Thesis (Masters)
URI: http://research.library.mun.ca/id/eprint/8873
Item ID: 8873
Additional Information: Includes bibliographical references (leaves 106-110).
Department(s): Humanities and Social Sciences, Faculty of > Linguistics
Date: 2010
Date Type: Submission
Library of Congress Subject Heading: Icelandic language--Case; Icelandic language--Grammar; Icelandic language--Syntax

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