Sigríður Sæunn Sigurðardóttir contributes chapter to a book on diachronic stability

Photo of Sigríður Sæunn Sigurðardóttir
March 27, 2019

Graduate student Sigríður Sæunn Sigurðardóttir and her collaborator Thórhallur Eythórsson have contributed a chapter in the recent book The Determinants of Diachronic Stability, on stability and change in the history of Icelandic weather verbs. The paper was originally presented at the pre-conference workshop of DiGS 18 (19th Diachronic Generative Syntax conference) in Ghent, 2016. The abstract for this chapter is given below:

“Contrary to previous claims, weather verbs in Icelandic are not “no-argument” predicates. Both in Old and Modern Icelandic they can appear with an NP either in nominative, accusative or dative case. It can be shown that in Modern Icelandic the NPs are subjects, and this is likely to have been the case in Old Icelandic. Diachronically, in addition to some changes in subject case marking (Nominative Substitution and Impersonalization), the main innovations in weather verbs involve the introduction of the “expletive” elements það and hann. On the whole, however, there is considerable stability in the use of weather verbs in the history of Icelandic. Not only are the lexical items nearly all the same, but a clear continuity in the syntax of weather expressions can be documented.”

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