Paper by Jim Wood and Halldór Sigurðsson appears in Syntax

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August 21, 2014

The September issue of Syntax includes an article by lecturer Jim Wood and Halldór Ármann Sigurðsson (Lund University), titled “Let causatives and (a)symmetric ᴅᴀᴛ-ɴᴏᴍ constructions in Icelandic.” Below is the abstract for the paper:

The verb láta ‘let/make’ in Icelandic provides a unique opportunity to understand the behavior of symmetric versus asymmetric ᴅᴀᴛ-ɴᴏᴍ constructions, as well as the nature of nominative-accusative case alternations. In this paper, we take a close look at láta and examine a set of cases where ᴅᴀᴛ-ɴᴏᴍ verbs are embedded under láta, resulting in the otherwise nominative object becoming accusative in some cases and remaining nominative in others. We propose that phase extension of an Appl head underlies both the availability of accusative in an embedded ᴅᴀᴛ-ɴᴏᴍ verb and the possibility of A-moving a nominative object past the dative to the subject position. We further hypothesize that the base-generated position of the verbal root in the syntax underlies the lexical difference between symmetric and asymmetric ᴅᴀᴛ-ɴᴏᴍ verbs.

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